Choosing to work with a 3rd party logistics company can be a difficult move for small businesses on their way up.
It is a hard decision to not only turn over the control of your inventory and orders, but to pay for the privilege. For many, it might feel like letting go of too much of their company, but the truth is that outsourcing fulfillment to a 3PL is actually a great way to not only improve your customer touch, but to seriously upgrade your warehousing and fulfillment services.
3PLs Make the World Go ‘Round
Partnering with a 3PL is no different than hiring an accountant to do your books or a professional cleaning service to keep your office tidy. They provide a service that can free up time for you to be able to focus on the task at hand.
But that’s not all, there are many other benefits to you and your supply chain when a 3rd party logistics company is on the job, including:
- Improved supply chain efficiency. 3rd party logistics companies are experts in supply chain, from maintaining your warehouse inventory, efficiently and safely packing items for customer orders and moving those orders through various shippers fast.
This is possible because of the vast amount of data 3PLs collect and their relationships with companies that often don’t work directly with the public. A good 3PL will help you design the supply chain process that works best for your company and your customers.
- Access to technology that grows your business. If you’ve considered trying to get your product into a bigger market or partnering with a retailer, you’ll need access to an electronic data interchange system and trained operators. 3PLs keep these people on staff, ready to transmit all the information your new retailer needs in order to accept your bulk shipments and help you expand into new markets.
- Lower costs to move goods. Using a 3PL also means being able to take advantage of their bulk buying power on both shipping supplies and space on trucks, trains and ocean-going vessels.
The relationships that your 3rd party logistics company have already established, along with the bulk shipping deals they’ve negotiated, are at your disposal. There are lots of ways to save money on shipping with a 3PL.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of a 3PL for a small- to medium-sized business is the ability to rent all the technology and staff you need without having to make a massive capital investment. When times are tight and your company needs to increase profits by expanding, a 3PL can give you access to everything you need, all at one time.