Your 3PL as Supply Chain Risk Management Partner?

As I discussed last Friday, Accenture published a report recently on supply chain risk management. Seventy-six percent of the companies that participated in the study described supply chain risk management as important or very important, and “of the more than 1000 companies represented across 10 industries, 25 percent plan increased investments of at least 20 percent in supply chain risk management in the next two years.”

Are you paying attention 3PLs? This is a great opportunity for you to enhance your value proposition and grow your business, but only if align your talent, technology, and assets to move past the traditional definition of a 3PL and truly become a supply chain risk management partner.

The chart below from the Accenture report highlights the different approaches companies are taking to supply chain risk management.


Number two on the list is “Defined alternative Supply Chains/suppliers/partners that have capabilities to fill gaps during time of crisis.” This is similar to what Deloitte found in its supply chain risk management study, where “Building stronger extended value chain relationships” was the top-ranked strategy for preventing or recovering from negative outcomes of supply chain risk events.


Some of the other strategies on the Accenture list, such as implementing supply chain visibility technology and control tower operations, are all things that 3PLs can enable and provide. But just like their customers, 3PLs need to embed supply chain risk management into their corporate DNA to become effective partners in this area.

And 3PL customers, namely manufacturers and retailers, need to “walk the talk” about building stronger value chain relationships and embrace 3PLs as supply chain risk management partners, instead of just suppliers of transportation and warehousing services (typically with short-term agreements focused on getting the lowest-cost solution).

Are 3PLs and their customers ready to embark on this partnership? Post a comment and share your perspective!