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Quality assurance in any good outsourced logistics company will be combined with strict procedure and goods and service flow charts that are designed to keep the quality assurance management staff of prospective customers satisfied that once their goods arrive, they will be dispatched on time every time at the lowest possible cost.

As important is the ability to manage the relationship. The vital question to ask any logistics outsourcing company is how relationship management quality is handled. Do not be satisfied with the often comforting words like, trust, partnership and communication alone, look for processes that are in place that allow the changing nature of customer needs to be monitored and adapted.

The outsourced logistics company must appoint a business relationship manager to the account. The business manager should be knowledgeable in the day to day requirements and operations of the company and the single point of reference for any communication between the company and the logistics provider. Effective business managers in logistics companies offer invaluable experience from a provider perspective and should be pro-active in providing suggestions that will best meet the expectations of both company and logistics provider.

Operation metrics and customer expectations need to be communicated at operational level. The providers staff need to be fully aware of the customers expectations.

Regular meetings should be held between the business manager and the company executives to measure customer satisfaction, get feedback on the level of service the logistics provider is giving and survey staff not only a management level, but across the service delivery spectrum. The objective of these surveys is to ensure that service levels are met, to identify areas that can be improved, identify trends that were previously not evident and to formulate a plan of action that will best take the business in a more efficient and cost effective direction.

The root of any succesful outsourced logistics relationship is in the relationship itself.