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How to Choose a 3PL That’s Right for You

If you’re about to take your eCommerce business to the next level, selecting the right 3PL (Third-Party Logistics) partner is an essential success factor. Not only do they help manage your day-to-day operations and fulfillment but having a reliable 3PL can also streamline customer service, reduce costs, and drive growth. We’ll outline key considerations so you can confidently choose a 3PL that meets all your unique needs!

3PL Partner Meaning

3PLs are the real MVPs of eCommerce. By leveraging 3PLs, merchants can offload a sizable portion of their supply chain management and never worry about fulfilling orders on time. With 3PLs handling everything from warehousing to order fulfillment and shipping coordination to retail distribution, exchanges, and returns, merchants can sit back and let their 3PL do all the heavy lifting. In the end, 3PL partners mean more time for merchants to focus on other areas of their business rather than managing their own warehouses or logistics.

How to Choose a 3PL Provider

3PL has revolutionized eCommerce, allowing businesses to choose the right 3PL partner and focus on maximizing sales rather than worrying about supply chain management. If you’re considering a 3PL partner for your business, be sure to weigh these factors on how to choose a 3PL provider that’s right for you!

Flexible and Feature-Rich Integrations

When you’re on the hunt for a 3PL, how do you decide which provider is the right fit? Capability is key: if your third-party provider doesn’t have the capacity and expertise to cover all your bases, from fulfillment services and reverse logistics to subscription box solutions, you may be in for a bumpy ride. Keep an eye peeled for providers offering flexibility and feature-rich integrations with your eCommerce platform – that way, as consumer demand continues to skyrocket, you can rest assured knowing you’ve picked a partner able to roll with the punches. With capability and scalability in spades, there won’t be any supply chain kinks that they can’t help you iron out!

Adapting to a Changing Market

When it comes to stability in the logistics industry, you deserve the best. That’s why it pays to look for a 3PL with a track record of adapting to a changing market – ensuring your business that potential innovations won’t rock their stability down the line. Plus, multiple locations allowing for shorter shipping times and increased national reach is a bonus – so you can have confidence that your supply chain needs are taken care of! An esteemed reputation for providing top-notch service is worth considering when it comes to peace of mind.

Communication and Trust

How do you ensure your 3PL has the best reputation around? Find a partner that knows the importance of making connections! It’s not just about happy customers – it’s about happy vendors, carriers, and employees. A great 3PL will take the time to understand your business needs, so communication is key here – make sure they take their engagement levels seriously and bring in their expertise. With a compatible culture and shared values, you can be sure they’ll exceed expectations every step of the way.

Safety First

When it comes to safety, what you should look for in a 3PL is the same thing you’d do when checking the brakes on a cart: check twice and confirm. Spot-check that your 3PL has the most up-to-date PCI, FDA, and DEA certifications and a HAZMAT Shipping Certification. After all, safety first!

Top-Tier Customer Experiences

With a third-party logistics provider, customer service and attention to detail often make or break the relationship. The good news is that experienced 3PLs will rise to the occasion to provide business solutions that leave you nodding your head in approval, like how easy it is to calculate savings and track delivery times. Plus, with omnichannel retail taking over the market, you’ll want to find a partner that knows how to navigate through these complexities and provide top-tier customer experiences. Look for someone with an impressive track record, a reusable approach, and expertise in handling similar operations.

Scale Without Breaking a Sweat

If you’re feeling cramped and think it might be time to upgrade your operations, outsourcing is an ideal option. You only need the perfect third-party logistics provider who can make scaling up a breeze. Your provider can help you address peak demand without investing in physical infrastructure and personnel. Don’t forget to ask them one crucial question: “What’s the maximum amount of scalability you offer?” That way, you’ll know just how easily they can pick, pack, and ship your goods should demand suddenly skyrocket.

Customized Solutions

Third-party logistics can help your business stand out by providing customized solutions tailored to your unique needs. Each provider will offer a unique blend of software integrations, postponement strategies, and tailored production techniques – so make sure you work with an experienced 3PL who can leverage these things. Once you kick off the process, you’ll be able to tap into cost savings while still providing excellent service.

Accuracy is Everything

When it comes to 3PL providers, there’s no room for inaccuracy. If your 3PL can’t keep its inventory and orders accurate, you’re in for a world of customer disappointment and not-so-fun losses. Make sure the 3PL partner you pick employs a robust Warehouse Management System that keeps order and inventory accuracy levels high. It’s worth all the effort to find the right provider because, in this business, accuracy is everything!

Respond Quickly and Effectively

Responding quickly and effectively when issues come up is a key factor of success for any company or individual. It can be the difference between a smooth-running operation and one that consistently trips up on large and small snags. Since no one can predict the future, understanding the importance of being responsive helps ensure that whatever comes your way is addressed in an efficient and timely fashion. Don’t leave your customers hanging – make responsiveness a priority! After all, how would you feel if you were constantly waiting around for answers?

Enterprise-Level Technology

In this ever-changing technological era, how do you choose the right 3PL provider for your business? Well, it’s simple: get yourself one that provides enterprise-level tech. Nothing says ‘sophistication’ quite like having a streamlined order-to-delivery process – and that’s exactly what advanced technology solutions can give you. And while you might not require such complex systems now, who knows how future-proof you’ll want your business to be in the near future? So don’t take any risks – ensure your 3PL has robust technology from the get-go!

How Much is a 3PL?

You don’t have to worry about how much a 3PL costs; in fact – it could save you money! Bulk ordering from the same vendor can save your bottom line with discounted rates. And who knows, if you’re persuasive enough, you might even command better terms for yourself. You won’t need to invest in warehousing and haulage tech, labor costs, and the like – 3PLs can do everything for you. That means no more spending money on expensive mistakes and worrying about how to handle logistics without help.

Powering the Best 3PLs in the Business

Taking your eCommerce business to the next level is no small feat and choosing your 3PL partner can be a make-or-break factor. Your 3PL can help you manage operations, streamline customer service, reduce costs, and drive growth, but how do you know they’re right for you? Well, that’s where due diligence comes in. Weigh out all the options mentioned in this blog, and don’t settle until you find one with enough experience and savvy to fuel your eCommerce rocket ship. When it comes to WMS, ShipHero has the goods. So, if ShipHero WMS powers your 3PL, rest assured that your business will be on its way to success in no time!

So, there you have it! If you want to learn more about all things 3PL, check out our guide here, which dives deeper into this fascinating world! These are just a few reasons why choosing the right 3PL is essential to your business success.

About ShipHero: We make it simple for you to deliver your eCommerce. Our software helps you run your warehouse, and our outsourced shipping solutions eliminate the hassle of getting your products to your customers. With thousands of brands and 3PLs relying on us daily, we’re here to help with all your logistics needs.

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