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Ideas & Observations

‘Third-party logistics key to tackling business challenges’ – Elanders boss

As the business world continues to grapple with rising costs and inflationary pressures, Martin Ellison, business development director at North Tyneside-based packaging and printing business Elanders UK, looks at how third-party logistics (3PLs) can help tackle the challenges.

With the impact of inflation and a hike in prices across food to everyday products, third-party logistics (3PLs) can play a supporting role to customers when it comes to cutting costs, remaining profitable and safeguarding.

This can be achieved in the following ways by:

  • Offering a one-stop solution for supply chains in packaging, warehousing, transportation and order fulfilment
  • Identifying gaps in the supply chain
  • Utilising expertise, best practices and technologies that can be integrated into business processes to solve complex challenges and make the supply chain more agile and responsive in what can be an unpredictable market
  • Tackling concerns that e-commerce businesses may currently face, including the cost of goods, utility bills, salaries and transportation


Be challenging

It may sound obvious, but customers should always be challenging their partners.

At Elanders UK, we look at how we can add value, address what customers want to achieve, analyse what isn’t working and assess if we can fill the gap.

We offer a fully integrated solution, covering print and packaging, configuration, fulfilment, warehousing and global distribution.

Ensuring customers are aware of all our services is beneficial, as it takes time and pressure away from them if we can deliver a service they may not have thought about.


What are your customers’ aspirations?

This is important to consider.

They may be looking to move into a new market, so our first question is ‘can we help?’

The role of 3PLs in supply chain management is to drive business growth by giving companies inroads to markets where they may not already have a presence.

Being able to manage their products in a new market without having to spend money on warehousing and equipment can save money, as well as time learning about a new market.

Currently, we are talking to customers about sourcing materials for them.

We have seen a 21 per cent improvement in packaging goods for customers where we have helped to consolidate the supplier base at point of source, reduced time and shipping costs and, physically, in terms of space.

Customers may not have the facilities to accommodate internal fulfilment and costs can be lowered in off-peak times.


Working in partnership

It is important to remember the relationship between a 3PL and its customer should be a partnership – one which enables business growth.

If we are seeing a reduction in costs, potentially we can look to share our saving with a customer which is being impacted by costs.


Driving value and agility

Adding extra value is crucial to customers.

Customers have the best of both worlds by working with us, gaining a localised angle alongside the benefits of a global operating business.