Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) can cover a wide variety of core warehousing services from fulfillment, transportation, and shipping. Regardless of what you’re looking for, leveraging a 3PL’s value-added services can help ease the strain of today’s demanding, fast-paced shipping pressures.
Most companies have figured out that an efficient supply chain is a true competitive advantage that often focuses on the little details surrounding order fulfillment and product delivery. 3PLs make it easy for shippers to provide a level of service that customers will remember. One of the most crucial benefits a 3PL can provide beyond just cost savings and service is increasing the flexibility of your warehousing operations.
Why is flexibility in a warehousing 3PL partner so important?
Here are just a few main reasons:
Managing inconsistent consumer demand
Shipping is full of uncertainty. Leading logistics partners have the technology, equipment, and resources to quickly adjust to all of the fluctuations in your order volumes and inventory levels. By outsourcing your warehousing services to a flexible third party with the right expertise and support, you will be better prepared to deal with your business's ups and downs while maintaining a seamless experience for your customers.
Removing labor limitations
If you have a special project that requires additional labor and attention, or you’re stretched too thin, 3PLs can typically shift staff to help you overcome any labor shortages and keep you on schedule. Not to mention that it’s a lot less expensive to go this route rather than having to hire and train new staff and watch your labor costs skyrocket.
As your company grows and gains new business, your warehousing and equipment needs will change as well. 3PLs with a flexible fulfillment infrastructure allow shippers to take advantage of the many positives a first-rate distribution network has to offer without assuming any of the financial responsibility. Things like space and equipment you may need on a seasonal basis and the technology to handle the challenges and complexity that come with scaling a warehousing operation. This added flexibility essentially mitigates costly risks and paves the way for the successful long-term ability to grow.
Increased speed and efficiency
Most supply chains have already been heavily tested due to the damage caused by the global pandemic. Shippers and retailers can use a 3PL’s innovative technology and organizational flexibility to help them become more efficient and agile to improve inventory management, shorten lead times, ship orders faster, and lower their shipping costs.
To remain competitive, your warehousing not only needs to be transparent and efficient but also flexible and adjust to the present business climate. When you’re using your inventory and available distribution network to its fullest potential, sufficiently managing your labor and leaving room for your company to expand, speed and efficiency will naturally follow.
Fortunately, 3PLs offer a cost-effective and reliable outlet to do just that. When shippers and retailers outsource their warehousing and order fulfillment processes to third-party partners, they’re gaining a more intelligent supply chain.