07 Sep How a 3PL Adds Value to Your Business
As a growing small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), you have to balance producing a quality product with investing in areas that will expand your business. It can be difficult to determine what to prioritize to achieve both of those. One of the most important pieces of a successful SME is its supply chain. If it gets disrupted, it can result in delays, lost sales, and unhappy customers. On the contrary, if it’s running smoothly, customer demands are met, productivity is increased, and costs are reduced. Optimizing your supply chain is one of the greatest opportunities to add value to your business because it improves efficiencies, streamlines processes, and enhances overall performance. So how do you achieve this? By partnering with a 3PL.
How SMEs Benefit From Optimized Supply Chain Management
A 3PL adds value to your business by providing customized support that’s necessary for growth, from inventory management to technology. This article will cover the ways that partnering with a 3PL, such as Customized Distribution Services (CDS), will optimize your supply chain and how your business will benefit from it.
1. Helps You Avoid Risk
First and foremost, outsourcing your logistics management to a 3PL is going to give you access to seasoned professionals and experience that you wouldn’t otherwise have if you tried to manage it in-house. A 3PL takes the work and worries off your plate, managing all the tasks that are required to get your product to your customers. From scheduling trucks to working with transportation companies, decisions get made faster and more smoothly because you don’t have to worry about every single aspect. In addition, when you’re working with professionals that have years of experience, you avoid risk and benefit from systems and processes that have been in place for years. For example, CDS has processes related to efficiency and safety, which are a part of everything we do.
2. Gain Labor Efficiencies
If you’re an SME that has tried to manage your supply chain in-house, you’re likely aware of the labor challenges that come along with it. Many smaller companies have an in-house supply chain employee who wears too many hats. There are numerous supply chain responsibilities that need to be spread out among employees who have specialized experience, as opposed to one person trying to juggle multiple roles. In addition, some companies don’t have the need for someone in a full-time role, which can be difficult to fill. At CDS, our employees are able to shift from account to account as necessary to keep them operating efficiently.
3. Gain Access to an Extensive Network
A top-tier 3PL will have strategically located distribution centers all over the U.S. In order to get your product to your customers as quickly as possible, warehouses need to be in locations with highway access and major market proximity. This makes product storage and shipment more efficient, which not only results in cost savings but also increased customer satisfaction. Partnering with a 3PL gives your company access to these locations that you wouldn’t have alone.
4. Gain Access to Shared Warehouses
Renting or purchasing your own warehouse can come with a host of challenges, including:
- High labor costs
- Building expenses
- Investing in a warehouse management system (WMS)
- Inaccurate inventory management
- Adapting to seasonal demand
Partnering with the right 3PL makes all of these challenges their responsibility instead of yours. You’ll get access to shared warehouse and transportation resources, in addition to the technology that will help run it all, which will drastically cut costs you would have otherwise had.
5. Customized Technology To Meet Your Needs
Inventory management technology is crucial to running an efficient supply chain. CDS’s Warehouse Management System is the key to our customers’ successes, as it’s the technology that allows us to provide:
- Product storage and configuration
- Order management
- Hardware automation
- Labor management
- E-commerce solutions
The most unique feature of the CDS warehouse management system is its adaptability for customization to meet the specific needs of individual customers.Many other 3PLs invest in off-the-shelf warehouse management systems that allow for little to no control. The IT group at CDS is committed to making our technology work for customers, customizing it as needed to make their operations more efficient.
6. Interpreted Data
Most warehouse management systems produce consistent data, but many businesses don’t know what the data means or what they should be looking at. A 3PL who is a true partner will tell you what data matters and why. They’ll help you interpret it and review it with you on a regular basis. CDS prioritizes making data more accessible, which includes customized reports and real-time portals that provide inventory, inbounding, and shipment data.
7. Gain Access to Advances in the Industry
Cutting-edge 3PLs are on top of the advances happening in the industry. They take the time and resources to invest in new technology so you don’t have to. This frees you up to focus on growing your business while still being able to benefit from technology that will make your supply chain more efficient. For example, CDS uses autonomous mobile robots in our warehouses to scale our productivity. This allows us to get orders turned around in under 24 hours.
Partnering with a 3PL improves speed, flexibility, and efficiency, and in today’s fast-paced world, SMEs can’t afford to have an inefficient supply chain. Logistics management is one area that makes sense to outsource so you can focus on growing your business. CDS is equipped to help SMEs grow and has over 25 years of experience to prove it. You can learn more about the value-added services we provide and how our customer care team blends into your company’s infrastructure. Let’s discuss how we can support your growing business. Contact us today.