Coworking2: Taking Coworking to the Next Level
In a world that is growing increasingly interconnected, fostering strategic partnerships has found increased recognition as a preferable alternative to the transactional business model that defined the 20th century. One innovation helping pave the way towards this model is the rapid expansion of coworking spaces.
Coworking is commonly recognized as a shared workspace but is better defined as a philosophy of multiple businesses working together towards shared strategic goals. With co-working2, we’ve taken this concept to the next level by offering flexible warehouse space and services. In logistics, this stands in contrast to what has historically been an unbalanced power dynamic between 3PL (3rd Party Logistics) providers and their clients.
Traditionally a business searching for warehouse space would be faced with a drawn-out negotiation process that would often leave them tied up in an onerous contract for a year or more, whether they would need or use all that space for the entire period or not. For obvious reasons, clients are no longer satisfied with these one-sided conditions, and savvy 3PLs are evolving to address such shortcomings.
By shifting focus towards their clients’ needs, those 3PLs adopting a coworking model help to ensure benefits are experienced by both parties. With easily comprehensible contracts, businesses can now acquire a scalable amount of warehouse space for only the months, or even weeks, that they need it. For those smaller businesses that are searching for both warehouse and office space at the same time, they are finding solutions in coworking spaces that offer both under the same roof.
When starting small, having a well-informed growth plan in place prevents unnecessary, costly changes to a supply chain. Value-added services to better inform business decisions can include planning tools such as value stream mapping and total landed cost analysis. They can also take the form of in-warehouse features such as staging areas specifically designed for product testing following OSHA (Occupational Health & Safety Administration) standards. The fastest growing 3PLs today are those that offer a variety of value-added services; kitting and light assembly, as well as robust reverse logistics services, including repairs, repackaging, and relabeling.
Current industry expectations are that logistics will only become more complex over the next decade. With 60% of businesses relying on 3PL services to meet their logistics needs today and forecasts for that number to raise to 70% by 2030, there will be continued pressure for businesses to find 3PLs that fit their specific needs and share a common business philosophy and strategic goals. The signs are clear that 3PLs must evolve and adapt with changing circumstances to best weather the regular disruptions of the 21st century.
When you’re ready to begin a new partnership in a thriving coworking environment, ThyssenKrupp Supply Chain Services is here to help.