The concept of “supply and demand” is the primary driver of all businesses. Keeping up with one in order to support the other is a game of tug-of-war that every business owner plays. As a business grows, they inevitably meet a ceiling; the business owner is no longer able to do everything themselves and they must hire a workforce. However, who do you hire? How many?
I’ve seen many clients come to me with this exact question. Knowing when to scale and by how much is crucial to the sustainability of your enterprise. Third-party logistics providers, such as fulfillment providers, may be your solution. We’ve written about it in the past but I’d like to go over why 3PLs are the “silver bullet” to your supply and demand problem.
Building your own warehouse space (or even just renting one) can be a logistical nightmare. What if you get too much or too little? Everyone knows that there is a natural ebb and flow to every business. The space you need right now might not be the space you need in 6 months.
With a 3PL, you lease the warehouse space that you need right now. Many offer an easy scaling solution, too, so you can increase or decrease the amount of space you’re paying for. A credible 3PL will allow you to make these decisions month-to-month so you’re only paying for what you need.
A scalable warehouse is one thing but a scalable workforce almost sounds too good to be true, right? With the right 3PL, that concept is not a pipe dream but a reality. No longer would you need to concern yourself over seasonal labor or even with ensuring you have the right amount of employees on your payroll.
A 3PL provides its own warehouse team, which will be sized to meet your demands without much input from you at all. Removing the stressors of warehouse storage and workforce size gives you more time to worry about the high-level stuff that grows your business and innovates.
Time is Money; Both are Worth Saving. The truth is, a 3PL’s bread-and-butter is in fulfillment. As much time as you spend on it, you’re no match for a business that is modeled on fulfilling orders, stocking inventory, and every single detail that goes into those processes.
As an e-commerce professional, you’re no stranger to the “time is money” concept. 3PLs are highly efficient, which in turn saves you money by reducing the task of ecommerce fulfillment to a streamlined process that just works. As I said previously, outsourcing this huge chunk of your business gives you time to do other things that could have a greater impact on your business.
For many, fulfillment can be a sore spot. I tell these clients not to reinvent the wheel, as the adage goes. What I mean is, don’t struggle to do something yourself that someone is already doing well, especially when they can provide you with that service. When it comes to fulfillment, I recommend you save yourself the headache and leave it to the experts. If you’re interested in outsourcing your fulfillment, we’re here to help.
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