If you’re finding that you’re spending a lot of time fulfilling orders, you may need 3PL.
3PL (or third-party logistics) outsources your storage and fulfillment tasks to a third party, so you don’t have to do it. It can be an excellent way for your small business to save time and money.
Managing logistics in-house can be a headache. Many companies find that they spend more time worrying about fulfilling orders than they do focusing on their core product. Furthermore, building a logistics network in-house from scratch is a technical challenge. It can eat up company resources and harm your bottom line.
3PL, therefore, usually becomes necessary as you get to scale. Eventually, it is no longer practical to perform all your warehousing and packaging in-house. It makes much more sense to off-load it to a third-party with existing systems. Firms like Global Warehouse Solutions can distribute goods much more efficiently because they already have expertise.
So what does 3PL actually provide?
First, it offers labor resources for fulfilling orders. These firms employ warehouse personnel to store, pack, and load goods.
Second, it also provides you with plenty of storage space and technologies to distribute goods to customers faster. Many 3PL companies use smart inventory solutions, such as pick-to-light systems and tilt-trays, boosting efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
In this way, 3PL differs from 2PL. You get both fulfillment services and a network for transporting goods. It often works out as better value, too, because of the reduced friction between the fulfillment center and distribution network. It may, therefore, be worth serious consideration if your existing system is at breaking point.