In the event of a disaster, like the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes a serious challenge to your business. As a result, you will need enough support of the supply chain partners for your business to survive the disaster and even maintain its progress.
Most third-party logistics (3PL) providers are proving that they can put in their best efforts to ensure the operation of their customer continues smoothly. So, how can your 3PL help to keep your products flowing during the current crisis, and what can you do to help? That’s what we will be discussing in this article.
The first thing that your 3PL needs to ensure during a crisis is that it can continue its operations swiftly. As long as it is operating, here are the ways that your 3PL can help to strengthen the operation of your business.
- Adhere to the government protocols
The protocols of the federal, state, and local governments will change time and again as the COVID-19 continues to spread. Normally, the protocols laid down by the government can affect most businesses, especially those dealing with product deliveries.
That is why 3PLs need to keep track of those protocols and ensure that they are compliant to them throughout.
- Prove that operations are crucial (if need be)
Most recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has pointed out specific industries that are critical to the nation’s infrastructure. Therefore, businesses can prove that they meet the criteria of an ‘essential business’. Those which support the essential businesses should easily operate normally.
That is why your 3PL needs to show that it’s part of the critical infrastructure for it to continue working in the current disaster. The truck drivers and employees of your 3PL should always carry the necessary documentation from the company to show that they are part of the essential businesses.
- Implement its own protocol to curb the virus
Your 3PL should also implement deep internal measures to keep its workforce safe and the facilities clean. They should observe the necessary measures that would reduce the spread of the virus while they continue with their operations.
- Some of the measures to implement include;
- Applying the social distancing measurers
- Avoiding business and leisure trips
- Ensuring strict cleaning and disinfection of facilities and trucks
- Wear face mask and gloves
- Keeping visitors away from the warehouse
- Develop a contingency plan to sustain the business continuity during the disaster
How You Can Help the 3PL
Even as your 3PL is doing what they need to do, you will also be expected to play your part in the process. Here are some of the things that are expected of you;
- Communicate with your 3PL efficiently
- Ensure that the products is considered essential and that your customers can receive them. Amazon, for example, is prioritizing only the essential products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Control inventory levels carefully
- Avoid making rush orders
Finally, keep in mind that you and your 3PL must hold hands during this epidemic for the business to move swiftly. Your goals are similar and working as a team will help you achieve them accordingly. Ideally, your 3PL should always communicate operational updates to you as it is always ready to answer any relevant question. Above all, they should always make the necessary changes so as to meet your specific needs appropriately.