For those working in the realm of inventory management and general e-commerce and supply, chances are you’ve heard the term 3PL being espoused. This is not for naught, the companies that provide solid 3PL services are becoming more and more in demand as the global supply chain continues to strengthen and become more vital for modern business practices.
The role that a 3rd party logistic provider plays in the world of effective supply chains and distribution is quite noticeable, especially when compared to the alternative means of effective supply chain management.
Many companies opt to take care of the responsibilities themselves, however, with the increasing demand and ever-changing landscape that permeates supply chain and inventory logistics, there’s no better substitute than an effective and trustworthy 3PL provider.
What Is 3PL?
3PL or 3rd party logistics is a descriptor of companies that manage certain crucial elements of supply chain management on behalf of their clients. This can extend to packaging, distribution, and storage of inventory for instance. Not only does this lift a significant weight from companies that may not have the capacity or connections to facilitate effectively on their own, but they also have the facilities and staff that will invariably make life easier and less stressful for the clients they provide services for.
Attributes Of Worthwhile 3PL Providers
So, we now know the tenets of 3PL, now it’s time to get into the grit of the matter, the key attributes that separate the truly resourceful and useful 3rd party logistics providers from their counterparts.
The fundamental principle of inventory management for large or small-scale companies is ultimately their flexibility and ability to scale with seasonal changes and overall progressive growth. A good and trustworthy 3PL provider will have the capacity to scale a company’s storage and distribution capacities almost seamlessly and without issue.
When companies opt for managing fully on their own, the tendency to overspend on unused warehouse space or not being able to scale up in a quick and robust manner can have a massive impact on the bottom line.
Having trustworthy and reliable connections and resources is a must for any 3PL company. Their ability to organise is one that is constantly tested when it comes to solving problems on the fly, as well as carry out day-to-day necessities involving the distribution, packaging, and storage facilities of their clients.
Having resourceful connections and the overall ability to effectively handle their client is also a major factor in determining efficacy. Some 3rd party logistics providers will promise the world and not be able to facilitate any effective assistance which negatively impacts all parties involved.
Efficiency and professionalism are the key components for many business foundations. 3PL is not exempt from this. Their work is often time-constrained and dependent with the providers being very important cogs in the overall supply chain. Their ability to meet deadlines, get products out in a succinct and correct manner and deal with all aspects of the storage and distribution channels will have to be in sync and effectively managed from the get-go.
In summation, if you’re starting up your own online business, have your thoughts on expansion, or have ever entertained the notion of having a larger-than-life company at the helm – a 3rd party logistics provider may be the right call to make. Always take the time to research your prospective company, and ensure they are living out the characteristics provided here today. Doing so will ensure that your inventory and products get t where they need to go and that they’ll be looked after accordingly thanks to effective 3PL.