Balancing the Bid Process
Many shippers are turning to initiating contract bids for new providers and shortening contract lengths in an effort to contain costs and leverage the competitive environment among 3PLs. However, neither of these strategies fosters solid foundations for mature, strategic shipper-3PL relationships.
Shippers need to understand the true cost of these tactics for their own businesses and their customers, including relational, procedural and financial switching costs. These must be considered against the benefits of long- term 3PL contracts and relationships, such as increased flexibility, access to specialized knowledge and capabilities, and the ability to engage in financial incentives and value-added services.
Exploring the Risks/Rewards of Africa
Fast-growing economies, an abundance of low-cost labor, a burgeoning middle class and a commitment to improve infrastructure and remove barriers to trade are just a few of the reasons international companies are increasingly investing in opportunities in Africa.
But operating in Africa also presents considerable obstacles and risks, including cumbersome and corrupt clearance processes, inefficient logistics and significant deficits in physical transport infrastructure. Nigeria is just one example of the dichotomies, presenting rich opportunity for industries such as aerospace, telecom and consumer goods while still wrestling with issues of infrastructure and security. Opportunities are ripe for those with an appetite for making logistics processes more standard and efficient.
Opportunities in Omni-Channel
Today’s demanding consumer expects a seamless experience across retail sales channels, as well as individual recognition and reward. This has retailers, saddled with silo’ed systems built for single channels, scrambling to attain omni-channel functionality.
Core to the back end of this effort is optimizing inventory through virtualization and flexible distribution strategies, enabling retailers to quickly locate and deliver inventory according to dynamic market demand, regardless of channel. Services such as locating inventory from the store floor, enabling store pickup of web orders and even home delivery enable retailers to satisfy consumers and reduce markdowns and inventory write-offs. Many 3PLs offer the critical experience, capital expenditure, time, and resources essential to helping retailers attain their goal of a single, seamless, agile omni-channel network.
New Thinking on 3PL Talent
Successful inclusion initiatives give organizations including 3PLs a distinct competitive advantage, broadening the look, feel, experience and collective of knowledge of 3PL talent. Yet many organizations struggle with how to approach inclusion. Organizations that Think Globally, Act Locally take into account the needs of diverse employees, clients and suppliers in local regions while keeping corporate goals in mind.
Global Novations (a Korn/Ferry International Company) defines diversity as everything that makes an individual unique: traditional definitions as well as generation, socioeconomic status, education, thinking style, and more. Global Novations research shows that companies who are both diverse AND inclusive out-perform companies who are not.