Supply chains are evolving from linear paths to complex networks. To survive and thrive in today’s world of business, you need a partner to help you build an agile, lean, and flexible supply chain.
17 March 2023
The 4PL concept establishes global logistics partners who manage your end-to-end international transport with your unique business needs in mind. 62% of shippers indicate they are already increasing their logistics outsourcing, according to the 25th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study. Beyond just international transport from point A to B, we’ll show you how the 4PL concept strengthens your business capabilities.
A recent Accenture survey suggested that ethical consumerism will last well into the next decade. This means having an ethical supply chain should be a top priority if you want to win more customers and build a solid reputation.
Having Supplier Codes of Conduct is not enough to build a truly ethical supply chain. You need “boots on the ground”, or dedicated global logistics partners like a 4PL, to help you drive sustainable behaviors that extend through your supplier base. Ethical consumerism is here to stay and businesses who take strategic steps to ensure their supply chains are ethical will win hearts and wallets.
The 4PL concept supports your journey and brings your ethical and sustainable vision to life. Using a global reach with local expertise, a 4PL oversees supplier operations to ensure fair and safe working conditions at your suppliers’ factories and facilities. For example, OIA has quality compliance experts worldwide who work on-site to inspect and ensure that clients’ standards are met, and that the inputs comprising the finished goods are controlled. We also assess the health of suppliers’ value chains through annual audits which closely align with GRI standards.
Depending on a supplier who produces a crucial material in only one plant, or one country, greatly increases the risk of supply chain disruption. For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic companies with raw-materials partnerships with Chinese providers had to delay or suspend production. According to the 25th Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, 39% of shippers were unable to restock from key suppliers.
Global logistics partners understand that responsible sourcing is critical to improving social and environmental conditions in your supply chain. A 4PL works with trading partners and suppliers to purchase raw materials and deliver them to the manufacturer on your behalf. This allows you to avoid supplier disruption, save costs and maximize profitability. Quality control also ensures that raw materials meet your quality, source, and environmental standards.
At OIA, our team of sourcing specialists will identify alternative suppliers and source materials from the best geographic fit for your network. In 2019, we sourced over 456 million material units and 5.8 billion packaging units. 100% of the materials sourced by OIA come from supplies and factories with safe working environments and policies that support workers by adhering to universally accepted labor standards.
Supply chain sustainability is no longer optional amidst an era of eco-consciousness and increased consumer interest in environmental issues. 68% of consumers rate sustainability as important when making a purchase according to CSG’s Retail and Sustainability survey. Sustainability initiatives will continue to be a strong driver of success, and logistics outsourcing allows your business to reap the rewards that supply chain sustainability can deliver.
Global logistics partners design and implement creative and cost-efficient supply chain solutions to strengthen your sustainability credentials and reduce your carbon footprint. OIA helps clients build sustainability through its innovative packaging optimization program, designed to maximize productivity, reduce cost per unit, and lower carbon emissions. In the past, our packaging optimization program helped a global footwear retailer save $1,244,466 in international transport costs for an open order, 766 MT in reduced CO2e emissions, and a landed savings of 152 grams per unit.
Technology plays a critical role within the supply chain, increasing visibility and transparency while also improving efficiency. A Gartner report states that 47% of organizations are focused on improving or updating technology systems that support their international transport and logistics operations.
Although technology is necessary to create a high-performing supply chain, investments in new technology tools are often expensive and time consuming. This is another inherent strength of the 4PL concept. Logistics outsourcing delivers an array of customized technology solutions specifically to meet your unique business requirements and processes. For example, customers can use our cloud-based proprietary technology OIA Connect to report their supply chain progress and quickly collaborate to take corrective action when schedules aren’t met.
Artificial intelligence is no longer a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have” feature given the complexity of modern supply chains. With logistics outsourcing, you can leverage artificial intelligence platforms to make proactive decisions while also balancing cost and revenue drivers. For example, you can predict future scenarios and make data-driven recommendations on what should be done in a particular situation, and on the spot. The days of operating as an individual company are quickly coming to an end.
Amidst growing competition and rapidly changing market conditions, you need experienced global logistics partners to manage your supply chain so you can focus on innovation, sales strategy, market expansion, or anything else.
The 4PL concept provides experienced teams that offer strategic approaches to enhance your supply chain. At OIA, our multidisciplinary team possesses unique skill sets and extensive experience in a variety of industries. We also have several key memberships which allow us to collaborate with stakeholders and leverage subject matter experts as needed, based upon their specific expertise.
In logistics outsourcing, strategy begins with understanding your unique supply chain challenges, identifying areas of improvement, and developing customized solutions to improve your operations. We take great pride in making customers our number one priority, constantly working to create a world where your business operates at its optimum level.