The decision of whether to outsource to a third-party logistics (3PL) service provider can be a tricky one. Outsourcing, by definition, involves relinquishing a degree of control over your operations and placing them in the hands of an outside company. When looking at 3PL services, there is a natural hesitancy to entrust parts of your supply chain to another party. Rather than dwell on these feelings, it’s important to take an accurate look at the picture and see the kinds of benefits 3PL providers can offer. Only by looking at the whole picture can you make an accurate, informed decision.
Saving Time and Money
Keeping your logistics operations in-house lets you maintain full control and involvement, but this does come at a cost. Storing products, supervising shipments, and managing warehouse staff all take up time and monetary resources that you don’t necessarily have. This problem can become very apparent in situations where you are trying to expand and are faced with setting up new warehousing locations from the ground up. 3PL service providers help minimize the risk of these ventures by letting you get the necessary services with a much lower overhead and start-up cost. Even once operations get underway, the 3PL company can see to handling warehouse activities while you devote yourself to your core business and growth.
Scalability and Flexibility
Every business has periods where demand and need wax and wane. You could be a retailer seeing the start of the Christmas season, for instance, or a swimwear company looking at the beginning of autumn. This places extra demands on your stock and warehouse employees since the level you need will not always be consistent and there will inevitably be periods when you must quickly ramp up or scale down operations. When outsourcing to a 3PL company in Toronto or your locale, you only pay for the services you use. This means that cutting back or adding on extra space and manpower is much less complicated, and you don’t have to worry as much about paying for storage you aren’t going to be using.
One of the more notable obstacles small businesses run into when doing their own logistics is the lack of established relationships and deals. It’s easy for Wal-Mart or Amazon to get discounts on shipping by sheer virtue of their size, but doing the same as a lone local business can be much harder. 3PL companies work with a number of different businesses at any given time and can use this to leverage volume discounts, faster services, and other “big player” perks to let you and your operations benefit from their resources.
Third-party logistics service providers, especially ones that are well established, have many more years of experience with the ins and outs of shipping and warehouse operations. They’ve seen crises emerge and get solved, sudden shifts in demand that send workers scrambling, and much more. This affords 3PL companies with an unparalleled level of experience and hands-on knowledge that will be used to improve your operations and keep things running smoothly.
Logistics is a continual process of refinement and development. 3PL service providers are constantly engaged in the analysis of warehouse and shipping practices, stay on the pulse of technological developments, and always have an eye out for new techniques and processes that can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and save on costs.
Find 3PL Service Providers in Toronto with Lean Supply Solutions
Lean Supply Solutions is a 3PL fulfillment company whose operations are based around the Lean Methodology, a proven philosophy focused on eliminating any operations, equipment, or resources that are not capable of adding value to theclients’ supply chain. By striving to ensure that the right products are provided to the right customers at the right time, Lean Supply Solutions is able to offer consistent, predictable, and quality results. To learn more about the Lean Methodology, outsourcing to Lean Supply Solutions, or to ask any questions, call 905-482-2590.