3 Ways 3PLs Can Streamline Your Logistics
by Maureen Perroni, on July 18, 2018
When your organization is scaling quickly, leading to ever-expanding needs in every corner of the supply chain, you have a choice to make: Will your company handle the new demand in-house, or is it time to call a third-party logistics partner?
Seize the Advantages
The following are three of the reasons why businesses have made the decision to bring in outside experts rather than building up their own shipping, warehousing and other transportation functions.
1. Cost Mitigation
The process of growing an organization can be financially stressful. The promise of greater revenue is just coming into focus, but seizing the opportunity could be costly in the short term. Digitalist Magazine pointed out the cost increases associated with using 3PLs are typically much more reasonable than the short-term spending needed to buy warehouse space or hire additional in-house personnel. Global Trade also noted scaling capacity up and down seasonally is easy when hiring a 3PL. Buying warehouse space that would go unused much of the year is an expense SMBs may be unprepared to shoulder.
2. Increased Reach
Your organization may be drawing interest from consumers overseas, but do you have the infrastructure to fulfill those global orders? The built-in networks of 3PLs can provide a quick infusion of reach for your business, whether you're hoping to cross borders or expand within your region. Global Trade indicated immediate advantages of working with companies that have warehouses in target markets. For example, regulatory knowledge and currency exchanges tend to go smoothly when handled by 3PLs with established overseas operations.
3. Access to Expertise
The technical aspects of working with a 3PL involve scaling quickly into established infrastructure, using what you need. The employees who oversee the systems are another resource for you to access. Digitalist explained there is ample opportunity to learn from the experienced fulfillment professionals working for the 3PL, as well as connect with your customers, carriers and other groups. Good 3PLs have the right personnel to make deals that favor your interests, and even if you eventually move logistics in-house, your time working with these teams will be instructive.
Forge Strong Connections
The potential advantages of 3PL contracts make these agreements tempting for your growing organization. When your business possesses internal solutions including centralized labeling, exchanging information with your 3PLs becomes fast and seamless. Such an immediate connection ensures you and your third-party allies are always on the same page regarding every shipment. Granting 3PLs controlled access to centralized labeling solutions, fed by sources of truth for data, lets partners work in tandem with no data lost or compromised.