Running an ecommerce business feels like riding a roller coaster. An experience during which you enjoy a mixture of contrasted feelings; excitement and fear, panic and joy, worry and thrill.
Roller coasters are as adventurous as e-commerce businesses. From tracking orders and their lead time to checking your inventory, the list is still as long as my arm; many retailers feel like they’re underwater. That’s why 3PL partners actually exist!
It’s today more than ever that retailers have been outsourcing their fulfillment and relying upon 3PL partners.
At times when e-commerce businesses faced a lot of ups and downs due to external factors, 3PL partners have always been getting their backs to protect their e-commerce when something comes out like a bolt from the blue.
With the COVID 19 outbreak, logistics providers updated their warehouses’ regulations to guarantee flexible payments and security of goods.
Returns management is central to supply chain management. Its process helps with retaining customers and acting sustainably towards the environment.
In fact, third-party warehousing ensures that returned goods are recycled or resold.
The best-case scenario is you partner with a logistics provider that has warehouses in different locations, so that when returning you don’t have to ship the goods back to their initial destination, instead get them returned on spot in those storage spaces.
Automation is the future of fulfillment. The more you automate your process the less inaccuracy you’ll get. With 3PL warehousing comes automated tracking.
As a retailer, you only have to check your phone from time to time or take a look at your dashboard in order to oversee your stock status, picking accuracy rates and enjoy hassle-free warehousing!
Since it requires efficient and reliable cargo movement, distribution is something that 3PL partners take off your plate.
Being their direct vis-à-vis, shipping companies deal directly with your logistics provider so that you don’t overthink distribution.
When warehouses are connected through different regions, countries, or continents, distribution becomes a piece of cake. Your job as a retailer consists of tracking, in a few clicks, the movement of your goods.
Third-party warehousing cuts off the hassle when it comes to your supply chain management in order to help you convert your focus into your core business rather than other side responsibilities.
One of the most wanted assistance in warehousing is stock management.
As a matter of fact, third-party on-field experts are able to easily visualize and arrange optimal warehousing space for your goods, depending on their weights or quantity thus optimizing inventory management and reducing your storage costs.
The chameleon attitude is something to be celebrated in e-commerce. If you made it this far, it means that you certainly have the chameleon attitude! It is certain that change doesn’t happen haphazardly, but rather step by step. Here’s how to ensure a smooth transition to 3PL warehousing:
Warehousing is the knot that brings together your supply chain management. If your current warehousing, packing, or returns costs exceed your revenues then the first thing you should do is identify the gap in your warehousing.
Outsourcing the whole fulfillment process can be a great alternative to not only fix the process from storage to final delivery but also to upgrade the whole supply chain management!
Before purchasing any solution, you need to make sure that the latter is adaptable to your e-commerce business.
Any-sized business fulfillment services are generally the best since they can be adaptable to any e-commerce.
Warehousing options are concerned since the allocation of spaces and workforce depend on your business needs.
If you’re still doing baby steps in e-commerce, then you need to pay attention to this requirement. The minimum quantity rule is a restriction that is set by some 3PL partners. So, before putting pen to paper, make sure ahead that you won’t be limited to a specific quantity of goods.
The onboarding process with your 3PL partner is a crucial step as it sets the pace with which you will be moving forward.
Since in this phase you’ll get introduced to the implementation of the fulfillment process, it’s important you establish long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. Knowing that warehousing stands in the middle of the supply chain management, it’s wise to ask for a risk mitigation plan, in case something unexpected happens; this way you make sure that the fulfillment process remains intact.
When outsourcing your fulfillment, among the services that you’ll benefit from is warehousing. Picking, packing, storing, and distributing goods are inbound and outbound services included in the warehousing process.
Third-party storage has become the new trend in logistics as it has proved itself to be a budget-friendly, risk-reducing, and hassle-free solution allowing retailers to sustain customer satisfaction and increase their profit.