The global trend in third-party logistics has seen 3PL providers shouldering more aspects of supply chain management for smaller organizations.

A small-to-medium enterprise (SME) in particular seeks greater collaboration with 3PLs to save money and achieve efficiencies with everything from transaction processes to outsourced IT services.

We 3PLs have responded with new ways to bundle their expertise to help these companies compete against large enterprises that have the resources to manage a supply chain in-house.

Auckland-based SCS (Supply Chain Solution) serves as a case-in-point with its Supply Chain Partnership model.

While the concept behind Supply Chain Partnership is new to New Zealand, it comes from years of R&D that has proven its viability among companies like FitBit, Trilogy, Ecoya, Billabong and even retailers Smith and Caughey’s. The results support an outstanding  100% success rate to date.

What does this success look like? For some, it is unprecedented savings (ie, six-figure increases to the bottom line). For others, it has been supply chain expertise and technology driven optimization solutions that have delivered significant increases in competitiveness, fulfillment capability and new customers.

How One 3PL Helps

Why is this so important? In simple terms, a $100 million enterprise can afford the $150,000  to $250,000 a year to employ a brilliant Supply Chain manager. The challenge for SMEs is how to compete against enterprises with the advantage of scale, technology and specialist supply chain expertise? This is how our SCP model addresses these issues:

  • Aggregated Logistics. For example, because SCS is Courier Post’s fifth largest national account, we can offer SMEs rates they couldn’t otherwise dream of with this premier provider. Likewise, aggregated logistics alo gives us phenomenal purchasing power with premium bulk domestic and international freight providers. By leveraging this buying power, we are able to pass significant savings back to our customers.
  • Technology. Our IT department employs full-time developers and support personnel, as well as a roster of contractors to support existing IT platforms, and to build bespoke apps that improve efficiency and/or deliver competitive advantage to your business.
  • Supply Chain Expertise. This is the sexy part of the SCP model.  We challenge and design both business and supply chain models, distribution networks and digital strategies. We conduct data analysis, build commercial business plans and can scope, design and implement IT solutions need to take your business to the next level.

So, in a nutshell, we help the small guys take on the big guys. The SCP model model operates similar to a co-op in which our aggregated volumes, technology and expertise are shared with our members. Thus, they receive value far above anything they could achieve independently, with the added benefit of becoming part of a growing community that has seen many customers develop new trading relationships.

About the Author

Brad Lindsay is managing director of SCS, a rapidly expanding logistics provider that serves SME importers, distributors and retailers in New Zealand. SCS is first to market in New Zealand with the concept of the SCP model. SCS is also a new Cin7 Certified Integrator, adding value to the SCP model. For more information visit or email

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