In my last post I discussed collaboration and the importance and value that can be delivered to your business and partnership through a mutually beneficial collaboration program.  This can be extremely difficult in the beginning and you should look at this objective as a journey to help you maintain your focus.


So now in order to ensure that your partner collaboration is mutually beneficial you must develop service levels and key performance indicators to objectively measure the success as your second step in the successful 3PL journey.  Effective service levels will also help you to measure and guide your progress in your collaboration and continuous improvement program!  In fact, effective and measurable service levels are a critical step to implementing a continuous improvement program in addition to a critical step to solidifying your collaboration program.


The key to success for this program is to implement a set of mutual service levels and key performance indicators to measure the service levels.  This could be one of the single most difficult steps to successfully implement and the second point is that it is probably one of the most critical steps for success.  I would argue that this single factor provides the reason and performance measurements to develop a successful partnership, collaborative environment and improvement program. 


It is critical that the service levels are implemented for both partners, in order to develop a strong and lasting partnership the gains and pains must be mutual.  You will never develop a successful partnership that provides value based on a ‘screw your buddy’ attitude.  In addition to mutual service level measurements, I believe it is also critical that you be open to stepping up first and offering to up meaningful penalties for your misses, and then of course if you miss the service level you must also stand up and accept the responsibility.  If for some reason the service level is unattainable, then you can petition to revise it, after you’ve accepted responsibility!


I was given an important piece of advice earlier in my career, its very simple but at the same time very powerful.  That advice was ‘assume innocence’.  I’ll be the first to admit that earlier in my career I did not follow that advice very well or consistently, after all I think its almost human nature to blame someone else for your problems.  I will guarantee, however, that if you work at this advice you will find that more often than not ‘assume innocence’ will be the factor that carries you through challenges and allows you to develop strong and lasting partnerships.


In my next post I will in more detail; developing a mutual performance improvement program.  I know I discussed the program from a high level in this posting.  In my next post I will get into more detail and provide some suggestions for getting started that I have found to be beneficial in my career.


Now folks please take a moment to provide your feedback.  This will become even more value with robust participation!


Now for the audience participation portion of this program……


How would you define your relationship with the Third Party Logistics Provider?  Is it a traditional customer / vendor relationship that focuses on one-sided benefits and short term objectives? Or, is it based on a partnership that provides mutually beneficial benefits and long term objectives?


Do you see organizational benefits and opportunities to improve based on the partnership relationships that I describe above?


If you see the benefits to this type of relationship, will you be taking steps to implement this type of relationship?


Would you say that your focus is long term and strategic, or short term and tactical?