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Does a 3PL Provide Order Fulfillment?

As your business grows, you and your staff may move from generalists to specialists.

During the start-up phase, you needed everyone to be ready to pitch in to do whatever was needed, from sales to customer service to order fulfillment. Over time, people start wearing fewer hats and focusing their attention on fewer tasks that they can perform more efficiently.

You may start to think about outsourcing your order fulfillment and ask a question along the lines of, Does a 3PL provide order fulfillment and can it help my business? Yes, it can and there are good reasons why you should outsource this function:

Why Let a 3PL Provide Order Fulfillment

  • You can focus on working on your business.
    The 3PL (third party logistics) company already has systems and warehouse space in place so that you and your staff can specialize in other functions, such as sales and marketing, product development and selection, and customer service.
  • Order fulfillment can be scaled to match your company growth.
    Your business growth will probably not take place in a straight line, where each month you will notice the same rate of growth. Once sales start to take off, you’ll need to be able to respond to changes in the market quickly.

    A 3PL is the ideal partner, since the company already has warehouse space available and employees who are trained on the third party logistics company’s software and procedures. You don’t need to lose momentum looking for warehouse space, hiring and training employees while navigating a sudden increase in sales. The 3PL can take the pressure off and handle the increased number of orders.

  • Shipping costs would be lower.
    Since a 3PL is shipping a large number of products, it would qualify for better rates from carriers than your company would if you were to try to negotiate a discount. The 3PL would then pass on a portion of these savings on to you. Keep in mind that it would take you or one of your staff members time to research shipping options, contact providers and attempt to negotiate discounts. It simply makes more sense to work with a 3PL and ask for suggestions about the best way to get products to your customers.

If you want to free up time for your staff to work in more specialized roles in your business where they can focus on driving sales, developing and improving products or ensuring customer satisfaction, consider outsourcing to let a 3PL provide order fulfillment. Your business will run more smoothly as a result.

August 13, 2015
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