Are you looking for a potential fulfillment partner? Choosing a 3PL is like finding a new business partner. The company you pick can make – or break – your business. It’s critical to find a fulfillment company that offers the services you need. Click the guide below for questions to ask when searching for a new partner so that all of your needs are met.
Team Taylor is talking! Check out our latest podcast episode featuring Chris Baum & Noelle Taylor. They are breaking down the entire year, everything from eCommerce and packaging to the largest seasonal project in Taylor history. Tune into Taylor Talk wherever you listen to podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast, etc. Click one of the buttons below to listen.
There are several advantages companies can receive by outsourcing their supply chain management to a Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider. As companies begin to grow, they may realize an in-house logistics team will lack the expertise needed to manage complex logistics operations cost-effectively. On the other hand, larger companies can find they don’t have the workforce required to handle a high shipment volume. A Deloitte study shows that 79% of businesses with highly efficient supply chains enjoy more significant than average revenues than others in their industries. Companies with such optimal supply chains have 3x faster cash-to-cash cycles.
Crafty businesses outsource supply chain management to professionals to gain several significant benefits and, thus, position their business for success. A trustworthy third-party logistics provider will take over the trouble of running your supply chain network, allowing you to:
Generate new ideas
Build better products/services
Strengthen customer relationships
Design and develop future strategies
What’s more — outsourcing to the right service provider not only allows you to focus on your core business, but you also enjoy the competitive advantage that comes with hiring supply chain management experts, including their access to resources, capabilities, technologies, skills, and networks. The following are the top advantages of partnering with a 3PL.
A 3PL’s network of transportation providers is a significant resource for any company with freight to move. Searching for proper equipment, insurance, and other qualifications can be a considerable undertaking—however, a 3PL vets their carrier network to include only qualified and reliable service providers. 3PLs can also leverage carrier relationships and volume discounts, which results in lower costs and faster service. Ultimately, choosing a 3PL allows businesses to benefit from capacity they would be hard-pressed to find in-house.
Save Time and Money
Outsourcing logistics saves a considerable amount of time and money for any organization. Using a 3PL can eliminate the necessity to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and staff to execute supply chain processes. 3PLs also save time for their clients by handling day to day functions like booking, billing, and training; leaving companies ample time to focus on their core competencies.
Scalability and Flexibility
A benefit of using a 3PL provider is the ability to scale space, labor, and transportation according to inventory needs. Businesses with seasonal periods can enjoy stress-free transitions between industry ups and downs, having the ability to utilize more space and resources when needed. Using a 3PL provider allows your business to grow into new regions without barriers.
Businesses can have confidence knowing reliable and experienced professionals are meeting their supply chain needs. A 3PL can share vital information tied to regulations, the freight market, and industry insights. A 3PL will often work with the same receiver locations for multiple clients, allowing them to share information on receiving preferences. Understanding customer requirements and communicating them to carriers can make a massive difference in performance.
3PLs have the expertise to help navigate manufacturers through new security regulations and can provide counsel on best practices to improve security policy and procedures. In many cases, 3PLs can manage the implementation of a supply chain security program, from facility and asset security to security monitoring services and training.
Providing All Services Under One Roof
When all your freight, distribution, eCommerce, warehousing, etc. services are managed under one roof, it will save time and money, and probably give you comfort to know that everything is taken care of. Plus, when all logistics are connected, you as a business owner will have more control and better visibility, which means a smoother operation for your business. A solutions-based 3PL will have the labor, resources, infrastructure, and capital deployment to bring all the required services under one roof. Whether you need warehousing, value-added services, customs clearance, international freight forwarding, domestic transportation, or even IT-support, you can rely on a third-party logistics provider to take care of your business.
The value a 3PL provider can bring your business includes better rates, services, expertise, and a vast network of industry partnerships all along the supply chain. Many companies come to this understanding quickly and understand the benefits of outsourcing. Choosing the best 3PL, one that is well suited to your needs, will take a bit of effort upfront but will bring long-term benefits. A 3PL with core competencies that are the right fit will mean a long-term partner interested in generating growth for your business. If you are looking for help managing your logistics and supply chain, we would love to hear from you. Please send us a note to connect about how Taylor Logistics can help your company.
For eCommerce startups, fulfillment strategy is a shifting target. If you start small, your first warehouse could be your garage or even a spare bedroom. As you grow, you might rent warehouse space and hire staff to pick, pack, and ship your orders. Eventually, you’ll probably outsource your storage and shipping to a third-party logistics provider.
When you choose your fulfillment provider, an important consideration is the location. You need fulfillment warehouses close enough to your customers to get your products delivered quickly. But you don’t want to spread your products among too many warehouses, or your inventory cost can go up. Here is a guide to help you develop your fulfillment warehouse plan.
