Need help fulfilling your customer’s orders? Ease the strain on you and your business by outsourcing to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) like Pendulum Logistics. It may be the missing link between your business and your business’ potential.
The market for 3PL is booming thanks to the rise in ecommerce, with the majority of large companies now using it to support their business’ growth.
This article shares everything you need to know about using 3PL to assist your business.
When to use a 3PL provider
Avoid waiting until you are overwhelmed by orders to start using a 3PL provider – be business savvy by considering the following to decide if you need assistance:
Can you easily meet order demand?
If you are fulfilling over ten orders a day, you may want to consider 3PL, especially if you are struggling to meet this demand in time. Consider the future, too. Do you expect order demand to grow exponentially soon (not just as a once-off)?
Are you running out of (expensive!) storage space?
Storage costs are an oft-forgotten about expense that can add up over time. Compare your current storage expenses to the amount you would be paying using 3PL. You may be able to save money by bundling these costs with outsourced fulfillment.
How to assess 3PL providers
There are four major factors to consider when seeking out a 3PL provider: warehousing, shipping & receiving, distribution and transportation. You want to make sure that the provider you choose can meet your needs in these areas.
Criteria to assess include:
Choose a provider which offers transparent pricing, and try to get a good deal. Providers should offer cheaper rates for bundling services. Be sure to ask what is and isn’t included in your quote.
Size & location
If you have large order demands and have promised your customers fast delivery, you may want to choose a 3PL provider that is of an adequate size (especially when considering storage space) and in close proximity to your customers. Providers with large networks of warehouses are good in that they can service a wide range of locations.
Your chosen 3PL provider should have a management system that can synchronise with your existing one so that data can be transferred between them.
Most 3PL providers will have their own set shipping carriers with varying rates. If your current shipping provider rates are cheaper, you may want to check to see if your provider will accept them.
Decide whether you want your goods to be fully insured during storage, transportation, delivery and return. You may choose to only insure items over a certain price range. Check to see if you are getting genuine insurance or just a carrier-included liability.
Order fulfilment cut-off time
Check when your warehouse stops fulfilling their daily orders, as this will affect whether an order is sent that day or the next day, thereby affecting your customer’s expectations.
3PL is an excellent way for large-scale businesses to make the most of their potential. By outsourcing fulfillment to the pros, you can spend more time focusing on your customers and expanding your business. 3PL provides peace of mind knowing that your goods will be taken care of (and that you will be insured if something goes awry).