Once you have done some work in finding out what type of 3PL best fits your needs, and research providers in your specific markets, it’s time to start digging in! There are a few things left to do when learning about a potential provider. This stage is the most important for finding the best quality of service, price and fit for your logistics operation.
Submitting an RFP, or Request for Proposal, is a big step in choosing the right 3PL for your logistics operation, and there are many different ways that it can be handled. Most likely this RFP is going to be seen by multiple companies that have been strategically chosen and researched. RFPs can be submitted directly to a logistics provider or through a third party. When submitting directly to a company, responses are generally faster and more tailored to your specific company. When they are submitted through a third party, there are more providers that it can reach. Most RFP forms have questions about the company they would be partnering with, as well as some general information about the services that will be needed. An RFP form can be as simple as a general outline, but some can get very detailed about the project. Generally, you can also attach a previously generated file that has your vital information on it.
Feel free to check out our RFP Page and get a better idea of what we look for from potential clients.
Once an RFP is submitted, you should begin to hear from representatives at your prospective providers. Our client solutions specialists are generally in contact with somebody that submits a form on the same day or at the very least the next day. We pride ourselves on getting to our clients as quickly as possible.
Once a client solutions specialist gets in contact with the prospective customer, they start filling in the blanks about the specific project. This is done very thoroughly here at Murphy, because we build specific custom quotes for each of our prospective clients. Pricing can be broken down many different ways and specifics about billing can all be customized for each client. Quotes are generally simple, with one page and no hidden fees or small print.
Some 3PL’s do not do custom pricing and there is a structure that works out to $X per widget or $Y per item, etc. We find that a custom and well thought out quote works out much better for both parties.
Learn about culture
Murphy had a longstanding client/partnership with a client that had similar company values, and as a family company, this was extremely important to them. This partnership flourished for 25-30 years. It was profitable and efficient for both companies, due to the goals, values and expectations set in advance. There was trust and communication with a commitment to keeping a strong and successful business partnership running smoothly.
After years of a great business relationship, our client sold their company, and their company values changed dramatically. No longer was there trust and a partnership, but there were demands and skepticism. This led to pressure on both sides, to the point where some of our employees even hated coming to work. Problems continued, eventually leading to the partnership dissolving. This story is important, because it shows that the culture of a company is one of the most vital factors to having successful partnership with a provider.
Customer visits are a vital part of learning about how we operate and what type of culture we have at Murphy, we can tell you that we are a family company and want to fit your needs time and time again. But, until you come into one of our warehouses and see our operations team working at peak efficiency and our office staff coming up with solutions for their clients, you won’t know our true culture. We work with many vendors, and clients that have a seamless integration to our systems and procedures. Some of our Customer Service Reps have been working with the same contacts for over a decade and are just as interested in their personal relationship with the client as the business that brought them together. We look for strong cultural fits during the bid and visit stages, and strive to be accommodating and helpful to each and every customer who looks to partner with Murphy.
Thank you for reading! Be sure to check back next week as we wrap up our tips on choosing the right 3PL for your logistics operation.