TWO things we know for certain: change is inevitable and you can’t do everything alone. Reflecting back on this past year, professionally, it’s hard to ignore the swing in market trends, disruption in supply chains, labor market challenges, and much more. For all of these reasons, and we’re just scratching the surface, more and more businesses are looking to outsource their fulfillment and distribution needs to third-party logistics partners. After all, top-rated 3PLs thrive in these types of challenging climates. We wouldn’t need supply chain solutions without supply chain challenges, right?
3PLs can certainly help you optimize your current operations and avoid catastrophe. But did you know they can also help GROW your business? Yes, I said grow. Working with the right logistics partner will help expand your distribution network and drive new business. Here’s how.
Growing your distribution network with the right logistics partner
More and more companies are focusing on keeping their businesses afloat, this year especially, but it’s important to dig deeper and start looking for opportunities to grow, rather than just maintain. With high-level strategy and implementation comes the ability to optimize best practices and understand what drives your business forward. You don’t want to simply exist in the supply world, you want to stand out. With the right 3PL, your business can capitalize on these key areas:
It’s not a new concept, but it certainly still applies: in order to make money, you need to spend money. From new equipment to investing in technology, we understand the overhead expenses associated with expanding your business. Working with a 3PL can help identify the areas where your investments will get you the most ‘bang for your buck’ and drive your growth without compromising your reputation or internal resources.
Some of the biggest expenses for supply chain companies – staffing, warehousing, technology – can be addressed with a 3PL partner. As experts in the field, logistics partners know how to cut costs while driving growth. Here at WSI, one of our greatest assets to our clients is our extensive network of warehouses. By utilizing our warehouse facilities and our team of warehouse experts, your supply chain business can reduce warehouse costs and reallocate those funds into areas for driving revenue.
Covid has taught all of us the need for agility in the supply chain and logistics industries. Working with a logistics partner can help your company pivot and grow when the time is right. Leveraging their networks, facilities, and relationships can make shifting strategies feel seamless. For example, many of our clients feel the pressure of the holiday rush. With the promise of two- and one-day deliveries and free returns, the volume of goods and shipments moving internationally is no easy supply chain victory. With a 3PL aiding your efforts, you can work together to utilize best practices and optimize your operations.
Excelling in customer service
When selling a house, the value of your home is only what someone is willing to pay for it. The same is true for your business’s reputation. To achieve the highest level of customer service and drive customer loyalty, your supply chain company needs to focus on the time and relationships needed to connect with your prospects and customers. In fact, a 2020 study found 83% of shippers and around 98% of 3PL businesses reported that their partnership has led to an improvement in the overall level of customer experience provided. We believe this is due to the additional resources companies can allocate to maintaining customer relationships while logistics partners focus on other areas of the business. Happy customers become loyal customers, who add to the bottom line.
Many companies rely on paper-based inventory, but today’s transportation and warehouse management systems need to be digitized and automated, becoming faster and more efficient. Technology has helped develop solutions to some of the supply chain’s biggest challenges through innovative information gathering and data analytics tools. From inventory warehousing to order fulfillment, cutting-edge technology has streamlined processes, reduced human error, and highlighted areas of improvement throughout the supply chain. With updated technology tools, 3PLs can provide integrated solutions from multiple sources to give greater transparency and efficiency.
Your business requires partners that can scale operations to match market trends. The global supply chain market trends toward steady growth overall, which means 3PLs must be able to handle consistent growth in storage, distribution, and transportation needs. Political, economic, and natural events can also cause sudden and drastic changes in supply and demand. When business suddenly begins to boom, shippers who handle logistics in-house must contend with substantial fixed costs such as warehouse lease payments, as well as variable costs and responsibilities like those associated with labor needs at chemical handling facilities. By partnering with the right 3PL, a shipper can outsource these concerns to the logistics partner and focus on driving value through its core business and revenue.
We often hear the top reason to work with a logistics partner is the level of expertise we can bring to your business. With years of experience developing relationships and networks, along with keeping a pulse on cutting-edge innovations and technologies, supply chain companies can fill the gap so you don’t have to be the expert at everything at once. Working with your executives to develop strategies and implementations, 3PLs work behind the scenes to make sure your company is efficient, resourceful, and able to quickly adapt to changes in the market.
Working with a logistics partner can be a tough decision for some companies. We value the commitment you have to your brand and the vision you have created for growing your company. But working with a 3PL doesn’t mean you have to change that vision or give up control. We work with supply chain companies across the US to develop and implement strategies that work towards that vision. We leverage our experience, expertise, and relationships to optimize your operations and help you achieve your goals faster. Thinking about partnering with a 3PL? We’re ready to talk when you are.