The decision to outsource services you’ve been handling in-house can be a difficult one, especially when your business is just starting to expand or is still fairly cash poor.
Even though it seems like a huge risk to hand your fulfillment needs over to another company, making the decision to hire a 3PL can quickly increase your bottom line, improve efficiency and make running your business a whole lot easier.
Outsourcing your fulfillment services means changing the way you do business, from top to bottom, but that’s not always a bad thing.
Here are three great reasons to outsource your fulfillment services:
Tighter Inventory Control. No matter how much you trust your employees and your suppliers, inventory control issues happen. Unfortunately, small businesses often don’t have the resources to find those little problems until they’ve gotten seriously out of control. When you hire a 3PL to handle your inventory, they are on top of each product, both when they come in from the supplier and when they go out to the customer.
These companies have the software, processes and people in place to ensure that items aren’t misplaced, accidentally reordered when they’re not needed or allowed to expire before they ship to customers. No matter what type of inventory you handle, tighter control over it will always mean more money in your pocket.
Access to an Expandable Warehouse. Every business has seasonal highs and lows, but it’s costly to rent warehouse space when you’re only going to use part of it for the majority of the year. Instead of having to maintain and care for a large, mostly empty warehouse, outsourcing your fulfillment to a 3PL allows you to scale your warehousing and distribution as you need it.
With a 3PL, if you need more space, your fulfillment partner will simply expand your share of their resources and when your rush is over, they’ll shrink you back into your regular space. Since you only pay for what you use, this can be a huge cost saver for businesses that have variable sized inventories and product flow.
Improved Customer Experience. Above all else, you want your customer to have a great experience — even if that means bringing in some help, don’t you? Shipping delays, chronic back orders and slow returns processes can frustrate customers, who then tell their friends about the problems they’re experiencing. Instead of destroying your hard-won reputation, hiring a 3PL can help you provide even better service by having someone available who’s dedicated to providing the fastest shipping, best inventory control and hassle-free returns processes.
Your business’s growth is a reason for celebration, it shouldn’t mean that your business has become your entire life, though. Outsourcing some of the hard work to a 3rd party logistics firm will allow your company to continue to grow unhindered and your customers will continue to have a great experience, all without your having to move a cot into your office.