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Is a 3PL Partnership Right for Your Business?

As the internet expands, more entrepreneurs seek success online through e-commerce storefronts to potentially reach a worldwide audience. Such extensive growth for small to medium-sized retailers wouldn’t have been able to reach as many people as they can now. However, jumping into the national or international sphere takes work, like managing your supply chain and fulfilling orders.

Third-party logistics partners (3PL partners) like Streamline Fulfillment make our money by helping you make yours, but is a 3PL partnership right for your business specifically? As a leading company in the industry, we’ll tell you what you need to know to make that decision.

What a 3PL Can Do for You

Big e-commerce companies like Amazon and Wal-Mart have internal warehousing, shipping management, and delivery services. They can take on high order volumes that smaller companies usually cannot because of their systems. To match their output the same way, you will need to foot the bill for various commercial necessities, such as:

  • Package tracking
  • Warehouse expenses (electricity, plumbing, security costs, HVAC maintenance)
  • Shipping label production
  • Specialized packaging for certain products

3PLs help businesses gain the same output and quality customer service reputation as large businesses but with less funding overall. A 3PL can provide similar warehousing, order fulfillment, and supply chain control that larger businesses have scaled down to your needs. Using outsourced labor to your advantage can help you increase business income and equity faster than working alone.

When a 3PL Partnership Might Be a Good Idea

Is a 3PL partnership right for your business? Possibly, though, as with many other commercial circumstances, it depends on various factors. Times to consider a third-party partner for your business include periods of active growth, reduced in-house expertise, and market expansion.

For example, if you and your employees face difficulties fulfilling orders, a 3PL may be able to help. You won’t have to worry about packaging your products alone, and the third party can help you handle shipping times and package location. Also, you can rely on your partner if you and others don’t know how to manage shipping, customer complaints, or returns.

When expanding into a new market, you may need entirely new warehousing, shipping management, and product monitoring. A 3PL can summarize the cost of all these new expenditures into a single monthly or bi-monthly expense. You can focus on marketing, publicity, and production while the partner fulfills the orders and relays warehouse information.

When 3PLs Could Harm Instead of Help

You may not find a 3PL partnership right for your business in some cases, such as:

  • Their pricing model does not accommodate your budget.
  • The 3PL has poor communication and customer service ratings.
  • They can only store your products far away from your client base.
  • They don’t have enough experience in your industry to ship orders promptly and securely.
  • The 3PL has limited growth opportunities and cannot grow its capacity with your business.
  • Their technical systems cannot integrate with yours, either through API or extension connections.

If you discover a partner you were considering cannot meet your needs, continue searching. 3PLs exist in many sizes, industry specializations, and levels of supply chain control. You may be able to find one that checks off all your boxes once you set the boundaries of what you need.

Sign On With Streamline Fulfillment

Streamline Fulfillment serves small to medium-sized businesses in and around Wenatchee, Washington. Whether you’re looking to reduce shipping cost for your supplement company or manage existing product lines, our track record of 0% inventory loss and reducing shipping costs by up to 10% ensures efficient and reliable fulfillment services.

Is a 3PL partnership right for your business? Call Streamline Fulfillment at (509) 888-2880 and find out today.

Schedule Your Consultation Today to Save Time and Money

While Shopify offers an excellent way for small business owners to get into the digital market and expand their networks, focusing on packing and shipping alongside increasing your customer base can be stressful.

Running a business takes a lot of time and money, and whether you want to streamline the process so you can focus on other crucial business components or save a drive to the post office, our team is ready to assist.

To schedule a consultation and discover how Streamline Fulfillment can help, give us a call today!