The shipping operations for any business can be overwhelming. So many pieces must come together fluidly to make things seamless. Issues in just one part of the process can bottleneck everything else. This is where a 3PL comes into play.
What is a 3PL?
3PL stands for third-party logistics. When you hire a 3PL company, you are outsourcing certain components of your fulfillment process for this company to handle. What you decide to outsource is up to you, and it can include anything from accounting for inventory to fulfilling orders, and anything in between.
Hiring a 3PL company can benefit you on multiple levels. The process you are offloading on to them is something that you no longer have to hire for or expend a lot of energy on. This is an area a 3PL provider is specialized in and they know the best practices to make the workflow better.
You also stand to save money. Professional attention is being given to this section of the supply chain, which translates to fewer expensive mistakes happening. Because the work is being done accurately, customers have a more positive view of your brand which will encourage them to work with you more.
If you handled all aspects of fulfillment yourself, you would have to make certain investments to get the job done. Think warehouses, workers, and vehicles. These take out big chunks of both your money and your space. A 3PL company provides what you need to support the supply chain cycle.
How To Choose the Right 3PL For You
You are convinced that you need to bring a 3PL provider on board to make your business’ fulfillment process better. You are about to hand over information on your practices and are entrusting them with a huge responsibility. Not to mention there are a plethora of options out there. Which do you choose?
Once you know exactly what you need to make things more efficient, find out what each company provides well. Are the technologies and equipment at their disposal compatible with your needs? This will weed out companies that don’t have the capacity to help you.
See who the provider is currently helping. If the companies they have a relationship with are comparable in size to yours, they are likely equipped to handle your organization’s volume.
Seek out references from people who have done business with them in the past. You can find out what they did well and what they are not as practiced in. This is also a good way to check on how reliable they are and how well they communicate.
Other simple statistics can give you a wealth of information. Find out if their business has grown or remained stagnant over the years. This can reflect that there is a deeper underlying issue to uncover. The volume of their business and locations they have serviced can also create a better picture.
Your customers expect the best possible experience with their order fulfillment. Their satisfaction can literally sink or float your business. Choosing a 3PL company to handle this can be a smart way for your company to make the process more efficient. It saves you time and prevents problems down the line.
American Manufacturing Solutions is a supply chain logistics company that helps to enhance your operations by developing systems along every line of the process, from the warehouse to shipment. With over 70,000 square feet of space across multiple locations, our expert logistics knowledge and fleet of vehicles are there to make your fulfillment process better. Contact us Today!