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How to Transition to a New 3PL

How to Transition to a New 3PL

A Guide to Switching Your 3pl Provider

Outsourcing your fulfilment to a third-party logistics provider (3pl) means working with a partner who can demonstrate they’re a great match for your brand, and your customers. When that ceases to be the case, your business is at risk. A change of 3pl may feel challenging and unwieldy but your evolution as a business depends on it. Read on to find out how to transition to a new 3pl swiftly and seamlessly.

How Do You Know If It’s Time to Switch 3pl?

Crucial to a successful transition is the ability to recognize warning signals and initiate plans for switching before reaching a critical point where that switch becomes imperative. Here are some clear signs that it’s time to change 3pl:

  • Orders are inaccurate, late, or damaged in transition.
  • There’s no ongoing investment in tech and infrastructure.
  • You’re growing fast and need a 3pl that can support that growth.
  • The support you experience is inadequate, so problems don’t get addressed.
  • The tech needs an upgrade, you’re unable to track orders efficiently.
  • Your customers are unhappy.

It’s unlikely that you’ll experience all of the above, but once you become aware of concerns that could impact your business, acting fast and decisively helps. We’ve all been in situations where we decide to ‘see how things go’ and they rarely go in a good direction.

In order to move decisively, though, you need a clear understanding of how to transition to a new 3pl.

How Do You Know If It’s Time to Switch 3pl?

How to Transition to a New 3pl

Remember when changing bank accounts was something you did once and then swore that you’d never do again? Now the process has been made customer-centric, and it’s become simple, swift, and stress-free. Our goal at Prolog Fulfilment is to do the same for switching to a new 3pl. As a result, we have happy new clients, and more time to focus on successful partnerships for growth.

There are 4 steps to a successful 3pl transition:

1. Plan the Transition Period Carefully

Remember those signs that you need to be alert to? The switch to a new 3pl doesn’t start with ripping up your existing contract; instead, use the time remaining on your contract to plan for your transition. You’ll need to consider what you need from your new 3pl, visit potential partners, decide on one and prepare inventory. Take the time you need to do this, and don’t jump until you’re ready.

Your new 3pl should work with you to align with your timetable. You will be looking for a guarantee that everything is in place, and fully tested, to start fulfilling orders on the date you specify.

2. Make Alterations to Your Supply Chain

Your new 3pl will be in a different location. Reviewing the impact on your supply chain will – most likely – play a part in choosing your 3pl provider. Your new 3pl will work with you to develop relationships with your manufacturers and suppliers. They will also be able to advise on the amount of inventory to order, and ensure that the processes of labelling, and inventory management are clearly understood by all parties.

Make Alterations to Your Supply Chain

A new 3pl partner will have an onboarding process involving specialists from every part of the fulfilment process. there will be an operational lead who will be your point of contact and guide your team throughout.

3. Testing Your Personalised Fulfilment Process

Each brand will have its own requirements which a 3pl partner will need to meet in order to fulfil successfully. A personalised fulfilment process may require new investment on the part of the 3pl, employee training, and the streamlining of existing operations in the new fulfilment centre. Critically, IT systems will need to be integrated. The entire process will then need to be exhaustively tested prior to launch.

3pls will manage training, required purchases of equipment and process streamlining. Ideally, there will be an in-house IT team to oversee and trouble-shoot the system integration. A number of test-runs will be scheduled to guarantee performance excellence for the launch.

4. Keeping Your Customers Informed

Let your customers know that you’re working on their behalf to improve the service they receive. Encourage their feedback in the period after the launch and respond to any problems quickly and transparently.

In an ideal world there shouldn’t be any teething problems when you switch to a new 3pl. Prolog can provide customer communications to cover this period, including responding to feedback, and keeping customers informed if an issue has occurred.


Prolog Fulfilment Guarantees a Smooth Transition

“We moved our entire business’s logistics (both trade and D2C) to Prolog a few months ago, and we couldn’t be happier. The transition has been seamless and the whole team’s attention to detail is excellent. Not only are they accommodating to our requests, they also offer excellent advice on improvements. Massive shout out to the whole team.”Nathan Perry

We know how stressful change can be, which is why Prolog has designed an onboarding experience that is well thought through, is run by senior account managers, and places proactive collaboration at its centre. Here’s what we can offer our clients:

  • Operational Leads who know the fulfilment industry, are experienced in supply chain management, and will guide your team through the process.
  • Fulfilment Onboarding Experience. We have managed numerous premium brands through our onboarding process. We continue to adapt it for ongoing success.
  • Tech Integration. Our in-house IT team are on-hand to make sure that our WMS seamlessly integrate with those of our customers. Our systems provide inventory management, real-time visibility of orders and integration with your eCommerce platforms.
  • Data-Driven Insights. Prolog has the distribution analytics businesses need to make evidence-based decisions. This includes amount of inventory held, best selling items, transit times, and average shopping cart value.

Prolog Makes Switching 3pl Seamless

Are you looking for a 3PL partner who will work with you proactively to provide a seamless switch? If the answer is ‘yes’, we would love to talk. Prolog Fulfilment has an established fulfilment centre at the heart of the UK, and 30 years’ experience of partnering premium brands.

At Prolog we offer a tailored fulfilment experience bespoke to your brand. We’re designed to deliver exceptional service to you and your customers.

Would you like to find out what makes us different? Call Prolog Fulfilment today on 01623 724000 to speak to a fulfilment expert.

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