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In a study entitled The State of Logistics Outsourcing: 2007 Third-Party Logistics by consulting firm CapGemini, the industry appears to be doing many things right. Most users are satisfied with their 3PL relationships, with 85 percent defining their logistics outsourcing efforts as successful. But some users do report chronic problems with 3PL providers and a significant number of users say that 3PL information technology capabilities are not sufficient.
The study found that 3PLs need to become a source of advice and innovation for their customers and the customers need to apply professional management skills to the area of logistics services to optimize the abilities of the 3PLs.
Looking at emerging markets, the top five expansion destinations for companies are China and India as clear leaders followed by Russia, Brazil and Poland. But proximity certainly influences choice, with Eastern Europe more popular with European companies while Latin America is more of a choice for those in North America. Asia Pacific companies choose China and India as the main destinations but Vietnam rates as "more interesting" to them than Russia. Latin American companies do look to China to expand but generally not to other countries outsider their own continent.
On the issue of collaboration, when asked about which business processes would benefit most from improved collaboration with 3PLs, respondents seemed to associate the greatest benefits with business processes such as inventory management, customer order management, customer service and supplier order management. No matter the benefits, users feel successful collaboration should pay for itself in measurable financial terms.
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