Improving Product Distribution with 3PL Selection

Maxiom Group led a pharmaceutical client through a Third Party Logistics (3PL) Selection process to find the best service provider for their Phase 2 drug with the following functional areas being the focus:

1. Warehousing, Distribution and Order Fulfillment
2. Financial Services
3. Technology
4. Program Management
5. Quality Systems and Processes

Attributes and capabilities of relevant service providers were assessed, while identifying how they could fulfill our client’s requirements.

Client Situation

This pharmaceutical client has one commercial product and utilizes a global Pharma partner to manage sales and distribution. Their second product is in late stage Phase II clinical trials with the sales and distribution being internally managed and controlled through a full-service 3PL in the US and Europe.


The 3PL Selection process focused on the five key functional areas listed above by developing the client’s US Sales and Distribution requirements. A structured outside services selection methodology was used that involved three filtered levels with increasing evaluation at each level. The assessment focused on matching the needs of the client organization to the 3PL’s current capabilities, as well as the 3PL’s ability to meet the growing requirements as the drug product continues through development phases.

Initially, Maxiom Group investigated the current market to identify what 3PL partners were available to the client. Once we understood our universe of possible 3PL partners, we filtered it down to 3-5 partners based on our research of the 3PLs and their respective expertise. Taking these partners into consideration, we used a second filter based on a higher level of analysis and incorporated the client’s requirements. To obtain the final short list of 2-3 partners, we applied a third filter based on formal evaluations, a RFP proposal process and site visits.

A standard 3PL implementation takes 90-120 days from the date of the signed contract. The typical schedule includes: quality audit, cross-functional evaluation, contracts, IT and Systems interface/setup/test, implementation, and product arrival at the 3PL.



With Maxiom Group’s assistance, the client selected a top 3PL candidate and entered into contract discussions. Maxiom Group guided the client with initiating the relationship with the 3PL and informed them of “next steps.” A qualified short list of two 3PL providers was identified that they will retain for future consideration.

Julia Wiest

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