Tag Archives: retail shipping

3 Reasons to Use a 3PL For Retail Supply Chain

With increasing competition in the retail market, it has become very challenging for retailers to efficiently manage their supply chains. Essentially, a smooth retail supply chain strategy is a fundamental part of a positive customer experience, and retail companies strive to reach the golden standard of order fulfillment and fast delivery.

The thing is, most of the retail companies are not experts at logistics and supply chain management, and they don’t have dedicated departments for this branch of business. So, to make their online and omnichannel strategy work, retailers turn to 3PL’s for help. According to Pinsent Masons study, 88% of retail companies that outsourced any type of operation to a 3PL were satisfied with the results.

When is the right time to use a 3PL for a retail supply chain?

Outsourcing logistics to a 3PL is a great step that can take a lot of responsibility off of your plate and let you focus on the main business goals. Apart from time and money savings, third-party logistics providers can offer many substantial benefits to your retail business.

Cost-efficiency

Many companies assume that outsourcing to a third party by default means spending more on service fees. However, all the efforts of a 3PL will eventually cost you less than an in-house supply chain management. Retail companies don’t have the negotiating power of a 3PL. Experienced providers work with thousands of carriers on special terms, and can offer you a much lower shipping price than the market average.

Additionally, a 3PL is a one-stop-shop for most of your supply chain needs. That means you don’t have to invest in warehousing, technology, and a logistics team. Ultimately, it’s cheaper to delegate logistics to the industry experts instead of learning every process from scratch and experiment on your own business.

Streamlined processes

Retailers have numerous distribution channels. Managing outbound shipments and consistently storing all of the data can be extremely challenging. 3PL’s take this burden away. Good logistics providers have special technology, like a transportation management system, where you can navigate any information on a certain shipment. In a dynamic world of retail, the ability to streamline transportation processes and track shipments is critical for a smooth business flow.

Flexibility

Another reason to outsource to a 3PL is their ability to adjust to your business needs. In most cases, 3PL’s provide an extremely wide span of services. You can outsource a single link, or an entire supply chain, and still be confident about the results. From transportation to inventory and returns management, you can always add up or take off operations from an outsourcing list.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, customer demands set the bar of performance level for retail companies. Those who strive to succeed in the competition constantly look for ways to improve their business flow and efficiency. Eventually, more and more retailers turn to 3PL’s to take care of their supply chains and get excellent results while focusing on their core competence.

PLS Solutions for Retail Logistics

PLS can become a reliable and dedicated logistics partner for your business. Learn more about our Retail Logistics Services!  

small business shipping

A Closer Look At Small Business Shipping and Logistics

Shipping has become a crucial part of a business’s success, especially small businesses. With the competition among retailers constantly increasing, the demand for fast and affordable small business shipping grows as well. We know how shipping looks from a customer’s perspective, but how does it really work from the inside? What challenges do companies face to provide their customers with a smooth shipping experience?

The state of the market and the growing influence of customer’s needs put small businesses under pressure of managing excellent service, fast and free delivery, and high-end product quality. In some cases, to supply free, next-day shipping, companies have to make product quality a second priority. When you over-concentrate on the product itself, your customer service may suffer.

It is possible for your business to find an optimal shipping solution. Companies are seeking reliable, affordable solutions to continue to make their customers happy every day.

What challenges do companies face when arranging small business shipping and logistics?small business shipping

Essentially, setting up an efficient transportation strategy can be challenging for some companies. Here are some of the major obstacles businesses have to deal with:

Transportation costs

Price is the initial concern when picking a small business shipping option. Considering an extremely diverse nature of products, volumes and shipping frequency, it’s hard to find a one-stop-shop for all your transportation needs. Especially, when most of the options are quite costly. With the pressure of fast and free shipping, companies try to save wherever possible to afford such shipping characteristics. With that being said, the main challenge of small business transportation is finding an affordable, reliable and efficient shipping partner.

Organizing and operations

Another major undertaking of small business transportation is the lack of planning and organization. It is hard to manage everything from point A to B, and strategic planning is often an outsider in this game. It is common for small businesses to lack automation and professional software, however, tools like a transportation management system or even online shipping service can be extremely beneficial for process automation. Apart from that, you gain complete visibility into shipment spends, which lets you reduce extra costs.

In-house logistics department or outsourcing?

Many companies today decide to outsource their logistics and supply chain management to third-party providers. Despite some businesses considering it a risky decision, outsourcing can actually make your transportation much less painful. A 3PL can supply you with technology so that you don’t have to invest in your own software. Additionally, they can be your one point of contact and ‘shop’ through various carriers and negotiate exclusive freight rates for you. All of the processes are reported to you. On average, shippers admit from 10 to 30 percent of savings after using 3PL services.

Which option is better for small business shipping and logistics?

Ultimately, fast and cheap shipping is not as easy to provide as it seems. Small businesses face many challenges to supply their customers with good service and affordable shipping, however, there are many ways to save on transportation costs and increase shipping efficiency. One of the solutions for simplifying small business transportation is outsourcing, which can be very useful for companies.

Learn more about our small business transportation services!