Focus on e-commerce

Preparing to outsource

Specifications

Here is some advice on how to define your logistical specifications and communicate with your service provider more efficiently.

Figures are of course at the core of your specifications for a tender. They help the service provider become familiar with what you do, learn about your standards, identify your needs and adapt their services accordingly.

Even though these figures are necessary, they alone are not enough. To deliver solutions tailored to your needs, the service provider needs to get to know you better. Moreover, providing background information and describing their business in detail also holds advantages for the customer, as this helps avoiding “hiring the wrong man” for the job.

  • Before going into technical detail, it is indispensible to present the company, what it does, the markets it is breaking into, its current position and where it is heading…

    These facts may seem insignificant. In actual fact, they are paramount , helping the service provider gain a deeper understanding of who you are, what you do and what challenges you are faced with.

    With this information, your service provider will be able to work on your project more efficiently thanks to his grasp of the bigger picture.

  • Of course human and material resources are important in e-commerce logistics - BtoB as well as BtoC. What is even more important, though, is that your service provider understands the inner workings of your company and takes its place at the centre of your organisation.

    Understanding how your company works is indispensible in order to provide truly integrated logistical solutions.

    The role of logistics within your company:

    It is advisable to describe the departments and services of the company affected directly or indirectly by the tender and to define their role with regard to the service provider. Before entering into a detailed explanation of the services in question, it is important to know where these services fit in with the rest of your company.

    The information system:

    ERP frequently plays a key role in terms of organisation. For this reason, it is essential to get a better understanding of its interfacing capability and functions within your system. From order taking through to dispatch, it is paramount for the service provider to have an overview of procedures and operations while at the same time respecting the systems involved.

    The expected level of service:

    Defining your exact expectations in terms of quality as well as deadlines is vital. Unnecessarily high quality and excessive saving of costs are two mistakes which should be avoided. Instead of just comparing the prices of different offers, it is better to be precise about the level of service you expect from the outset.

  • Warehousing:

    The service provider needs to estimate how much space to put at your disposal as well as what storage conditions are required.

    NB: BSL does its utmost to optimise space and limit costs. The more precise the information concerning the product base (size, weight, depth of goods), the more practicable and tailored to your needs the storage will be.

    The flow of information:

    It is essential to be familiar with proceedings (frequency, content, expected response, handling time…) as these factors impact directly upon costs and the business’s overall organisation.

    NB: BSL adapts to your requirements, but especially looks to ensure that perfecting proceedings results in efficient logistics at the same time.

    Preparing orders:

    How many orders do you have, what do these orders entail (amount of order lines, amount of articles), what season are they dispatched in, what about their ABC distribution (output frequency)…

    This useful information enables us to put forward suggestions on how the project could be organised and helps us estimate the cost of preparing orders.

    NB : BSL is happy to provide you with a comprehensive business questionnaire which will prove very helpful. Please use our contact form to request it.

    Dispatch

    What is the average weight of the packages to be dispatched, which countries are involved, in what way does the value of the product influence the choice of carrier…

    The service provider can help you choose the partners best adapted to your business and must offer you attractive rates, manage deadlines and pass on information efficiently.

    NB: BSL has excellent contracts at its disposal throughout Europe and makes it possible for you to share information with your customers in real time.