There are numerous benefits for a scaling business when outsourcing e-commerce warehousing to a 3PL provider (third-party logistics provider). Good 3PL providers are experts in the following fields:
- Keeping track of pallets
- Paying rent
- Maintaining equipment
- Hiring warehouse workers
- All necessary operational tasks
But that’s not all. All those tasks can be completed by 3PL’s more efficiently, cheaper, and quicker than in the company’s own warehouse.
The Advantages of 3PLs
As an example of the benefits of using a 3PL, some recent data points are listed below. An outsourcing study found the following:
- 3PL fixed logistics cost reduction – an average of 23%
- 3PL inventory cost reduction – an average of 6%
- 3PL logistics cost reduction – an average of 11%
To find the perfect 3PL provider for your company, there are a handful of questions you will need to answer.
What Do You Require?
As they apply to your company, regarding your metrics and needs that matter most, where does the 3PL stand? Get the 3PL to provide answers to these questions:
- How quickly do they respond to changes?
- Do they exhibit ongoing process and cost improvements?
- In the event of a recall, how do they find a product’s location?
- How do they manage parameters for stock rotation?
Beyond the basics, does the 3PL offer business solutions and intelligence? As an example, an introduction of you (and other e-commerce clients) to technology providers related to your field would be a nice perk offered by a good 3PL.
Can You Define Capacity and Abilities?
Look at the talent of the 3PL being considered. How deeply does it run? Nearly half of today’s shippers consider the experience of a specific 3PL in the industry in which the shipper is involved when they rate 3PLs in general.
Disasters happen. In the case of a disaster, is the 3PL prepared? What is their plan for the following?
- Water-related transportation disruptions
- Technology outages
- Labor stoppages/shortages
- Disaster preparedness and other risks
How Is the Money?
You’ve probably heard the old adage “Money makes the world go ‘round.” Businesses rely on money – there can be no doubt. Financially speaking, how strong is the 3PL? Your 3PL is a type of partner – and a partner should have the available resources for an investment (of sorts) in your company.
Is Your Company Growing?
The ideal answer to this question would, of course, be a resounding “Yes!” So, let’s just say that your business is growing exponentially. Will that 3PL be able to keep pace? Key factors are scalability and flexibility. Not only must they be able to handle your current requirements, as requirements change in the future (while your company grows), your chosen 3PL must be able to adapt.
Technology Is Constantly Changing – Is the 3PL?
If there’s one thing that’s constant, particularly where technology is concerned, it’s change. Ironic, isn’t it? Find out how much of the annual IT budget of the 3PL you are considering is spent on innovation-related projects. Your company’s roadmap and IT strategy must be completely aligned with the 3PL’s.
The representatives of STC Logistics can answer all of the above questions in the most positive and helpful way possible. Our 3PL capabilities are exceptional. We are committed to providing the most efficient and effective solutions in logistics and technology. We place no limit on destination, size, or weight – worldwide. We will deliver flexible, superior solutions, on a daily basis, to meet the logistics requirements of our clients. Contact us today to find out more.