Don’t Let Growing Pains Cause Your Supply Chain to Fall Apart
If you want to efficiently manage your supply chain, you need to consider one thing: You can’t do it all. You’re trying to expand your customer base and bring in more revenue, but every aspect of your business has to be able to handle new growth. This is where the importance of 3PL comes into play.
As companies grow, packaging and shipping processes are two business aspects that can suffer. It’s easy for the number of orders and shipments you have to manage to get overwhelming, especially if you’re expanding into online markets. More orders mean you’re going to need more packaging supplies, shipment methods, warehouse space, and people to help you keep up — and all of those things cost money and time. The chunk that you have to take out of your wallet can slow down the growth that you’re pushing for and even make it easier to fail.
3PL, or third-party logistics, can help. Essentially, 3PL is taking everything you need for packaging and shipping processes, and outsourcing it. Companies who specialize in 3PL receive your products and take over, ensuring they get to the right customer in one piece.
For businesses who want to grow, the importance of 3PL lies in the fact that your business now has freed up time, money, and space to put back into revenue-generating activities. For businesses who are looking to move into online markets, working with a 3PL company is almost essential to ensure that you can keep up with the flow of orders — especially during busy seasons.
How Can the Importance of 3PL Impact Different Kinds of Businesses?
3PL is a strategy that can work for both B2B and B2C businesses. You might be able to find a 3PL company that specializes in your industry or one that has the ability to handle the packaging and shipping of sensitive materials like electronics.
Many 3PL companies also have the ability to handle more than just boxing up your products and getting them out the door. For example, if you’re sending out stocked retail displays to stores, a 3PL company can handle the entire process — including assembly — to ensure you don’t have to spend time getting your display together before it’s shipped out. With assembly services included, you’ll be able to free up crucial space in your warehouse that was previously storing packaging supplies. In turn, this will also allow you to save time and money by eliminating the additional need for workers to complete kitting and assembling before your products can be sent.
Since a 3PL’s only focus is managing supply chains, they’re also able to handle larger quantities of orders, even if they have to be assembled before they’re ready to be put on the truck. They’ll also be able to manage any labeling and compliance standards that your packaging needs to meet. Whether you’re shipping food products or chemicals, your 3PL partner will make sure it’s properly stated on your packaging ahead of time.
For any business, if you want to gain more control over your supply chain, sometimes the best thing you can do is give it to someone else to handle. As your business is changing, your focus needs to be on selling your products. 3PLs can give you that time back, but they can also help you make your processes more efficient. You know your business better than anyone, but you might not know the top strategies for packaging and shipping. This is what 3PLs specialize in, and with their help, you can handle more orders from more places without having to worry about mistakes or running out of supplies.
How Does the Importance of 3PL Affect Omnichannel Strategies?
If your business is fully online or moving into online sales, 3PL can make a big difference in the way that you handle these types of orders. Online orders come from your website, Amazon, eBay, or a number of other places, and keeping all of them straight quickly gets difficult. 3PL companies can keep track of everything and make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
People who order online are also going to expect their order to ship quickly. With a 3PL partner, you won’t have to worry about making sure that things are accurate and on-time because they’ll handle all the timing for you.
One other key benefit is that it can give you a competitive edge. With a 3PL partner, you can offer shipping speeds and even deals that your competitors might not be able to manage. Many consumers who are shopping online will cancel their order just because of the cost of shipping, and working with a 3PL company can give you the flexibility to decrease the cost or even eliminate it.
The importance of 3PL can come into play in a variety of situations, but the key benefits are that it will save your business time, space, and money. 3PL companies are experts, but the best partners will understand your business as a whole to come up with the best supply chain solutions. Jamestown Container offers 3PL solutions to our customers, and as packaging experts, we know the packaging process inside and out. Interested in learning more about how we can help your business? Reach out to us today.