It might seem like you’re mailing out an endless supply of random car parts when you run an auto parts company.
From windshield wipers to tail lights, every model has its own fit and particular models. Not only do your customers expect that you know the difference between a fender for a 1988 Cadillac Deville and once that fits a 2001 Mercury Cougar, they want the fender they’re after to arrive at their door yesterday! This is why so many auto parts stores partner with 3rd party logistics companies to help with their product fulfillment services.
How a 3rd Party Logistics Company Can Work For You
You’re resourceful and you’ve managed to find suppliers for each and every item your customers can dream up, but at the end of the day, you’re still running a small shop and simply don’t have the manpower to get all those products out the door. It’s ok, this is a problem many small businesses face. That’s why there are fulfillment service companies!
Also known as 3PLs, these companies can provide a number of services for your company, depending on your needs, including:
- Inventory control. If you allow your 3PL to store all of the inventory that isn’t actively on your store shelves, they’ll be able to do some really amazing inventory control. Using tools like bar code scanning, your fulfillment house will check products into and out of inventory, preventing losses by miscalculated manual counting. When a popular product is running low, they can even reorder it for you, keeping your warehouse stocked with just the right amount of product.
- Warehouse management. Along with controlling your inventory tightly, the warehousing management systems at the best 3PLs ensure that every product is always able to be found. Each product is issued an SKU when it enters the building and its location is scanned when it goes into storage. This way, it’s easy and fast to locate the items that are needed to fulfill an order and products don’t get lost on the way to the warehouse shelves.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). If you are interested in doing business with bigger companies that might order products in bulk, you’ll have to invest in an EDI system and someone to run it. This can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you’re just getting started in this type of distribution. Luckily, many 3PLs have EDI systems and the manpower to both send and receive orders on your behalf!
Automotive parts fulfillment can be a confusing maze of parts that look a lot alike, but a 3PL can make it so much easier. With advanced warehousing tools and the skills to track thousands of SKUs at a time, there’s no better place to store and distribute your parts than with an auto parts fulfillment house.