Availing of Third-Party Logistics (3pl) services can make a tremendous impact on your business success and give you a decisive edge over your competitors.
How can 3pl services help my business?
Here are some ways Third-Party Logistics (3pl) service providers can help your eCommerce company:
Provide expertise and useful insights
Sales logistics can be complex and professional 3pl service providers are experienced in solving the kinds of problems that can hold you back from serious growth. By partnering with the right provider and working with them to optimise your supply chain, you can gain knowledge and insights previously unavailable when you were managing everything yourself.
3pl providers are also adept at shipping internationally and will often have knowledge about various customs, duties, and transport regulations. Why try to learn everything yourself when there is usually a whole team of people with many years of expertise that you can leverage from.
Saves money and time
3pl services can allow you massively reduce your distribution costs by utilising their workforce and facilities in a more efficient manner, than if you had to hire people and manage all these resources yourself. It can also help you to reclaim a significant amount of time. By outsourcing your logistics services to a capable provider, you can focus on expanding the business instead of spending time on the operational side of things. This can free you up to work on product innovations, marketing, and many other initiatives that can either bring in new business or retain repeat customers.
Allows you to scale
Working with a 3pl services company can allow you to scale to previously unimaginable heights. When eCommerce retailers typically start out, they are significantly limited by their own personal resources when it comes to order fulfilment. By shifting distribution to a 3pl provider, you can expand your distribution channels and open to new markets that you previously could not have reached on your own.
Supports greater flexibility
When you need to pivot or change your product lines, a 3pl business can help you remain adaptable and nimble in the marketplace. Some 3pl providers can facilitate reverse logistics so you can reclaim products back from customers. You can also reclaim parts for recycling. Other 3pl providers will offer eco-friendly solutions such as biodegradable packaging so that you can show your customers you are supporting a cleaner and greener world.
What type of services do they offer?
A professional 3pl services provider is likely to offer the following:
Most logistics providers have warehouses that can receive and store goods while they await order fulfilment. Once you send the company your goods, they will usually be barcoded, stored, and secured.
Once a customer has placed an order, the item will be picked, scanned, and packed into a box or parcel with the customer’s address details clearly labelled for ease of delivery.
Shipping & Inventory Management
The goods will then be shipped through your chosen postal, shipping solution and will be tracked by the 3pl company so you can monitor its progress until the item reaches the customer. The 3pl provider will also update their inventory management system to reflect the accurate movement of stock out of their warehouse.
Most 3pl companies provide customer support via phone, email, or live chat. Ideally you should find a 3pl service provider with 24/7 phone support so that in case you have an urgent customer issue that needs to be solved quickly, you will have someone to call right away.
The best 3pl can facilitate cross docking. This is a system where goods are not stored but instead rapidly prepared and shipped as soon as they reach the warehouse. An example of this would be a shipment of clothing that arrives by truck at the dock of a warehouse. Instead of being shifted into storage within the warehouse, another truck would pull alongside, and items would be scanned, boxed and re-loaded into the second truck for immediate departure and customer delivery.
3pl service providers will typically facilitate dropshipping which enables eCommerce retailers to sell their goods without ever having to handle the products directly themselves. An example of this would be a television screen that is shipped from the manufacturer to the 3pl provider and then straight to the customer without the vendor needed to take direct possession at any point in the supply chain.
As previously mentioned, there are many ways in which 3pl services can assist in the growth of your business. These include the ability to provide you with insights and data on customer transactions so you can save time and money, and eventually help you scale your business.
Most professional 3pl service providers will offer such services as warehousing, order processing, shipping and inventory management, customer support, cross docking, and dropshipping.
Invenco is here to assist you with all your eCommerce logistics needs. Call us today so we can show you how we can support your business success.