Ecommerce is a brimming industry where everyone is embracing this opportunity to the most. If you also manage your e-commerce business, you must have been engaged in fulfilling your customers’ orders. So, how much time does it take to fulfill the orders? Managing the fulfillment process all by yourself is indeed a time-consuming process that can also result in errors. You can simply switch to the alternative option to save more time and bring efficiency in your fulfillment services.
Outsourcing your fulfillment services to a 3PL warehouse has become the most reliable technique to handle things. By seeking assistance from a 3PL warehouse in the US, you can focus more on ideas to generate more revenue and build your brand. Meanwhile, the third-party logistics services will handle the order fulfillment on your behalf.
What is a 3PL?
3PL or third-party logistics are the logistics service provider that can take over your order distribution and fulfillment tasks.
It was not long ago that 3PL became popular in the e-commerce industry. Initially, there were big retail houses that used to meet all the orders and didn’t require any external assistance. But with the emergence of the e-commerce industry and everyone setting up their initiative, it has become a challenge to fulfill order single handedly.
That’s where 3PL comes into the picture as a savior. The small e-commerce sellers seek assistance from these logistics companies to complete the orders. Interestingly, even the big retail houses are now turning to 3PL for fulfillment services.
“86% of Fortune 500 and 96% of Fortune 100 companies are now seeking the services of 3PL.” – 3plogistics.
When To Consider Taking Help From 3PL?
It is never too sooner or later to start considering 3PL warehousing. Even if you are getting 10 orders/day and able to meet them easily, you might reach a stage where you have to tackle 100/day, and things can get messy. That’s why you must start thinking about 3PL right from the beginning. You can hire a warehouse manager who will look after your fulfillment process.
The order fulfillment process makes a significant difference to your brand value. Suppose you are unable to complete a particular order, and eventually, it reaches the customer 4-5 days late. It is not just a negative review from the customers, but it is also about the loss of customers. It is found that 91% of customers simply turn their backs on the brands that are unable to fulfill orders on time. So, if you want to meet your orders on time and keep your customers close, you need to think about 3PL warehouses.
How To Find a 3PL Warehouse?
It is one of the crucial decisions you need to make for your business. Here are three simple steps to find the perfect company-:
Step 1: Shortlist The Options
It is about your brand’s prestige, so you need to do a little homework to avoid making a decision in haste. Go through the 3PL warehouse (take names from Google) and shortlist them on the following basis:
- Reputation in the market
- Expertise in the service
- Specialization (if any, related to your specific business)
- Price structure
- Network of distribution
- Scalability and capacity
Step 2: Convey Your Requirements
Once you have shortlisted some of the best candidates for the 3PL warehouse, it’s time to have one-on-one discussions with them. It is imperative to discuss your requirements and let them know what you expect. It would help if you discussed whether they would be able to integrate the system into their current platform. Make sure to highlight special requests like custom packaging, fast delivery, gift messages, etc. You must feel good about their services before hiring them. An important tip for finding the best 3PL service provider is understanding whether they can handle both peak and non-peak deliveries with ease.
Step 3: Choosing The Best
Once you have gauged all the options, conveyed your requirements, and ascertained their take on it, it’s time to make the final decision. You can also ask the 3PL service provider to conduct a demo of their services before making the decision. Take a keen look into their services and ensure whether they meet your expectations or not. In the end, hold onto the best 3PL service provider that was the ideal amongst the rest. If they fall into your budget, you can ask them to proceed with the contract and agreement to move forward.
The Bottom Line
3PL warehouse has become the need of the hour for every e-commerce business now. Fulfilling orders on behalf of the brand and enhancing customer experience is what 3PL warehousing services are meant to be. It is essential to make a well-informed decision regarding the selection of a 3PL warehouse. Make sure to consider all the factors and benefits of 3PL before choosing one.
The above mentioned were three steps of selecting a 3PL warehouse that will help you find the best in the industry.