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On-Boarding New Customers

Getting a new 3PL client up and running smoothly and timely is a challenge for all 3rd party warehouse companies. Once a sale to a new shipper is complete, a series of activities in all departments in the 3PL begins. Coordinating the staging at each level is critical to making a go-live date.

Dave Jesse, Chief Operating Officer at Bonded Logistics, Charlotte, NC participated in a panel discussion at Cadre Technologies User Conference this year about customer on-boarding.

Jesse stated that before you take on a new customer you need to recognize the challenges that you will be faced with.  Some of which include:

  • How to effectively integrate that clients, products, services, and client specific processes
  • How to organize a new clients products in the warehouse in order to achieve required service levels, and still work efficiently
  • How to organize material flows and information flows
  • How to bill clients for provided services

“Our goal before on-boarding a client is to understand and incorporate Client requirements, to be able to plan for a seamless transition that’s on a budget and schedule, and to integrate into existing network operating process, all while identifying and achieving a targeted “Go Live” date,” explained Jesse.

Bonded’s process involves an on-boarding team that develops a Project Plan for each new client in order to effectively utilize resources and reduce risk.

Before the on-boarding process begins the team answers critical questions such as:

  • What did we just sell?
  • What problem are we solving?
  • What type of product is it?
  • What is the targeted building to be stored in?
  • Is there anything unique about the customer?
  • What are the timeline and pricing requirements?

Next the team takes 4 critical Steps:

  1. Develop a project plan
  2. Create Weekly Project Meetings in order to coordinate all departments’ activities to successfully hit the “Go Live” date.
  3. Identify Critical Path Items such as Integration, Documentation Requirements and EDI
  4. Delineate Go Live Support team

All companies have different processes for on-boarding new clients and on top of that each new client will be on-boarded in vastly different processes, but as long as you have a structure in place for on-boarding, the process becomes easier.

If you would like to learn more about Bonded Logistics Warehouses go to www.bondedlogistics.com.

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