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June Ezell Aug 18, 2022 7:58:36 AM 8 min read

Why Your 3PL Provider Must Ensure Departmental Alignment

3pl-partners-warehouseDetermining whether a third-party logistics (3PL) provider is reliable goes beyond the services they offer. When you’re vetting candidates, it is important to look into their business processes and dig deep to find out if they are a high-functioning operation that you can trust to keep your supply chain running smoothly.

It can be easy to overlook things like your 3PL partner’s internal communication practices, but doing your due diligence can help your business in the long run. The company’s departmental alignment, in particular, can have a significant impact on the level of service you receive.

The Importance of a Cohesive Unit

A 3PL company typically is divided into two main departments: the front office and the warehouse. Within those, there are several roles and responsibilities and many steps between receiving an order and final delivery. The front office tends to handle customer service, paperwork and the technical aspects of the business, while the warehouse performs the physical work of inventory management, picking, packing, kitting and fulfillment. When you place an order with a 3PL company, the request goes through the front office. From there, the warehouse receives the order and begins to fulfill the services that you’ve requested.

Often, a 3PL company’s departments may become siloed, with little communication between the warehouse and front office, in particular. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and not prioritize thoughtful alignment. But that can be a costly mistake.

Proper communication not only builds a cohesive team where everyone works together toward common goals and supports one another, but it also reduces the risk of missteps during order fulfillment. When a 3PL company operates as a single unit, there is a more trusting, open environment and employees get along with each other better.

It’s important for each employee to understand why certain tasks are performed across all departments. Otherwise, misunderstandings or lack of information can lead to animosity between employees. It could lead to a habit of blaming and a growing chasm between departments.

As with any company, a 3PL team that trusts each other and gets along tends to perform better. Without that teamwork, there can be division. Perhaps the warehouse doesn’t ask the customer service representative (CSR) important questions about orders because they don’t feel comfortable doing so, or the CSR doesn’t provide enough information to the warehouse team.

With a more cohesive team, they feel comfortable talking to each other, the CSR goes out onto the warehouse floor and talks with the team members there, they explain things in detail and everyone has the information they need to quickly and accurately fulfill orders

Some of the issues that can arise from a misaligned team include:

  • Orders not being fulfilled correctly
  • Poor service
  • Product may be mis-shipped
  • Labels may be incorrect or mispositioned
  • Incorrect pallets or labels may cause charge-backs

Mistakes like these could be very costly to you, the client. Mislabeling a case could be a $500 fine from in-vendors, or shipping it on the wrong pallet could be $2,000. These costs can add up quickly. That’s why it’s important to avoid them by working with a 3PL partner with strong team alignment and communication.

Our Approach

A strong 3PL company, such as G&B Fulfillment, works together as a single, united team. The customer service representatives understand what it takes to get an order processed, and the warehouse employees understand the specifics of clients’ requests.

Furthermore, you would be working with a company whose employees are friendly and happy. Happy employees are more productive and get the job done faster and more accurately. Your property is better taken care of and your orders are fulfilled smoothly. 

At G&B Fulfillment, our departments focus on good communication and maintaining healthy relationships. We have inclusive weekly meetings where everyone comes together to discuss safety, process and company news. Luncheons and all-company gatherings are a great way to encourage employees to interact with one another and maintain good relationships.

In a recent scenario, a G&B Fulfillment client had a repackaging order with boxes coming in from China and a very tight schedule. They required two items to be put into new packages and shipped to stores.

Thanks to the seamless communication between our teams, the order was processed smoothly. The warehouse team notified the front office when the packages came in, the front office relayed the instructions clearly, they worked together to cross-verify everything was done correctly and G&B Fulfillment was able to meet the client’s deadline. Had they not met the timing, the client would have lost their place in a large retail store.

At G&B Fulfillment, our departments are aligned as one cohesive unit, and we understand how important even the smallest details are to our clients. Because when all is said and done, it all comes back to providing excellent customer service and protecting our clients’ businesses.

Learn more about the benefits of partnering with G&B Fulfillment. Talk to an expert today.

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