Communication and collaboration are the most critical factors in establishing a successful relationship between food and beverage customers and their third-party logistics providers, and 3PLs say that the right information enables them to improve inventory turns, cut costs and improve service. The March Food Logistics explores the importance of establishing an open and consistent flow of information, the first step in creating a successful relationship.
Mike Gardner, chief executive officer of Kane is Able Inc., based in Taylor, Pa., said having a trusting relationship and being deliberate and proactive ensures shippers have what they need when they need it. “There is a high premium and high stakes to get the product to the customer when they want it,” he says, adding that it is the data that allows 3PLs to provide a higher level of service.
Gary York, director of global sales for C.H. Robinson, Eden Prairie, Minn., says, “Collaboration is probably the most important word and underutilized concept you can take advantage of in a positive way to improve the supply chain throughout the world.”
Collaboration takes on even more importance when handling perishable products, such as produce, and that collaboration needs to span the full global supply chain, York says. “When I think of collaboration, I think of collaboration between governments, providers of fresh fruits and vegetables, between countries and companies that play across the supply chain,” he explains.
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