So many small businesses reach a point where they just can’t keep up with all of the many responsibilities that it takes to keep orders moving smoothly.
When marketing, customer service or packing and shipping start to hit the rails, it’s easy to get so busy that you let the entire business fall down around you without hardly noticing. Fortunately, if you’ve come up for air long enough to contemplate outsourcing to a 3rd party logistics (3PL) company, it’s probably not too late.
There are many ways a 3PL can help a small business maintain its trajectory and even increase its sales well beyond expectations. No matter what your size, outsourcing to a 3PL frees you up to do the things that make your business run, whether that’s designing clever marketing materials for your innovative product or just having absolutely stellar selection sourced from near and far.
Customized Fulfillment Services
Small businesses suffer from a lack of manpower and space, but a 3PL has both and in great quantities.
Instead of hiring another guy to help part-time and renting more warehousing space, you can outsource all your warehousing and packaging efforts to your logistics company. After all, shipping and warehousing are a big part of what they do best. They can help you integrate your shopping cart and inventory software into theirs to create a complete eCommerce order management system for your website that automates your basic ordering and distribution operations.
In fact, most logistics companies are prepared to take over any and all parts of your sales and fulfillment workflow. Many have staff customer service experts who can both take orders and handle returns and complaints. Some many even have in-house lettershops that can take over the distribution of your marketing materials. The time you’ll save by outsourcing your daily hum-drum activities can create more opportunities for you to spend improving your business.
Affordable Options for 3PL
Many small businesses want to hire a 3PL, but don’t believe they can afford it. The truth is that these services can be very affordable, especially if you consider the money you’re saving on employee and storage costs. Since you only pay for what you use, 3PLs can also be utilized on a periodic basis to help you get through your busy sales seasons. Not only will the help speed up distribution for you, they can cut down on packing errors with a variety of computerized systems in their warehouses.
Permanent or part-time, a 3PL is the perfect complement to any business that relies heavily on order processing and fulfillment. By keeping your costs down and increasing your efficiency, you’ll quickly see just how much you’ve been missing without the support of an outsourced logistics company.