Third-party logistics providers (3PL) provide logistics and supply chain management to customers, while fourth-party logistics providers (4PL) integrate the resources of all components of the supply chain in order to build improvements and provide expertise to the entire supply chain management function.
As businesses have become more complex, working with vendors and customers in an increasingly fast-paced economy, effective and profitable supply chain management requires expertise that most companies do not have in-house. According to Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue, professor of Global Studies at Hofstra University, the use of 3PL and 4PL logistics providers allows businesses to capitalize on the production and distribution knowledge of companies that are entirely focused on supply chain management. These providers are much more complex than a simple cargo company (a first-party logistics provider, or 1PL) or a multi-stage carrier company (a second-party logistics provider, or 2PL). Depending on the complexity of a customer's needs, a 4PL may be required in order to negotiate with multiple carriers and warehouses, coordinate electronic transfer of data between differing systems and offer consulting on possible process improvements and cost savings. This improved level of service has contributed to the shift from 3PL to 4PL, as more industries are interested in taking a hands-off approach to logistics management, something that was often cited as a challenge when working with third-party logistics providers.Learn More
Organizational resources are all assets that a corporation has available to use in the production process. There are four basic types of organizational resources: human resources, capital resources, monetary resources and raw materials.Full Answer >
Common capital resources include tools, equipment, machines, inventories and the buildings and locations of the buildings, which include plants, factories and warehouses. Due to its expansive definition, however, any good or material used in the production of another good, either directly or indirectly, can ultimately be deemed a capital resource.Full Answer >
Physical resources are the material assets that a business owns, including buildings, materials, manufacturing equipment and office furniture. Physical resources can be sold if a business is facing a cash flow issue.Full Answer >
The physical resources of a business include all the tangible resources owned and used by a company such as land, manufacturing equipment and office equipment. Information technology and its attendant equipment, computers, networks, servers and others, are included in the category of physical resources.Full Answer >