You’ve found somewhere to store your goods; but how can you be sure that you have chosen the right partner for your warehousing needs?
If you really want to maximise your third party logistics (3PL) then it is worth considering your warehousing partner as more than a provider of storage space. A 3PL company that can offer a complete fulfilment process can bring huge benefits to your supply chain. Such companies are able to offer the skills and expertise to manage all of the tasks involved in getting your product from the warehouse to the end consumer.
For example if your consignments do not arrive as expected due to having been incorrectly loaded onto a vehicle or having suffered a difficult journey, a 3PL providers reworking service can resolve any issues that have arisen.
Even if goods arrive from transit without any issues, you may have large scale deliveries that you are looking to regroup into smaller deliveries for various distribution channels, in which instance 3PL can handle the sorting and repackaging of your goods.
And a growing trend for e-commerce has led to further developments in the role of 3PL.
In 2014 over 210 million parcels were delivered in the UK in November and December alone (source e-retailer IMRG). The continuing increase in demand for ecommerce emphasises the importance of reliable fulfilment.
Through your 3PL provider, your customer can shop and pay online with orders being automatically fed to the warehouse fulfilment systems. From here your 3PL provider will arrange the pick and pack of these items, including labelling, and even bespoke customer requirements such as gift wrapping, and deliver direct to your customer.
Even with the most highly developed warehousing systems and well trained staff resulting in accurate pick and packing, returns in e-commerce are inevitable. And the best 3PL will even deal with this element of the supply chain, making the process hassle free for the consumer and for yourself.
With all the provisions that a 3PL is able to offer, you may think than outsourcing to a 3PL provider will be costly? However, the expertise and skills that they are able to provide can actually save you money from if you were trying to deal with these often time consuming and stressful tasks in-house. And what’s more, outsourcing to a 3PL with this expertise enables you to concentrate on marketing and developing your business to aid your company growth, all whilst you’re safe in the knowledge that the operational aspects of distribution are covered.
So with this in mind, isn’t it time that you looked into utilising the services of a 3PL?