Getting your products into the hands of customers and distributors is a vital part of your business. Processing these transactions efficiently and in the most cost-effective manner are crucial to maintaining and growing your profits. However, the logistics of moving all your products can prove challenging as your business grows. How do you know when making the switch from in-house to a third-party logistics (3PL) company is right for your business? Here are 5 signs to look for when deciding if 3PL is right for you:
You’re struggling with seasonal scaling
If your business is seasonal in nature, or you experience seasonal cyclical fluctuations, making sure your warehouse is staffed properly can be difficult. In fact, maintaining a seasonal or part-time workforce may end up costing your business money, eating into your profits. Outsourcing your packing and shipping to a 3PL allows you the flexibility of having workers when you need them without worrying about hiring, training, or payroll costs.
Some aspects of your business are taking the sidelines
As a small business owner, it’s easy to get bogged down in the tasks of everyday operations. Some of the things that are important to making sure your business grows can take a backseat, such as finding new markets for your products and building vital relationships with new partners. If you notice that these crucial activities are being superseded by processing orders and returns, or making sure your warehouse is properly staffed, bringing in a 3PL can free up your time for these important tasks.
You’re running out of warehouse or storage space
Storing all your merchandise is expensive. As your business grows and you develop the need to store more products, it may become clear that your current warehouse space isn’t going to cut it much longer. Rather than hunt for more storage space, which can easily eat up your extra budget space, a 3PL has the capability to store more products than any small business can manage.
You want to be able to expand your offered products
Innovation is important for any business, and developing and marketing new products allows your business to grow and diversify. If you already feel bogged-down by packing and shipping the products you currently carry, adding new ones can seem out of the question. Also, if you’re spending late nights making sure orders go out on time, you’re not left with much time to spend on activities that grow your business. Tasking a 3PL with the day-to-day management of your inventory gives you more time to do what you do best – Create products people love.
You’re getting mired in returns and exchanges
Returns and exchanges are just a part of doing business, though a frustrating and time-consuming one. If you’re spending a lot of time and manpower tracking down replacement items for your customers, it may be time to consider extra assistance. A 3PL has the staff to hunt down mislabeled merchandise and process returned products, saving you money.
While hiring a 3PL may seem like a big step for a small business, it’s one that many face when experiencing growth. There’s no magical time that’s right for every business, but it is important to consider multiple factors and needs when thinking about bringing in an outside group to handle packing and shipping. If you believe the time is right, contact Cannon Hill Logistics to find out how our quality third party logistics services can help you make your business the best it can be!