Where Are Your Customers?
The strategy for where to locate your eCommerce fulfillment will largely depend on where your customers are. Map where your eCommerce orders are being delivered. Are your customers centered in certain areas or spread out evenly across the country? Answers to these questions will help you determine the best fulfillment warehouse locations for your business.
We’re in the age of two-day shipping to even the same day in a lot of our nation’s cities. If your e-commerce site delivers through Amazon or eBay or competes with those platforms, fast delivery is a must. eCommerce is moving closer to offering consumers the satisfaction of getting a purchase right away. As usual, Amazon leads the trend with one-day and even same-day shipping. In the future, an Amazon drone may drop off your purchase within a couple of hours.
Our Location Strategy
At Taylor, we’ve established our warehouses and fulfillment centers in the prime area of Cincinnati, Ohio. The strategic placement of our warehouses and fulfillment centers allows us access to large and rapidly-growing consumer and customer bases. The proximity of the many interstates and expressways branching from the city of Cincinnati is incredibly advantageous for moving both national and international freight. 70% of the US population is less than 24 hours’ drive.
Cincinnati has three interstate highway systems I-75, I-74, and I-71 as well as two interstate connectors I-275 and I-471
Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is a key cargo destination with nine carriers
Amazon’s Prime Air Hub is located at CVG
Cincinnati is the nation’s largest inland port handling 220 million tons of cargo per year
Talk with Taylor
Fulfillment may not be the most exciting part of your eCommerce business plan, but it’s one of the most important. When your e-commerce supply chain is running smoothly, so is your business. Please chat with us today!
Some might say that 2019 was the year of customer experience (CX). In fact, according to the 2019 State of Service Report from Salesforce, 80% of customers now consider their experience with a company to be as important as its products or services.
Customers don’t just buy a product or service — they buy an experience. Creating a unique, efficient, and personalized experience can have a tremendous impact on business growth. As a third-party logistics company, we have two types of customer experiences to focus on. Our customers’ experience and their customers’ experience. Acting as an extension of our customer’s team and as an integral part of their supply chain, we must focus on not only their needs but also the needs of their customers. One way we do this is by upholding brand image and expectations. Omnichannel distribution and fulfillment are ever-present in the retail industry, with a growing number of consumers taking advantage of the convenience e-commerce provides. With multiple procurement channels available, it is just as important for brands to ensure their customer experience is the same across all channels. As the ‘last touch’ before a product arrives on a consumer’s doorstep, it is the job of the 3PL to ensure all products arrive in pristine condition and create a visually appealing, ‘unboxing’ experience for the consumer. ‘Unboxing’ was born out of a combination of the omnichannel phenomenon and the use of video on social platforms. Customers may never see your trucks, your warehouse, your committed drivers and operators, or even their products. This is why leaders are finding customer service is so important — it’s what your customers will remember about their experience with you.
The supply chain can make or break the customer experience. And to thrive within e-commerce, businesses must invest in supply chain technologies. Those that create integrated, transparent and responsive supply chains are capable of delivering exceptional customer experiences profitably. At Taylor, by combining hands-on support, technology, logistics services, and a dependable partnership, we are creating an optimal experience for our customers and our customer’s customers.
Traditional forms of warehousing are not able to keep up with the ever-shifting retail landscape. Today’s consumers can review, compare, and purchase items faster than ever. New retail trends have led many consumers to expect low-priced — yet astonishingly fast — processing, shipping, and handling. To achieve this new level of speed for customers, warehouses today look much different than they have in previous years. For instance, the size of the warehouses has increased significantly over the years. E-commerce has required businesses to not only stock a more extensive selection of items but also have additional space available for the technology and equipment facilitating the various high-speed processes taking place. Warehouses today also require much taller interiors to allow for vertical integration of storage, conveyor systems, and so on.
A New Way of Picking Orders
Warehouses used to be able to ship vast quantities of items to other businesses for sale. However, the model has shifted drastically as the new point-of-sale is in consumers’ palms — in the form of mobile phones, tablets, and other devices — rather than brick-and-mortar locations. For warehouse management, this means trends in purchasing are more challenging to predict, and now warehouses must stock more items. Furthermore, those employees and robots working in the warehouse must be able to efficiently pick and package individual items rather than load the entire pallet.
Manage All Order Types Under One Roof
There is no longer this notion of splitting up different order channels amongst various distribution centers (DC). In the past orders from different retailers came from one DC, all while online orders came from another center. There was even separation from small parcel shippers that operated using less-than-truckload to those who were shipping out entire palettes. Now with the use of a sophisticated warehouse management system, all the different functions of an e-commerce operation can be handled under one roof. Thus improving customer’s efficiency as well as overall cost.