• Achieving Quality in the Gaps: Birth of Robust Third Party Logistic (3PL) Company

Achieving Quality in the Gaps: Birth of Robust Third Party Logistic (3PL) Company


Clint Lancaster, Sr., Engineer, Plant Quality, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Kansas City, MO, USA


Inspection, Control, Highspeed Productiuon





With companies having to trim back so much to be competitive, we are seeing gaps in the organization that affects them achieving a high level of quality. Whether you’re a manufacturer, supplier, or even a commercial customer, all levels of the supply chain are affected. Since the slim years of the 80’s and 90’s, many organizations have had to do more with less, less people, less resources, less equipment. Companies filling the gaps of those “less’” are 3PL’s – Third Party Logistics companies. At first these 3PL’s provided extra warehousing, transportation and temporary staffing where needed. Today’s successful 3PL is much more robust and dynamic. Beyond warehousing and transportation they are filling a much needed quality gap. From sorting, inspecting, and reworking to assembly, testing, engineering. The robust 3PL is capitalizing on services the manufacturer or supplier either does not have time, people and resources, or, does not possess the technical skill, knowledge or equipment to develop or supply a quality level expected by their customers.

There are several functional areas that a robust 3PL can engage. They are:

  • Engineering and Testing Services
  • Product Sourcing
  • Product Launch Support
  • Quality Inspection
  • Kitting, Sequencing and Sub-Assembly
  • Transportation, Warehousing and Logistics
  • Onsite Suppliers Representation
  • Returnable Container Management

The concept of the robust 3PL is to be a quality asset and value added partner to the customer.

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January 31, 2019
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Continuous Improvement is not just something a Lean Six Sigma (LSS) practitioner leads their organization in practicing, but is also a core competency of their professional makeup. That is why more and more innovative and leading companies are looking for leaders that use the LSS way of thinking in everything they do within their organization.

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