Traditional warehousing may not cut it anymore to meet customer expectations of speedy order fulfilment. To support multi-channel sales – warehouse space, capacity, and operations should be optimised and aligned with the consumer demand. The main goal behind warehouse operations is to effectively store and distribute the product you sell at the shortest lead time and minimal cost.
In the fast-paced digital age, one of the most crucial decisions businesses must make is the decision of warehousing. Retail brands may not always be experts in warehousing logistics, and companies must seek domain expertise to make operations more efficient and customer-centric.
Here is a list of benefits that companies can derive by outsourcing warehousing and fulfilment solutions to a Warehousing provider
- Enhanced focus on core business operations: Warehousing is not the core business for any brand but a requirement. The case for outsourcing ‘non-core’ business operations is vital, especially if those operations are not direct revenue earners. Brands can focus on their areas of expertise and outsource warehouse operations to a company that specialises in them. This will free up time and resources for the business, which can be used for strategising and expanding the core business.
- Multi-location presence: Many businesses have several warehouses to assist them to be successful in the competitive retail market. A competent outsourced order fulfilment service may help you determine your company’s best fulfilment centre locations based on your customer demographics.
- Domain Expertise: When your company contracts with a suitable outsourcing partner, excellent service backed by a comprehensive agreement are provided by people who are experts in the domain. A 3PL service provider has expertise and experience in transport documentation, import and export, worldwide compliance, and economic rules. Businesses considering expanding into foreign markets can benefit from the logistics assistance and knowledge that the outsourced partner can provide, reducing costly delays and cycle time and making entering a new area simpler.
- Reduced Costs: Warehousing and fulfilment are resource-intensive activities. By outsourcing warehousing to a third-party logistics provider, retailers can negotiate better warehouse space, labour, and transportation rates. This is because the 3PL already has the necessary infrastructure and can offer more significant economies of scale – infrastructure, operations or maintenance. Outsourcing warehousing operations can help you cut costs on employing warehouse staff, technology, infrastructure, security, insurance, etc.
- Reduced CAPEX: With no in-house warehouses, your company is free from the associated property leases, warehouse workforce and equipment costs. Setting up a dedicated warehouse space and fulfilment centre requires substantial capital investments. The need for capital only increases as the sales volumes grow, tying up a lot of cash flow. Outsourcing warehouse and fulfilment solutions free up cash, allowing for better resource allocation.
- Trained Workforce: Training is essential. Strategic and competitive advantage can be gained by a skilled, well-trained, well-motivated supply chain team that is enthusiastic and confident. You will need an appropriately trained and motivated workforce to run a successful logistics operation. Warehouse outsourcing provides the necessary workforce trained in the latest operating methods.
- Latest in Technology: When outsourcing warehouse operations, technology maintenance and upgrades are automatic, including costs in the negotiated contracted price. A warehouse fulfilment centre has complex processes – from material handling and storage to order picking-packing and shipping. It requires the latest warehouse technology, systems, and software to run smoothly. Also, warehouse processes are constantly evolving with the latest trends in fulfilment. A warehouse partner that is up-to-date on the latest warehouse technology and practices can bring immense value to your business.
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction: Outsourcing your warehousing ensures that your business is partnering with professionals with a proven track record for success. A 3PL can help improve warehouse efficiency by streamlining processes and implementing best practices. This leads to increased order throughput and decreased order cycle times, which improves customer satisfaction. In addition, a 3PL is constantly innovating and implementing new technologies and solutions to improve warehouse efficiency. This helps businesses stay ahead of the curve and maintain a competitive edge.
- Easy Scalability: A 3PL can provide the necessary warehouse space and capacity to accommodate any business growth. In addition, a 3PL can quickly ramp up operations to meet seasonal demand or unexpected surges in demand. A 3PL can help companies achieve the desired scalability by expanding or contracting warehouse operations as needed. This allows companies to grow at an exponential rate without worrying about additional warehouse infrastructure and staff.
- Better Returns Management: 3PLs have experience managing both incoming and outgoing shipments. This knowledge allows logistics firms to handle almost any returns inexpensively without investing in technology or training. A well-managed return process is beneficial to your brand since it enhances brand loyalty and reflects positively.
Retail brands must seriously consider letting domain experts manage logistical aspects of the business. The right synergies with warehousing partners are more cost-effective and make for a streamlined order fulfilment process. The 3PL will take care of all the logistics for you, allowing you to focus on your core business activities.
4 March, 2022