If your company in Charlotte, North Carolina, is starting to experience a massive increase in sales, you must be happy. However, you might also be overwhelmed with orders, struggling to fulfill them all and run your business without disappointing, and consequently losing, any customers. Sometimes, you feel that everything is too much. Your stress builds up and eventually, you realize that you can’t do it all on your own.
Luckily, you don’t have to. There is this magnificent invention, called third party logistics, otherwise known as 3PL. If you would start listing the services that make your life easier, this one would be at the very top. It is what companies use to outsource a part of or their entire distribution. More info.
Should you be thinking about taking some tasks off your plate and a lot of burden off your chest, then you want to be sure that you’re passing the responsibilities into the right hands. After all, you don’t want just any random person meddling in your business. It’s always the best idea to go with the pro. So, the first step is to get properly informed.
What is 3PL?
To be as clear as possible, using the 3PL service essentially means that your logistics are handled by, well, a third party. In other words, all the fuss about order fulfillment, distribution and warehousing is no longer your job. You do your manufacturing and then let experts outside your company take care of the rest.
Nowadays, there is a large number of businesses resorting to this option. Furthermore, most Fortune 500 companies use services like this. And this really does not come as a surprise. It makes things much more simple, while at the same time allowing you to do what you know best and work on improving and expanding your firm.
Who Are 3PL Providers?
These are the people who do the work for you. Basically, you receive the orders, they fulfill them. The third-party logistics providers receive the products you manufacture and proceed to shipping them to consumers. If the service is done in a high-quality manner, your customers don’t even have to be aware of this arrangement. Furthermore, 3PL providers can also handle retail distribution and returns.
When choosing your provider in Charlotte, the key things to take into account are the actual services they can offer. Some 3PLs specialize in one or two areas, such as warehousing and distribution. However, larger and established firms offer the full package, which includes warehousing, transportation, distribution, and shipping and receiving. Think about what you need and choose accordingly.
Do You Need It?
You might be thinking about investing in this service, but still be on the fence about it. This is a natural phenomenon in the process of making a decision. Being unsure whether you actually need this, wondering if you could continue on your own without any consequences for your business…all the right questions. But, in order to make the final choice, you need to ask yourself a couple more.
- How many orders a day do you have?
If you are getting, say, 10 orders a day, you can probably manage on your own. However, if the number is significantly larger, then you should definitely make use of outsourcing. It can be beneficial in more than one ways. Look at it this way…
First of all, as the number of orders increases, so does the risk of not fulfilling them in time and failing to meet your consumers’ expectations. Secondly, just think of all the growth opportunities you might be missing while taking care of logistics.
- How much do you spend on storage space?
You might own your own inventory storage space, but chances are you are renting one out. If this is the case, and you are spending a sizable amount of money for a place to store your products, it’s time to do some math. Don’t worry; it won’t be difficult at all.
Simply calculate your storage costs and compare them with estimates you get from third-party logistics providers. Don’t forget to also take into account the rest of the services that a specific 3PL can offer. Do your research and figure out which option is more cost-effective.