In 2018 Apprise Consulting Ltd were approached by a cosmetics company which was worried about the potential effects of a “no deal Brexit” on their business. Apprise was asked to find a suitable 3PL in the UK who could partner with the cosmetics company.
The cosmetics company delivered throughout Europe from an outsourced warehouse in the Netherlands. In order to safeguard their UK on-line business, they decided to operate with a two-centre system by utilising a third-party warehouse in the UK.
The client provided a comprehensive data pack which included sales data for the previous 12 months, storage requirement, product dimensions, delivery addresses together with specific logistics requirements including a video of the value adding services required.
Apprise researched the market and found seventeen 3PLs who had experience within the e-fulfillment and cosmetics sector.
Interestingly, of those 17 companies, three companies had a ‘sales@’ e-mail address and an enquiry form rather than a direct line to a sales person. All three failed to register interest.
Each of the remaining companies was sent a Request for Information (RFI).
The companies were provided with the company background, headline data and timescale. They were also asked for the following information:
These were all areas which were very important to the client.
Based on the responses eight companies were shortlisted and sent a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA). On receipt of the NDA the full Request for Proposal (RFP) was sent.
The RFP included all the relevant data together with the timetable and video of the current pick and pack process.
The 3PLs were encouraged to send in questions and all responses were copied to each participant ensuring that everyone was working with the same data and information.
The 3PLs were not given a rate schedule template. They were allowed to produce their own schedule of rates and were encouraged to be innovative.
A decision table was produced in anticipation of the replies.
|Existing cosmetics customers||25|
|IT capability – WMS and online portal||25|
|ERP integration experience||25|
|Cost and innovation||20|
|Implementation plan and timing||20|
|Order cut off time for next day delivery||20|
|Warehouse operating days and times||15|
|Lot no. expiry date management||15|
|Comprehensive Value Adding Services (VAS)||10|
On receipt of the completed RFPs each response was examined thoroughly and marked against the decision table.
Based on the rate schedules produced by the 3PLs Apprise Consulting calculated the total cost for each 3PL. These costs were sent back to the 3PLs for verification.
Based on the results of the Decision table, four companies were short-listed and arrangements made to visit the sites over a two day period.
A second decision table was produced based on the visit which took into account the above together with the following:
The successful company ensured that two of their directors were present at the meeting, they responded quickly to all additional questions and the warehouse was seen to be clean and efficient.
One of the warehouses visited was very untidy with damaged products at the pick face. First impressions are very important at this stage.
Two companies were short-listed and references were taken up from existing clients.
A letter of intent was sent to the successful company.
The process began on the 17th October 2018 and the letter of intent was sent out on the 21st December.
The process ran smoothly because of the comprehensive data produced by the client and the communication between the 3PLs, the consultant and the client.
The 3PL relationship with the client continues to grow.
Apprise Consulting Ltd has over 30 years experience in logistics outsourcing. Visit the Apprise web site at www.appriseconsulting.co.uk to access more information on the company.
Key words: No deal Brexit, outsourcing, 3PL, warehousing, logistics outsourcing, two centre approach.