Tips for outsourcing your logistics requirements

Outsourcing your logistics is a big decision. Here are some key points to bear in mind as part of the transition.

Your main objective: What is the basis for outsourcing your logistics requirements? Is it a need to open up business potential, release the value locked up in assets or improve the utilisation of staff? Your main objective should always be kept in mind.

Making enquiries: Make enquiries with several logistics providers. Make sure you speak to local and national providers to get a full picture of the options available. Make your requirements clear and don’t deviate from them. Ensure you have all the information to hand and compare what they offer with what you require.

Deciding what to outsource: What will actually be outsourced to the third party? The options include vehicles, drivers, maintenance and customer contracts. You may find it is more beneficial and cost-effective to choose one option, rather than all.

Calculating the costs: Analyse your current costs, including fuel usage, fleet and staff costs. It may be easier to break this down into quarterly figures, or make the calculation over the life of the contract you’re handing out. Once you have a handle on total current expenditure, you can clearly identify the cost savings or operational advantages on offer from a third party provider.

Ensure quality: Consider the quality of service provided to your current customer base and ensure this is maintained by the logistics provider by creating a service level agreement. This should be the required standard that is adhered to throughout the life of the contract.

Resource planning: Ensure you plan for changes in the utilisation of your fleet, redeployment of staff and an organisational restructure, and decide what will happen with any parts, building units and ancillary plant or equipment in the future.

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