What to Check on a 3PL Site Visit

3PL Site Visit ChecklistOver the last few years I have visited numerous third party logistics warehouses. In the majority of cases the purpose of the 3PL site visit is to evaluate a potential service provider as part of a formal RFQ process.  Whilst the format and the flow of each visit may vary, what I am trying to learn or uncover about the supplier always remains the same.  Sometimes the answer comes as the result of a direct question but often times it comes as an observation or through an informal conversation during the meeting or site tour.

Even though I have undertaken this process on many occasions there are times during the visit that I will stop and refer to the 3PL Site Visit Checklist that I have created and store in a Microsoft OneNote notebook on my mobile phone.

A quick glance at the checklist along the way helps to jog my memory and I will always have one last check prior to wrapping up the meeting just to be sure that nothing has been overlooked.

The complete checklist includes a series of prompts that trigger a question or serve as reminder to observe certain parts of the operation during the meeting or whilst on the site tour. In summary the things I am trying to understand include:

    1. The suitability of the location
    2. The type of equipment that is being used
    3. The culture of the organisation
    4. The operating procedures and systems that are being used
    5. The type of security measures that are in place
    6. The compatibility with your existing business requirements
    7. The service levels that can be expected
    8. The cost model that will be applied
    9. The on-boarding process
    10. The process of managing the relationship


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