When you are a small business that is beginning online or changing your physical sales into online sales, there are several pitfalls you need to avoid. 3PL can significantly influence whether your online business meets the needs of customers and overcomes common challenges you might face.
Using 3PL for warehousing allows you to have a more extensive inventory than you might have if you managed your own inventory. Since you are sharing the warehouse with other businesses, the cost of storage can be more affordable. When you order supplies, you simply have them shipped straight to the warehouse for sorting, packaging, and labeling of the products before they are stored in your portion of the warehouse. If you can maintain an extensive amount of inventory, people are more likely to become repeat customers and you can stay competitive with similar businesses.
3PL can help small businesses ship and deliver in a timely manner, much like major online retailers. Many retailers are capable of getting orders to customers within a matter of days because they are able to spread out their inventory over many warehouses.
In the early stages of your business, you will want to choose a warehouse centrally located within the country so transit time is similar when shipping to states furthest away from the warehouse. Eventually, you can have a small amount of each product at multiple warehouses to ship from a warehouse closer to the customer's home, thereby allowing them to receive their products faster. Additionally, when products can be shipped from a warehouse closer to the customer's home, it also reduces your shipping costs because you may not need to use expedited shipping for the item to arrive quickly.
Using 3PL is ideal for small businesses because they can easily have the resources to meet demand if it increases later. When small businesses package and ship items from their own location, problems can arise as demand increases. For example, as more customers order items and demand increases, it could mean your business outgrows the current environment.
When small businesses can no longer meet the demand, it can disappoint customers who are accustomed to faster service. Additionally, a small business might fail altogether if they are incapable of finding more space or cannot invest in the upfront costs associated with moving the business.
3PL is an ideal resource for small businesses because it can increase their competitiveness with larger retailers. As the small business gains more customers and increases sales, it will have the resources to grow with its business.
For more information, contact a local company like Warehouse Services Inc.