One of the biggest puzzles for a growing eCommerce business is just how to keep orders coming in while finding the time to also fulfill them quickly.
At some point, warehousing and distribution can literally take over your other business duties, customer complaints will mount and the business you worked so hard to build may become a nightmare of boxes and unhappy experiences for everyone. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. You might find a lot of relief by partnering with a 3rd party logistics, or 3PL, company.
3rd Party Logistics Companies Help Small Business with Big Fulfillment
Expanding a small- to medium-sized business can be a tricky balancing act.
You need the orders to keep rolling in, but until your budget catches up to your manpower, you’re often unable to hire the help and rent or buy the buildings you really need. This is the gap that 3rd party logistics companies are meant to fill. Instead of your having to make the initial investment, you can pay a small per order fee for someone else to handle as much or as little as your business requires.
3rd party logistics companies can give the impression that your operation is already the one you’re dreaming of building when customers come to call.
Here are three ways that a 3PLs work hard to improve the experience of your organization and your customers:
- Giving you more time. If there’s anything a small business owner needs, it’s more time. Often when distribution becomes the central focus of everything, you start to let the things that got you to that overwhelming pile of orders slip.Instead of spending six hours a day in the warehouse, you could be spending that time interacting with customers, designing new advertisements or even just kicking back and fighting burnout.
- Reducing expenses. It seems contradictory that hiring another company to help with a job you could theoretically do yourself would save you money, but the difference might surprise you.When you hire a 3PL, you essentially rent labor, technology and warehousing from someone who does nothing but focus on pick, pack and ship all day long, every day. You’ll shed the expenses that come with extra manpower, storage and upgrading your systems to ensure your packages always find the fastest, cheapest routes to their destinations.
- Improving distribution options. Many good 3PLs have warehouses that are either located centrally, so all locations are serviced in roughly the same amount of time, or several warehouses spread across the country.Either can help save you massive amounts of money for freight while increasing your shipping speed to almost anywhere. Tired of customers in California complaining that their shipments are often very late? No problem, your 3PL will take your data and distribute goods in a way that ensures customers are serviced faster than ever!
Third party fulfillment services can be a boon for growing small- to medium-sized businesses, especially if you don’t really need to include lots of personalization with orders. Higher volume order fulfillment can be streamlined with the right personnel, equipment and storage, but a business like yours can delay that investment indefinitely by partnering with a good fulfillment house.