Logistics are necessary to help your business run smoothly.
But if you know nothing about logistics, figuring out how to maintain an inventory and fulfill orders can be very frustrating when you only want to focus on developing superior products for your customers to enjoy.
Hiring a third-party logistics company will solve that problem for you. But what does a third-party logistics company do?
Here are some examples of what to expect from your third party logistics partner.
Table of Contents
1. Receiving and warehousing their clients’ inventory
When you hire a third-party logistics company, you no longer have to worry about warehousing your inventory. It will be shipped to them, and they will organize and store your products in their warehouses.
Therefore, you must ensure you’re working with a partner with more than enough storage space to accommodate your inventory.
Third-party logistics companies usually have more than one fulfillment center. This means that when one of your customers orders a product from you, their order will ship from the closest warehouse to their location.
2. Logistics Company Managing inventory
Managing inventory is more than storing your products in a warehouse. Your third-party logistics company will let you view inventory levels in each fulfillment center in real time.
They will allow you to synchronize your inventory with your online store and track how many units you sell daily. You will not be left in the dark.
They will also proactively order more inventory before your products run out of stock. This is to ensure customers will not have to wait for the items they want.
3. Picking and packing orders
A third-party logistics company will also pick and pack orders. Since your inventory will be integrated with your e-commerce platform, your 3PL partner will receive orders placed by your clients.
They will then provide their warehouse picking team with a list of the products needed for each order and their location in the warehouse.
They will pick up the items and repacking them safely and efficiently. You can count on them to use the right packing supplies to optimize each shipment. This means they will not use one giant box to ship two small products to a customer.
4. Customizing orders
Another thing your third-party logistics company can do is customize your orders. Just because you are not packing and shipping your orders yourself doesn’t mean you can’t add a personal touch to them.
If you want your customers to have an exceptional unboxing experience, ensure their orders are packed in customized packaging instead of plain boxes or mailers.
Custom and branded packaging, sender labels, inserts, tape, and stickers will help you stand out.
You can even arrange for your 3PL partner to add custom gift notes to the packages they ship for a truly unique customer experience.
5. Shipping orders
After picking, packing, and customizing your orders, your third-party logistics company will ship them for you.
Some companies partner with one carrier, while others prefer comparing shipping rates. This allows them to pick the most affordable option for each order they ship.
And, of course, your customers can select the delivery speed they want. This might influence which carrier will bring their order to their doorstep.
6. Handling returns
If a customer needs to return an item they ordered from you, they will send it back to your third-party logistics company. They will handle the return process and either return the item to your inventory or dispose of it. This depends on the situation and the type of product.
Your 3PL partner will provide return shipping labels to your customers and allow them to track the status of their return orders.
7. Collecting data
Finally, third-party logistics companies can provide insightful and accurate data about their supply chain.
Knowing how many units you have in your inventory, how many you sell daily, and how long your orders will take to deliver can help you make informed decisions about your supply chain. Access to this data will save you time and money. You will always be aware of when your inventory needs to be restocked and of how much it costs, on average, to store and ship each of your units.
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