When should an e-commerce business consider a 3PL provider?

28 June 2022 | Warehouse Logistics

It is always fantastic to see your e-commerce business grow, yet with growth comes new challenges. This includes having the resources, facilities and management systems in place to handle growth in a scalable way. Many businesses don’t have all of this in place, and that is where a third-party logistics (3PL) provider can be an asset. So, how do you know if you are ready to use 3PL? Here are some pointers to help you decide.

You need more staff to handle your orders

Ecommerce businesses are often subject to season changes, so at some points, during the year you may need to hire extra staff to fulfil customer orders. If getting extra people on site is too costly, or you don’t have the warehousing solutions you need, a 3PL can take the pressure off. This includes handing over your warehousing, picking and packing, and delivery of goods to your customers.

You keep changing your priorities

If you need to keep reorganising your resources to fulfil orders, then that is a sign you need to implement better solutions. For example, prioritising deliveries over customer care, or shipping goods over new business development shows that your resources are stretched. A 3PL provider is a key part of better resource management, allowing you to prioritise things that take your business further.

Your business is becoming less efficient

As demand increases for your products, are you struggling to keep your operations running smoothly? If you find that an increase in sales leads to slower dispatch times, an increase in customer complaints, or any other bottlenecks in supply and demand, then it may be time to consider a 3PL provider that has the facilities to help.

You have growing expenses

As your business grows, you are likely to need additional warehousing and staff to handle stock, inventory and order fulfilment. For small to medium e-commerce businesses, the additional expenses can affect your bottom line, or even be untenable. By outsourcing your warehousing and logistics to a 3PL provider, you get the best facilities at a much lower cost and benefit from a range of delivery options.

You need to invest more into your business

With growth and the new challenges it brings, you are likely to require further investment in your business to keep up with demand. For example, you might need to upgrade your premises, warehousing, or hire more staff. How would that affect additional costs, such as insurance and rates? When you outsource to a 3PL, these variable costs become fixed, so you know exactly how much money is being spent. This helps to reduce the cost risks for growing businesses, as well as being able to benefit from the range of options available from a 3PL.

At LTS, we are experienced in providing full logistics solutions for e-commerce businesses. Our modern warehousing is clean and secure, we can handle your picking and packing, as well as collections and delivery options. Get in touch with us to find out more, or to discuss how outsourcing can benefit your business.


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