Working with a 3PL means all logistical tasks are handled by one provider – that’s one point of contact for every aspect of your distribution. We all know that lean supply chains are the best supply chains – a 3PL provider makes it easier than ever to rationalise yours! Below, we explain more ways 3PLs benefit supply chain management.
Increases Efficiency of Chain
3PLs are logistical experts. They know the industry inside and out and have all the infrastructure, equipment, and staff in place to deliver highly efficient turnaround times. As well as this, a good 3PL will always be looking to improve aspects of supply chains through investing in new tools and technology, and developing their team.
By putting your logistics in their hands, you’ll get lightning fast fulfilment speeds that will wow your customers. A supply chain that runs like a well-oiled machine, not a rusty old relic? Sounds good to us!
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Rationalises Supply Chain
Supply chains can get flabby and complicated as businesses grow, but it doesn’t have to be like that! Because a 3PL provider handles multiple stages in the supply chain all in one place, you can eliminate unnecessary links. When it comes to logistics, simple is usually better.
Provides Flexibility and Scalability
During periods of high demand like Christmas, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, e-commerce businesses are often stretched to capacity dealing with the surge in orders.
Working with a 3PL changes that. Instead of struggling to fulfil orders to the right standard and within the right timeframe, everything will be handled on your behalf. 3PLs can easily redirect their resources and scale in accordance with order volume. That means you’ll be able to make the most of the holiday rush, without the stress that usually comes with it!
Equally, if you have a quiet period, the 3PL can scale down resources and reduce the amount you pay. In the long term, this flexibility means your 3PL can grow with you, expanding its resources in harmony with your own business expansion.
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Requires Less Investment
Why pay for your own warehouse, equipment, infrastructure, staff, and training, when you can utilise the highly efficient systems a 3PL already has in place? Paying for a 3PL service may seem an unnecessary outlay, but the costs associated with handling everything yourself will rapidly add up.
Access to Network and Expertise
Whilst logistics can seem like a foreign language to the uninitiated, it’s in a 3PL’s DNA. They know everything there is to know about streamlining supply chains, and can leverage their expertise to help your business grow.
As well as this, 3PLs have access to large networks of couriers and can command lower prices than you might be able to yourself. This is because they have established relationships in the industry and can access the best deals on your behalf.
If part of your business’ strategy is to enter new markets, 3PLs can help you test the waters and open new distribution channels without a large scale investment and commitment on your part. This is one of the many ways a 3PL can facilitate your expansion as a business.
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Focus on Core Business
Effective supply chain management takes up a lot of time. By outsourcing a significant part to a third-party, you’ll free up valuable time for other business activities. From product development to brand strategy to marketing, you’ll be able to drive your business forward while someone else handles all the nitty-gritty details.
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Reporting and Analytics
3PLs are committed to continual improvement, always looking to find new ways to deliver results for their clients. By outsourcing your fulfilment, you’ll have access to real time reporting, tracking, and analytics that can make all the difference when it comes to streamlining your supply chain. Data leads to better decisions – it’s a fact. With access to the vast quantities of data a 3PL collects for you, it will be easier than ever to identify key areas for development.
See more: How to Create an Effective E-Commerce Delivery Strategy
Better Customer Satisfaction
Last but definitely not least, 3PLs lead to better customer satisfaction. With corporate giants like Amazon offering next day or even same day delivery in some locations, keeping up as a small business is no mean feat. With many people citing delivery times as a key factor in their decision making process, it’s clear supply chains need to be lean in order to keep customers keen.
Read more: 3 Valuable Tips for Keeping Up with Customer Demands in the Supply Chain