The supply chain of any ecommerce business acts as a system that helps facilitate the timely delivery of products to customers. To deliver products within the committed time frame, this system should be efficient and error-free. The supply chain system consists of many functions including international freight forwarding, custom clearance, warehousing, transportation, manpower and information management. To ensure all these functions perform perfectly, there needs to be an in-depth knowledge and expertise. At the initial stages of building a business, these functions may have been developed in-house. However as a business grows and begins to scale up you will need to invest a significant amount of time and energy in building supply chain functions alongside its core competence. This is where it starts getting difficult and becomes more challenging. The supply chain may start faltering and the desired results become difficult to achieve. If you are facing this challenge it can be worthwhile to look for an alternative and collaborate with a third-party logistics provider (3PL) to transform your supply chain and quickly move ahead of your competition.
Partnering with a 3PL can eliminate supply chain challenges and help you transform your supply chain into an efficient system that boosts company grow within the increasing demands of today’s marketplace.
Supply chain resources incorporate inventory, manpower, service providers and assets. To achieve your business goals, proficient planning of supply chain resources is essential. Unplanned or deficient resource planning can have negative impacts on your fulfillment operations and decrease order fulfillment rate. This results in a lower market share and unsatisfied customers. On the other hand, 3PLs have substantial experience with resource planning. Outsourcing your supply chain operation to a 3PL provides you with access to their expertise in resource planning and assists you in transforming your supply chain.
Delivering a product from the manufacturer to the end customer is not as easy as it might seem. Different service providers, process owners, warehouse managers, and vendors are the major elements of a supply chain and play individual roles in delivering a product to the end customer. Inefficient management and poor coordination among all the supply chain processes create bottlenecks and block the supply chain flow. Therefore, for smooth supply chain flow, it is essential that all the functions align with each other and are managed professionally. A skilled 3PL provider brings all logistics functions together. They have experienced management and personnel to handle all of the various supply chain functions seamlessly to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently.
“Being able to call up and ask ‘Can we sort out these Amazon orders?’ and the answer from our account manager is ‘No problem, taken care of. It’s done.’ That responsiveness is important, especially when you’re dealing with a lot of direct-to-consumer business.”
Single Point Accountability
A supply chain system can consist of domestic as well as international freight forwarding, warehousing, customs clearance, IT support services and other functions. Managing all of these various processes can be a time consuming and costly process. In order to make sure there are no errors or bottlenecks you need to align all the supply chain functions to avoid any information gaps and miscommunication. Outsourcing part of your supply chain function to a 3PL will help decrease these problems from happening. A 3PL provider will act as a single point of contact with all of the various aspects of your supply chain operation. A good 3PL provider will assign a dedicated account manager who takes responsibility to ensure that all functions perform and deliver on the goals that you and your 3PL have agreed upon.
With increased demands to reduce turnaround time, serve global customers, and manage multi-channel distribution systems, supply chains based on old technologies are becoming increasingly redundant. These old systems need to be replaced with systems which are faster and can handle more data. Using appropriate technology for supply chain processes, can transform the supply chain of your business. It not only saves time and costs, but also helps improve productivity by increasing order fulfilment rates and meeting deadlines. These result in improved customer service and an increase in your brands value proposition. Established 3PL providers stay in tune with developments in the logistics space and invest in modern technology.
“With DCL everything is simplified, it’s a truly comprehensive solution. It’s clear that over the years DCL has implemented a lot of technical solutions. Our EDI connects everything: RMA and reverse logistics, our API, our website bridges with Amazon. This is what I call comprehensive—it actually covers all our needs. By comparing what we had before, it’s day and night.”
Globalization and an increase in the changing of customer demands have a direct impact on the supply chain. To cope with these changes, various processes in your companies supply chain system must be introduced and effectively handled and executed to perfection. Market demands necessitate that a supply chain system, along with its various functions, perform at a high level consistently. Adding the resources in-house will represent a substantial investment, but partnering with an experienced 3PL provider can help you gain expertise and assist in transforming your supply chain.
If you’re looking for help managing your supply chain and logistics, send us a note to connect about how we can help your company grow. You can read DCL’s list of services to learn more, or check out the many companies we work with to ensure great logistics support.