Among the most challenging aspects of running a business based around selling physical products is the management of various logistics solutions for fulfilling orders. When your company is small, meeting your orders on time is no problem at all. However, as you grow, keeping up with the pace of your business becomes harder. That is even more likely to be the case when you take your company online and begin accepting orders through a website. After all, at that point, anyone can place an order from you with just the push of a few buttons. That is perfect for your growth, but what about the strain it puts on your current logistics solutions?
As you grow, fulfillment can take up more of your company’s time, sapping your ability to focus on other crucial areas. When you and your staff spend an increasing number of hours packing boxes and affixing shipping labels, your business can stagnate — and it is perilously easy to fall behind on orders when understaffed. Trying to build better logistics solutions on your own may be an appealing idea, but it requires a substantial up-front investment and know-how you may not have. For a business still growing, that isn’t the best news. That is why you should consider the benefits of using third party fulfillment companies. It can be your stepping stone to greater growth.
What is Third Party Fulfillment, or 3PL?
Simply put, 3PL is a method for managing inventory and shipping costs by passing the responsibility for such services on to another company providing logistics solutions. With a good 3PL provider, you no longer need to worry about storing significant amounts of inventory and shipping it yourself; instead, your provider handles the entire process. 3PL companies can provide integrated support that dovetails perfectly with your online shopping experience. Customers will receive their packages promptly without any sense that it has not come directly from your hands to theirs.
What Are the Advantages of Switching to Third Party Logistics Solutions?
So why switch? According to IndustryWeek, there are many excellent reasons. For starters, you can reduce the number of costs: warehousing rent, freight costs, and the burden of carrying more inventory than you need at any given time. Beyond this, 3PLs are more environmentally friendly and provide logistics solutions optimised for your supply chain and delivery requirements.
More than that, though, you free up valuable time and energy to devote to improving your products and reaching more customers. A 3PL can enable you to enter a cycle of growth and expansion. As your needs increase, the best 3PLs scale with your business to provide a consistent level of quality service across many different levels of demand. Suddenly, instead of spending your workdays stuffing envelopes and boxes, you have time to return to the drawing board for product development and think about other aspect of your business’ growth.
Won’t Customers Prefer You to Use Your Own Logistics Solutions?
Not necessarily! After all, with the right provider, your customers won’t even notice the difference — in fact, when offloading your logistics solutions onto a third party, the increased efficiency can result in happier consumers who receive packages faster. Reaching customers and building a base is tough to begin with, and when you’ve used social media successfully to build your brand without breaking the bank, keeping people invested in using your business is vital. Delivering products promptly is a huge component of successfully generating return business. Don’t dig a hole for your company by burdening yourself with inefficient and costly logistics solutions when you could instead take a better path for your future.