There are many quantitative reasons to consider a public warehouse. Public warehouses are practical choices for companies that require infrastructure but are unable to support it themselves. These quantitative, money-saving measures are essential, but there are qualitative factors to consider as well.
Knowing the qualitative factors important to your company will help ensure long-term relationships between the 3PL and your business’ growth.
Establish an RFP
A request for proposal (RFP) includes the needs of your business and works as a solid starting point and negotiation tool as you work to select a public warehouse and 3PL.
A recent article from Logistics Viewpoints discussed a medical supply company’s decision to choose public warehousing.
Some areas of concern were the company’s need to have tech employees on site to fix returned products as well as the need for company owned service equipment on site. They needed to collaborate with a public warehouse that allowed for outside personnel to work on site.
Since public warehouses serve multiple clients, the company was also concerned about growing out of the 3PL. The company wanted a long-term relationship with their 3PL and had to choose a company they could grow with.
The company included all of this qualitative information in their RFP.
Ultimately, by keeping non-measurable considerations in mind, they developed an RFP that was adaptable. This adaptability was essential when working with the supply chain manager.
The process of choosing a warehouse involved discussion and communication. Ultimately, 20 percent of the original RFP had to change. Still, the company learned a great deal about their 3PL partner and was able to customize their company’s needs, allowing a stronger relationship going forward.
Of course, your company needs will vary. When deciding on a public warehouse, consider your company’s culture. Develop a strong RFP. Assess your public warehouse provider according to these cultural factors, but be prepared to negotiate and adapt. Consider the long-term, because strong long-term partnerships decrease future risk.