Growing companies are increasingly outsourcing their inventory storage and fulfillment functions to third-party warehousing and fulfillment partners (often referred to as integrated 3PL providers). The benefits are many and, most obviously, for the fact that warehousing and logistics are not core business functions, and thus not core competencies.
Why Outsource Warehousing and Distribution Fulfillment Services?
Quite simply, to increase business operating effectiveness and efficiencies, and if it didn’t accomplish both, it would not be a worthwhile proposition. In particular, greater effectiveness means greater accuracy.
Things are done “right” and “on time.” In business, that translates into bottom-line savings. Efficiency means human intervention is kept at a minimum, and more tasks are highly automated. The degree to which tasks are automated drives efficiency and effectiveness.
That is right; well-executed systems automation drives both business efficiency and effectiveness. You should hire the best warehousing and order fulfillment service provider such as Milwaukee corporate warehousing company.
E-Commerce and E-Fulfillment in the Amazon Age
You don’t have to be Amazon to automate the process of fulfilling sales – from the warehouse floor to your customer’s door. Today, many leading Canadian and US courier services are as much in the business of helping you automate your order fulfillment as 3PL warehouses are eager to take your orders electronically into their Supply Chain Management Systems (SCMS) and generate courier/carrier-specific labels to fulfill your orders.
It is becoming increasingly rare that organizations – both mid-size and larger – are investing millions in capital for their own in-house IT infrastructure platforms, let alone investments in physical capital for establishing a distribution center. The truth is, for a “background” function such as this, companies are increasingly willing to have a third-party fulfillment partner.
Every company will have its process flow for handling incoming orders, but the broad steps are: win the order, communicate the order to 3PL warehouse, pick/pack inventory, create shipping, labels, ship via courier/carrier, confirm with tracking information – order fulfilled. Along the way, some details will be unique to individual businesses.
The level of integration between you and your warehousing and fulfillment is critical for the reasons noted earlier – accurate. Timely order fulfillment feeds the bottom line. Inaccuracies take a long time and human intervention to sort out.
Selecting a Third-Party Warehousing and Logistics Partner
There are many things to consider when selecting an outsourced warehouse to take on your storage and fulfillment needs. Everything from cultural/people fit the location to value-added services provided. Automation and efficiency, though, should be among the top considerations if you are operating a business that is on a growth trajectory.
The most scalable systems and partners will prove to be those that will support your growth in the mid to longer terms. Service Freight Warehousing provides warehousing. When it comes to fighting a major battle in terms of competence and increased profitability, warehouses have often emerged triumphant.
Thanks to the rapidly advancing technology that has played a major role in revolutionizing warehousing operations. Consider the current economic climate! Several warehousing firms may be a little reluctant to invest money in software solutions. However, gradually most companies realize the importance of utilizing technology to maximize business operations.
Companies are constantly endeavoring to improve performance and believe this can be done by introducing technology into warehousing business. Businessmen are of the view that by utilizing technology in warehouses, they will not only be able to improve supply chain operations, but it will help the entire business emerge successfully.
Choosing the Right Warehouse Management System (WMS)
Finding the right technology is a herculean task for several small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Repeatedly superior WMS inclines individual solutions, which can be expensive without offering any integration. Individual solutions may not be the perfect choice for offering a computerized warehouse function. It may be useful for doing some sort of paperwork.
Disorganized warehouses often have numerous handing out errors, delays; involve high costs and lots of confusion. Finding the most appropriate software solution customized exclusively to its business warehousing firms is vital for the success of the business.
To achieve maximum benefits and boost productivity. Companies must select a WMS software program specifically designed to combine internal operating systems. Start-Up and small business owners are faced with challenges when inventory storage needs outgrow their basement or garage.
The excitement of business growth is coupled with anxiety around the expenses associated with buying or leasing warehouse space. Buying or leasing warehouse space to accommodate increasing inventory levels or expansion, however, is not the only choice.
The Flexible Warehousing Option – Utilizing a 3PL
Third-party logistics companies are increasingly offering a one-stop-shop for small and mid-sized businesses. 3PL warehouses typically have the massive square footage to house the inventory of many client companies. The advantages they afford small businesses are many and center on their level of expertise in operations and the flexibility and cost-effectiveness they afford growing companies.