WHY OUTSOURCE YOUR LOGISTICS TO A NATIONAL 3PL?
Whether you ship direct-to-consumer or B2B, the expectations of your customers are higher than ever before. Amazon’s introduction of two-day shipping in 2005 has sent online retailers searching for channels to get their products where they need to go as fast as possible. For many businesses, it’s not profitable to produce, package, and ship goods all in-house. If you’ve been considering making the switch to a national third-party logistics provider, here are a few benefits you should consider:
Being able to scale is one of the most important things for a growing business to be able to handle. Scalability is not a difficult concept to grasp, but it can be much more difficult to execute. Grow too quickly and you may be overwhelmed; grow too slowly and you can miss out on massive opportunities. Matt Schroeder, our VP of Investment and Pricing, provides his insight on the subject:
“Oftentimes, great companies are not also logistics experts. This makes sense, they’ve got a ton on their plate already. By working with a 3PL that can enable them to scale their businesses, these companies are able to focus on what they do best without worrying about how they’re going to get orders out the door. By going with a 3PL that has scale, they have the flexibility to add inventory, orders, and all the other things that come with growing a business without having to also deal with the complexities of their supply chain. 3PLs can locate inventory in multiple locations to be closer to end customers, and they already have the technology infrastructure to track inventory, orders, increase efficiency, and report KPIs on all those metrics. Businesses working with 3PLs that have scale can grow their sales with the confidence that their product will be delivered where and how it needs to be delivered. Additionally, 3PLs with scale will provide these companies tremendous transparency to enable tracking of orders, inventories, etc.
WSI is an incredible option for companies looking to scale because we offer nationwide locations, transparency via our customer portal, and world-class technology, but we don’t treat our customers just like a number. One of our absolute favorite things is when we help enable our customers to grow and scale their businesses. Not only does it mean more work for us, which we love, but even more importantly, it means that our customers are succeeding, and we’re enabling that. It gets us up every morning and motivates us to do better.”
2. REDUCED COSTS
The costs of a national logistics operation can sometimes be unrealistic for a smaller business. Why pay for a full warehouse or full truckload when you only need a fraction of that space? Storing your product in a public warehouse where the space is shared between several companies and utilizing a 3PL’s transportation brokerage service can lead to significant cost savings. Instead of fronting the cost to acquire all the assets required to run the operation, an established 3PL will already have the resources ready to go.
Partnering with a 3PL isn’t just for small businesses and Etsy sellers. Check out the Success Stories on our website to see how we have helped businesses of all sizes save money so they can focus on what they do best: selling quality goods.
3. TECHNOLOGY AND REPORTING
Anyone in the logistics industry knows that technology is a top priority. It can create significantly more efficient supply chains, preventing errors, and saving customers a lot of money. An experienced national 3PL with a strong technology stack can offer integrated solutions that give greater transparency and efficiency to your business. Taking advantage of custom dashboards that provide real-time updates on inventory, freight, or tracking deliveries gives your company transparency around all the touchpoints that impact your customers.
WSI is proud to have a solutions-focused, in-house IT team with expertise in five critical areas: development, data services, infrastructure, data integration, and business analytics. Additionally, we expend significant resources on long-term projects we believe will generate value for our collective customer base. Though more speculative in nature, these more “swing for the fences” projects can sometimes drive significant improvements. For example, we currently have a team working on building an internal data warehouse solution that, when combined with our Manhattan business intelligence tool, will provide tremendous insights for both WSI and our customers.
Working with a national 3PL doesn’t mean you’re giving up control. It’s about building a partnership, so you have the time and space to focus on making quality products and growing your business. WSI’s innovative services help customers increase efficiency, shorten lead times, and minimize costs. Through the application of Lean operating principles, we have created a culture of continuous improvement that directly benefits our customers. That passion for excellence has built WSI into one of the nation’s largest privately held 3PL solution providers. Ready to learn more?