You may first be wondering, what is a logistics partner? Put simply, a logistics partner is a business that provides services such as transportation, distribution, order fulfilment or storage of goods for another business. They may also provide advice or consultancy to companies on topics such as increasing efficiency and cost effectiveness in their logistics practices, as well as minimising operational complexity.
Growing businesses all have unique logistics needs, and there is a myriad of different logistics companies out there that are suited to different sets of requirements. Here’s some factors that could inform your choice of logistics delivery partner.
Different products require different kinds of logistics. Physically smaller products like those considered to be FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) like cosmetics and household items, require much less care and attention to be delivered effectively. Parcels may even fit through letterboxes, meaning the delivery person may not even have to interact with the customer at all.
Compare this to larger, more valuable products like furniture, televisions and household appliances. These products will often require larger vehicles to transport them, and often two person teams to carry them into a customer’s home. Their expense also comes with expectations of a higher level of service, perhaps including extras like installation.
As with any business, delivering customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance for both those selling products and logistics businesses. This means ensuring an excellent service for the entire purchasing process, from the moment the product is ordered to the moment the product is delivered.
This means having the infrastructure required for things like real time product tracking and as accurate as possible predicted delivery times, as well as providing a broader customer service experience that matches up with the products being sold. For example, more expensive larger products should feature elements of ‘white glove’ delivery, the term used in logistics for a premium level of service. This could include offering increased flexibility on delivery times, higher standards of training for staff, disposal of any packaging and a range of other additional services.
Reputation will always matter when choosing to partner up with another business on any project but is especially important with a logistics partner. They form a fundamental part of the whole sale process, and it is their representatives that will meet and interact with the customer face-to-face. As a result, it’s important to ensure that the company you are working with has a good reputation, especially in their interactions with customers and overall logistics management ability.
Of course, factors like the volume of products and the level of service will all play a part in the eventual cost of a logistics partner. However, it’s worth weighing up what is best for your overall business growth. If you are a relatively new business selling FMCG’s, the volume may seem like the priority, but associating your brand with excellent service will make customers more likely to return. Be sure to weigh up all the factors above and your business’s situation when picking a logistics partner. Don’t forget to consider future requirements as well, as it’s always costly to change these kinds of infrastructural partnerships down the line. Picking a partner that offers scalability will often be the right move for a fast-growing business.
Panther offers a premium white glove delivery service, highly suited to larger, more valuable products. Our two-person teams will un-pack and remove the packaging of products, deliver it to the room of the customer’s choosing and offers next day delivery to 98% of UK post codes. Get in touch to find out what Panther can do for you and your business.