A Guide to 3PL (Third-Party Logistics)
Third-Party Logistics (3PL) is a booming industry that services retailers, including many online stores.
For many small or medium businesses, outsourcing their picking, packing and delivery is the most cost-effective way to fulfil orders.
If you run an online store and are looking for a local 3PL provider, here are a few examples of best practices that are used in the 3PL industry.
State of the Art Facilities
An established 3PL business would be, to a great extent, automated, with all their different clients having their essential requirements digitalised for speed and convenience.
All consignments would be able to be tracked at any time during the logistics process, including while in transit, and with many tasks automated, things move along very quickly.
It is vital that the provider has adequate 3PL warehousing in Sydney or any other region that your business is based in.
They would also need a reliable fleet of trucks, plus more than enough manpower to cover their heavy schedule, and with an impressive list of clients, you can be sure that your order fulfilment will be delivered on time.
A Can-Do Attitude
It is imperative that your 3PL provider is customer-focused as nothing would be too much trouble for such a business.
Ideally, the 3PL provider would assign a project manager to deal with all your consignments and he or she would be the only person you need to deal with.
This makes things so much easier as any changes can be instantly given to your project manager and would be implemented at once.
You might, for example, have a really busy time during popular festivals, and having a 3PL provider who can shift up a gear to accommodate a higher volume of orders is invaluable.
They would have a wide range of services, and some that you would not require, yet by tailoring their program to suit your business, you only pay for what you use.
Obviously, every company is looking for the lowest prices when outsourcing, yet you do not want that low cost to compromise your customer service, so look for a provider that is mid-range in price, yet offers a first-rate service.
If you think a quote is too high, ask another 3PL provider to quote, which will give you a comparison.
The Customer Comes First
Unfortunately, not all 3PL providers are as customer-focused as they could be, and if you are interested in one particular company, take a look at their list of clients. If they have a few large companies on their books, then they must be doing something right.
Finding the right 3PL provider will result in all of your orders being fulfilled on time, and with a flexible approach, you can upgrade or downgrade your needs at any time, without incurring penalties.
Outsourcing your picking, packing and deliveries allow you to focus more on running your business, while the 3PL experts take the strain, and if you should require a higher volume of orders fulfilled, simply call the project manager and it will be taken care of.
Do you have an online store and use the services of a Third-Party Logistics Provider?
This post was published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.