From managing inventory to preparing orders to selecting a transportation supplier, externalizing your logistics operations may be the key to a successful e-commerce venture.
Online giant Amazon has created heightened expectations among e-commerce clientele, who wish to receive their items at an attractive price and within a very short time. A logistics services provider, commonly referred to as a 3PL (third-party logistics), can help your business take on the competition thanks to their logistics operations, their technology and their operational agility.
What makes a good 3PL?
A 3PL service provider is a partner for your business that manages all of your e-commerce logistics activities: receiving and stocking merchandise; preparing and shipping orders; and managing inventory and returns.
- Access to advanced technology and semi-automated warehousing;
- Time savings;
- Financial advantages (access to preferred rates for transportation partners, optimization of warehouse rental fees, optimization of staff, etc.)
In this section, you will find resources to assist you in evaluating your 3PL needs, guide you in your selection of a service provider and help you to begin the transition.
Evaluate your needs
First and foremost, choosing to use a 3PL service provider is a strategic decision.
If you are faced with decisions aimed at ensuring the growth of your business, from renting a larger warehouse to acquiring new technologies or hiring new members of your team in order to prepare online orders, the support of a new partner may be beneficial.
To begin your decision-making process, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your online sales increasing rapidly?
- Are you spending more and more time managing online orders?
- Do your products require minimal handling?
- Are you lacking sufficient space? Do you expect to have to rent a new warehouse or move your merchandise to a larger space?
- Are you on the verge of investing in new information technology for your warehouse?
- Are you experiencing logistics problems related to managing online orders?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you might benefit from contacting a 3PL service provider.
How to select the right 3PL service provider
- Examine the services offered by your potential partners in order to properly compare them. For example, they may offer basic packages to which you can add services based on your needs. You may also require more personalized support (e.g.: labelling, pre-assembly of products, etc.).
- Verify whether these 3PL service providers are able to adapt rapidly, or if they require a certain amount of time for preparing to process an increased volume of orders.
- Ask about the territory served by the delivery companies with which they do business. Do they have agreements for serving local, national and international markets?
- Find out about their business activities, especially with respect to their experience in e-business, the volume of sales they manage per month and the average size of their clientele. The number of warehouses they either own or lease to partners, along with the size and technology available, is important information that will help you to paint an accurate picture of these specialized companies.
Are you looking for help to make the transition to 3PL, but you don’t know who to contact?
Our experts can help you define your needs and recommend 3PL service providers.
They also provide businesses with guidance in their search for financing. Discover the various types of financing offered by PME MTL to assist with your e-business project. For more detailed information concerning our e-commerce logistics support services
For more detailed information concerning our e-commerce logistics support services, please contact our experts.
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Montréal, Québec, H1E 2Z6