3pl or third-party logistics is the method of outsourcing your logistics so that you can grow your business using automation and the latest technology. Companies are always on the look out for ways to reduce their costs and boost their efficiency. 3pl allows them to do this and at the same time gather and store valuable data on the way products are flowing through the supply chain.
Let us look at how you can get started with outsourcing your logistics to a 3pl.
How do I outsource logistics to a 3pl?
A greater number of companies are turning to 3pl solutions as they grow sales volumes and find that order fulfilment is becoming too difficult to handle themselves.
There are many 3pl providers in the market but you’ll probably find out that only a select few are right for your business.
One of the best ways to select the right 3pl is to find a provider that has expertise with businesses that are like your own. This makes sense on many levels because the chances are these other companies have faced the same or similar problems that you are facing now and the 3pl is equipped to share their expertise on how they previously solved these issues and what has worked best in the past.
Invenco is a specialist 3pl for eCommerce businesses. This means that we can better understand your journey and the issues you might face along the way and, give you better support than other providers who do not have similar expertise.
What are the benefits to using a 3pl?
There are many benefits to using a 3pl some of which include the following:
Lower costs and boost profits
The most obvious immediate benefit of working with a 3pl is that there can often be a significant reduction in the shipping and delivery costs. As your sales volume increases, shipping costs can be further reduced as discounts and economies of scale become available. Using a 3pl also allows you to identify the specific costs at each point in the supply chain. You can then review this data and make appropriate changes to further improve your margins. Often small changes to the supply chain can result in large cost savings.
Faster delivery and fulfilment
By tapping a 3pl provider, your goods can be picked, packed, and shipped much faster than if you were to attempt to handle multiple orders yourself. 3pl providers have dedicated picker packers and other warehousing personnel. They do this each day every day so are generally much faster at scanning, moving, preparing, and shipping goods than even the business owner can be. By achieving faster delivery times, customer satisfaction can be significantly improved.
Improved service levels
Getting the goods out to the customer on time is one thing but making sure the correct goods are selected and that they are treated with proper care is also critical. Customers want consistency and reliability as well so working effectively with a 3pl provider can improve the reputation of your business and brand.
Allows you to scale
Using a 3pl provider means that you can scale your business far more easily than if you had to fulfil all orders yourself or setup your own warehouse logistics. By leveraging the experience of a third party logistics provider and outsourcing your sales logistics, you can concentrate more on product development, new product lines or opening new markets. Most savvy business owners know that they cannot physically do everything themselves. 3pl providers can help you make the switch from trying to do everything yourself to delegating roles and tasks that are better suited to someone else.
Having workers pick and pack your orders is far more efficient than having to do this task yourself. After all, there are limits to how much work one person can do in a day. A tremendous amount of efficiency can be found when using a logistics provider that is simply not available to solo entrepreneurs or eCommerce businesses.
Enhanced adaptability & flexibility
In a fast paced and rapidly changing world, the ability to be flexible and adapt is often cited as a key reason for business success. Partnering with the right 3pl can allow you to pivot product lines, recall stock, or shift the means of transport faster than if you did not outsource these services. You can also test different approaches more easily as you have standardised measures and processes from which to work from.
Data management and tracking systems can provide valuable insights on the supply chain that are usually either too difficult or too time consuming to collect otherwise. It can be difficult to identify issues if you do not have a strong handle on the supply chain. A reputable distribution logistics provider should solve these problems and allow you to glean useful metrics such as your costs, stock numbers, time to reach customer, and many others.
There are many significant benefits to working with a 3pl provider. If you are looking for eCommerce 3pl services, then reach out to Invenco today. We look forward to working with you.