Did you know that an estimated 165 billion packages are shipped in the US alone each year through order fulfillment?
Today, most businesses owners have realized the importance of outsourcing. Let’s be honest: no one can do it all—no matter how hard you try.
Learning to let go of certain tasks is vital. It allows you to focus on building your business by freeing up valuable time.
So is it time for you to join the bandwagon?
The following are some top benefits of outsourcing your order fulfillment process for your small business.
1. Skip Leasing Your Storeroom
If there is one reason you need to work with a 3PL (third-party logistics provider), it is because you get to do away with the hassle of leasing a warehouse.
3PL providers are companies that handle warehousing and fulfillment services on behalf of others.
When your business does not have to rent or lease a warehouse, you get to save on:
- The time involved with searching, selecting, and moving into the warehouse facility
- The costs that come with renting the space. The fee, often, is fixed no matter how little or much you are making use of the space.
- The liability that comes with being a warehouse occupant, e.g., being liable for any accidents that may occur
- Turning your logistics over to an outsourcing company can help you do away with the headaches that come with finding space to store your inventory
Besides, you do not have to worry about the safety of your inventory as most 3PL providers have warehouse insurance.
2. You Get to Keep a Lean Workforce
Managing benefits, taxes, and payroll for all your employees is a time-consuming activity that business owners have to deal with. Each extra employee means more work for you.
Additionally, staffing the warehouse means that you have to spend more time and money recruiting more staff. Again, maintaining a bloated workforce is not anyone’s cup of tea.
3. The Order Fulfillment Process Helps You Get Closer to Your Customers
Even if you chose to open your own warehouse, there is a chance that a single warehouse would still not bring you closer to most of your clients.
Your business needs a distribution network that will help it remain close to most of its clients.
This is one advantage offered by outsourced order fulfillment. Outsourcing companies already have fulfillment centers located in most major cities.
By distributing your inventory across these locations, it becomes easier to fulfill your customers’ orders.
Even the best carriers get limited in terms of how fast they can ship orders. Thus, having inventory closer to the customers helps your business to ship faster.
4. Third Party Logistics Providers Enjoy Scale
Scale matters when running any business operation.
Did you know that the rates advertised by big carriers aren’t what all operators pay? When it comes to shipping packages, big players get to enjoy lower shipping rates.
5. Get Data-Driven Insight into All Your Orders
You no longer have to analyze your orders using Excel spreadsheets and other similar applications.
By connecting your online store to a 3PL provider, you get an opportunity to leverage the company’s tools and receive real-time metrics on sales, order trends, and inventory levels.
This will allow you to make informed decisions on reordering, production, and staffing. It can also allow you to improve your customer service.
6. A 3PL Helps You Scale to Keep up with Customer Demands
As your business continues to grow, it can become increasingly difficult to manage day-to-day operations. 3PL companies invest in warehouse and real estate space so that your business doesn’t have to.
This allows you more floor space as you do not have to store inventory in your premises. This space can be utilized to increase production.
3PL service providers also handle all inventory management issues. They store your goods in a safe environment while ensuring that they will be available immediately they are needed.
With warehouses spread out across the country, a good 3PL company provides your business with a variety of storage locations to meet all your storage needs.
These services can help you save, energy, and time which can be channeled into expanding the business.
7. Maintain Branding Even After Outsourcing
Many entrepreneurs fear that they will lose their company branding in case they choose to outsource any part of their operations.
It can prove confusing to clients when another company suddenly starts stamping its logo on the packages being shipped to clients.
All business owners want continuity when outsourcing their operations.
That continuity is guaranteed when working with a 3PL. One of the many outsourcing benefits is that you get to continue using your branded packages.
8. Easily Integrate with Other E-Commerce Storefront Platforms
Let’s say for instance that you use popular e-commerce platforms like Woo Commerce, Amazon, or Shopify.
You could be wondering how much work would go into bolting your platform into a third-party logistics provider.
One advantage of outsourcing is that software helps simplify your work. Each platform has its way of ensuring that it keeps things as seamless as possible. You do not have to worry about hiring developers to help you connect your platform.
9. Process and Deliver Orders to Your Customers Fast
We have already looked at the speed advantages that come with outsourcing. But don’t forget that a major advantage of fulfillment lies in not having to handle the logistics involved in shipping.
Even if your company is great at packing and shipping orders, logistics still competes with everything else that your business has to do.
Do What You Do Best
The business world today is as competitive as never before. On the other hand, customers have high expectations and demand superior customer service. This can make a small business owner feel overwhelmed.
A fulfillment service can streamline your order fulfillment process.
This can enable you to offer prompt and seamless services to your customers. It can also free you up to concentrate on what you do best so that you can take your business to the next level.
Want to learn more about how to find the best order fulfillment partner for your business? Check out this article to see what a good e-commerce fulfillment company can do for you.