Explosive sales growth, product line expansions, and moving into new markets are all positive business changes, but they can tax your resources. You need additional space, staff and more sophisticated technology to handle the increase in order volume. Failure to scale can lead to service issues and/or delivery delays. While every company has a different threshold, most reach a critical mass where they require external support.
How Can a 3PL Help Me Accommodate Business Growth?
A third-party fulfillment provider can be a valuable ally. Here are a few ways they can help you accommodate business growth.
Flexible space & staffing
With a rapidly growing business, it can be difficult to anticipate your space and staffing requirements from month to month – or even week to week. One of the key advantages of outsourcing to a third-party provider is the option to utilize a shared-space environment where resources are used by multiple clients. This arrangement gives you the resources to grow your business without having to invest in permanent space, equipment or staffing.
An effective third-party provider can also help you take a strategic approach to network configuration and determine the right DC locations for optimal efficiency for your current and future business. They’ll have a network of conveniently located facilities – as well as the ability to open new locations to meet your specific needs.
Your business is always evolving, and so are your technology requirements. An order fulfillment company will offer technology solutions that can accommodate the increasing volume and complexity of your business, such as order management systems (OMS), warehouse management systems (WMS), and transportation management systems (TMS).
As your business grows, you will be grateful to have enterprise-wide visibility, the ability to pull from multiple fulfillment sources and accurate, real-time information about product availability, order status and shipment tracking. Automated fulfillment and material handling solutions are also important tools to help optimize order turnaround and delivery times.
By outsourcing to a third-party provider, you can leverage sophisticated technology solutions like these without a major overhead investment.
An experienced provider is likely to have an in-depth understanding of your particular industry and/or business model. They will have proven processes in place to address your current needs as well as issues you haven’t yet anticipated.
They’ll also keep seeking new ways to do things more efficiently and cost effectively, leveraging methodologies like Lean Six Sigma to reduce waste and prevent defects.
Bottom line, a third-party fulfillment partner can provide critical support as you navigate the changes that business growth can bring.
What does all this look like in real life? See how Saddle Creek helped Pura Vida Bracelets handle rapid growth in sales volume.
Ready to consider outsourcing to a third-party provider? Read our new ebook: the Ultimate Fulfillment Outsourcing Guide.