Customer order management and fulfillment is an ongoing process for any e-commerce company. If you are a manufacturer or distributor, shipping B2B, you most likely have larger orders to ship out compared to a B2C retailer. Using order management software that allows you to keep track of orders, and automatically transmit them to a 3PL (third party logistics provider) can be the key to getting orders out the door faster and with minimal effort on your part. Using a high quality service provider that can help you fulfill your orders, will help ensure that you reduce mistakes in the fulfillment process, reduce shipping costs and gain access to higher levels of technology that you would otherwise be unable to invest in.
When a business grows and begins to build momentum, fulfillment becomes harder to deal with in the long term. You'll need more warehouse space, more employees processing the orders and more time dealing with errors and bumps in the road throughout the process. For many businesses, especially those that do not have the extra money for hiring new employees, storing, packing and shipping their products, using a 3PL can make the most sense. There are many benefits that your company may find when using a 3PL:
Focus on Other Aspects of Your Business
When you spend a large part of your day focusing on fulfillment and logistics, other portions of your business are inevitably going to suffer. For this reason, a 3PL will help you to free up time that you used to spend dealing with customer orders and allow you to focus on selling your product. If you are a business owner that finds themselves bogged down in the day-to-day logistics of your e-commerce operation, you may want to consider working with a 3PL for your shipping needs.
Lower Shipping Costs
Because a 3PL has the expertise, infrastructure and technology to be as efficient as possible, they are able to help you secure lower rates across the board. Fulfillment providers typically work with a large range of different businesses and therefore are able to negotiate better rates with carriers that would otherwise be out of reach for your small business. The greater shipping volumes make it easier for them to offer a lower shipping cost.
If you have an order management system that automatically transmits your customer orders straight to your 3PL, you quickly reduce any shipping errors that could occur on the transfer of that data. The less manual entry that has to be done the better for reducing errors. This translates to higher service levels to your customers.
When your company is not in charge of the fulfillment process, you can spend your time getting new customers. As more orders come in, shipping is not an issue for you. You just need to rely on your 3PL who can take care of the new influx of orders with ease. Scaling is much easier when you aren't wrapped up in the day-to-day order fulfillment process.
As a small business, you likely will not be able to invest in large, expensive fulfillment systems in the same way that a fulfillment company would. Receiving access to this advanced technology helps to ensure that your business is on the cutting edge and will be able to reduce costs in the future as well.
A customer order management solution coupled with a fulfillment provider will allow you to better focus time on the tasks that will help your business to grow. There are many benefits that a B2B company will find when using a 3PL, and in the end, will be a more efficient and profitable business.