First of all, let’s clarify what a 3PL actually is. Our 3PL definition is as follows:
“A 3PL is a third party logistics provider that receives, packs and sends out orders on behalf of a company. They fulfil the orders and make sure those packages get made up and sent out to customers.”
This means that they essentially handle a company’s fulfilment process, but you might be surprised to understand that a 3PL doesn’t simply provide a packaging and fulfilment service in isolation but can also help improve your business in many other ways.
- A 3PL can help to save you and your business money
If you’ve read any of our other articles, you’ll have read this one before but many people don’t actually know this about a 3PL and often assume that because it’s an additional service it will cost their business loads of money. Sure, you pay for your fulfilment processes, but 3PLs have a level of expertise and business knowledge that mean they can streamline your fulfilment to the point where it is saving you money.
- A 3PL is more like a business partner
With this in mind, your 3PL is more like a business partner than anything else because they really can help you to transform your business. This extends beyond just delivering your items but can also benefit elements like your customer service.
- A 3PL allows your business to be more flexible
This, again, might come as a surprise, if you’re paying for an external service you might expect it to be fixed but 3PLs are designed to help you deal with seasonal fluctuations. They understand that some businesses have busier and quieter periods are one of the main reasons why a business might choose to use a 3PL, in order to adapt to their seasonal demands. If you think about it, if you choose an alternate route you might be paying for a warehouse size of your busiest period all the way through your quieter periods too.
- Not all 3PLs use the same services
This is an important point if you are at the point of choosing your 3PL providers, it is worth looking at the tech and integrations that they can provide in order to ensure that it will suit the needs of your business and bear in mind that good 3PLs should be able to integrate into your model.
- The ‘right time’ to outsource is different for everyone
This is another important point if you’re at the point of choosing whether to hire a 3PL or not, there are many different considerations and questions to ask yourself. Are you completing enough orders? Do you need extra support? Is your warehouse storage enough?
- 3PLs don’t take over, you still have full control
It is a misconception that a 3PL will control certain areas of your business, you still have full control, a 3PL is simply there to help you develop and grow (and get your items from A to B of course!).
Now that you (hopefully) know 6 more things about 3PLs than you did before, we want to reiterate our first point that a 3PL is a third party logistics provider that receives, packs and sends out orders on behalf of a company but it also saves you money, helps improve your business and allows to be more flexible! Sounds great doesn’t it?
If you’re interested in knowing a little more detail about any of these points, please reach out to us here at Complete packaging. We offer tailored fulfilment solutions and packages for business across the country and are here to help and improve your business. We also specialise in helping startups grow their business which you can find out more about here.