One of the growing pains you will face when running a successful business is having too much to handle and not enough time to do it all on your own. It can be challenging for any small-to-medium-sized operation to maintain and grow its client base while using only in-house services. For this reason, many small-to-medium-sized businesses are outsourcing their shipping, warehouse and even customer service needs to third-party logistics (3PL) companies. In fact, in the current business world, partnering with a 3PL company is on the rise.
There are a multitude of advantages that businesses can realize by outsourcing their supply chain management and logistics needs to a value-added third party logistics (3PL) provider. While most providers are unique in how they operate, many 3PL companies like Flex Logistics offer comprehensive solutions for the packaging, warehousing, fulfillment and distribution of clients’ products.
Let’s take a look at what a 3PL can do for your business!
What is Logistics?
Logistics is that part of supply chain management that plans, implements and controls the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services and related information from the point of origin to the point of consumption in order to meet customers’ requirements. It is about getting the right product, to the right customer, in the right quantity, in the right condition, at the right place, at the right time and at the right cost.
There are many elements that play key roles within a logistical structure, for example, prices and volumes are reviewed to make sure they fulfill what it is being required. Quality assurance deals with the precision of what is being acquired and shipping and handling regulates and control the time that takes to move the items from the shipping point to the delivery point.
Logistics play a crucial role to ensure high levels of productivity, since it can reduce the time it takes to get what is being demanded in the hand of those that are manufacturing or delivering the goods and services to the final customers.
What are Third-Party Logistics (3PL) Services?
A third-party logistics service provides various logistic services such as storage, distribution, transportation within the supply chain. In logistics and supply chain management, 3PL refers to an organization’s use of third-party enterprises to outsource distribution, warehousing and fulfillment services.
Companies that provide 3PL services allow various e-commerce business owners to accomplish more with an infrastructure that allows them to finish their retail orders properly and quickly. The organizations that provide 3PL services are a vital part of supply chain management which has helped thousands of businesses worldwide to grow.
The logistics management process begins with raw material accumulation to the final stage of delivering goods to the destination. By adhering to customer needs and industry standards, logistics management facilitates process strategy, planning and implementation.
Benefits of 3PL Outsourcing
There is a multitude of benefits companies gain by outsourcing supply chain management and logistics to a value-added 3PL provider. Third party logistics offers an all-in-one solution for assembly, packaging, warehousing and distribution. Utilizing a 3PL provides businesses with a reliable logistics advantage and maximizes profitability through combined knowledge and resources.
The following are 5 benefits to using a 3PL provider.
1. Professional Supply Chain Expertise
An experienced 3PL provider is a knowledgeable source of industry best practices and stays up to date with the latest developments in technology, manufacturing and logistics. Outsourcing logistics allows your company to leverage supply chain expertise while focusing on your core competencies. 3PL services allow businesses and manufactures to have confidence knowing that all logistics needs are being handled by reliable and experienced professionals.
3PL experts like Flex Logistics employ Just in Time practices to ensure the correct amount of inventory is shipped when and where you need it. Outsourcing logistics allows your company to focus on your core competencies and leaves the rest to the experts.
2. Leverage a Stronger Resource Network
3PL providers have a vast resource network available that provides advantages over in-house supply chains. By leveraging the resource network of 3PL provider, each step in the supply chain can be executed in the most efficient, cost-effective way. 3PLs can leverage relationships and volume discounts, which results the best shipping rates and other benefits that can help you save money.
You need to make sure you discuss what a logistics company has to offer before you choose to hire them. Getting this type of information is a great way to figure out how helpful a particular company can be in your pursuit of a simplified shipping process.
3. Free-up Valuable Time & Money
Outsourcing logistics will save a wealth of time and money for your company. Now that you do not have to spend your time focusing on this area of the business, you will have more time to focus on the areas that you like and are good at! If the third-party logistics company is doing their work on the logistical side of operations while you focus your attention on another element of the business, you are going to have one successful and efficient business.
Using a 3PL provider eliminates the need to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation and staff to execute the logistics process. 3PL providers can save from costly mistakes and allow your business to build a global logistical network with lower risk and higher return. Additionally, 3PLs save you the time needed to carry out the supply chain. There is no need to worry about the paperwork, billing, audits, training, staffing and optimization involved to get your goods where they need to go.
Without the expenses that come along with in house shipping, you will be able to invest your money into the growth of your business. The money that is paid to the logistics company will be more than worth it due to the help it can provide you with.
4. Utilize Scalability and Flexibility
A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress-free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed. When choosing to use a logistics company, you will be able to get the flexibility that you need to grow. A logistics company will be able to scale up or down their efforts based on the growth of your company.
You will need to take the time to research the company to figure out how much business they can handle. The last thing that you want is not be able to handle a lot of orders due to using the wrong logistics company to handle your packing and shipping needs.
5. Improve & Optimize Your Supply Chain
3PL providers have the resources at hand to continually make adjustments and improvements to each link in the supply chain. 3PL professionals will ensure your needs are met, by using the fastest, most efficient and cost-effective methods. A 3PL provider has the tools to restructure the supply chain and use technology that ensures the proper amount of goods arrive when and where you need them. Sophisticated management software can analyze and monitor practices to eliminate inefficiencies and streamline the supply chain. Outsourcing 3PL services will ensure continuous improvements are made to your logistics process. Third-Party Logistics providers can help maximize profits, reduce wait times and improve customer service.
The FLEX Logistics Team is Here to Help!
Our team understands the importance of getting your products to the market. That is why we aim to understand your business and build lasting relationships with you and your team. Whether you are looking to add a new warehouse to your existing operations, growing and need to increase your distribution efforts, or starting a new company, FLEX has the solutions to meet your supply chain needs.
Contact us today to discuss your current and future warehousing and logistics needs. We will work together with you to understand your requirements and develop a solution that will set you up for future success.