Is Your 3PL Valuable to Your Business?
Are you facing a bad shipping situation? Has a delivery been delayed? Is it late, and the material you’re sending needs to be there in just a day or two? Do you have materials with multiple shipping needs, and a lot of company uncertainty about how to fulfill the orders?
In an age of economic uncertainty, outsourcing your shipping needs to a 3PL is just one way in which customers can save costs and build partnerships that are beneficial to their bottom line. 82% of Fortune 500 companies are now working with 3PLs, but small and mid-sized businesses can also benefit from a 3PL relationship.
A good 3PL provides experience, know-how and a wealth of options for a company that may have multiple shipping needs, or relatively little experience in choosing a carrier. And a 3PL can provide this peace of mind at a set price, offering prowess and flexibility at a cost-effective price.
We believe a 3PL offers three important services that provide good value for shippers:
Personal Needs and Wants
A 3PL can provide multi-level delivery services to fit varying company needs. A recent survey of shippers regarding 3PL services indicated that utilizing a 3PL increased order fill rates by 7%, while reducing logistical costs by 15%. For a fixed rate, 3PLs can connect your business with the most reliable and flexible carriers, whether you need residential delivery, lift-gate pick-up, or other sorts of specific styles of material transportation.
A good 3PL also provides scalability, allowing your company to adjust to ups and downs in the marketplace without carrying large overhead from transportation costs. This allows the shipper to concentrate on core competencies rather than worrying about the nature and cost involved in making in-house shipping decisions.
Quality of Service
A good 3PL allows its shipper to find the ideal balance between cost and quality. Its experience with carriers means it has a good sense of how your needs– in terms of time, cost, shipping size, etc.–can best be fulfilled. 3PLs’ knowledge of the marketplace means your employees can concentrate on the specifics of your business and save time they might spend researching potential carriers. A recent study suggests that clients who utilize 3PLs see an 8-15% savings in Freight costs.
A good 3PL can also provide expertise with tracking, inventory management, invoicing, etc. It can be as small–but helpful– a detail as understanding carrier service in relation to price. A 3PL can let your business know that you might pay a bit more for shipping with a certain carrier, but receive enhanced security and quality in exchange for cost.
Even the best planning can sometimes go awry. If you’re faced with a sudden emergency, a good 3PL can intervene with expertise and know-how that can help to fix the problem. Perhaps a carrier can’t make a scheduled delivery, and you need a quick turnaround– a 3PL’s knowledge of the marketplace can help you to find a good carrier for expedited service in a short amount of time. Perhaps there’s been a claim on damages caused during delivery– 3PLs can help with those claims without the intervention of a claims management service.
The global reach of many 3PLs–with warehouses and shipping services in multiple countries–can allow your business to expand its reach to new markets. A strong partnership between a 3PL and its customers can provide peace of mind in the face of a changing global marketplace, and those unknown crises that might arise.
Understanding the value a good 3PL can provide when it comes to scalability and specific delivery needs, quality of service, and intervention during times of crisis or emergency, can help your business to penetrate new markets while keeping an eye on costs.