The majority of small businesses start out storing and shipping their product by themselves. This works fine at the beginning but if you are successful you will find you are spending more and more time on fulfilling orders when you should be putting resources in growing your business.
But inventory management, storing your product, and shipping it in a timely manner is a critical aspect of your business and shouldn’t be ignored or neglected. When it is too expensive to handle these functions in-house, there are third party logistics (3PL) companies like FW Warehousing that can track your inventory, provide secure warehouse space, and provide logistics services at a fraction of the cost while your company retains ownership of your products.
What are the benefits to outsourcing shipping and warehousing?
Ability to scale – When you rent your own warehouse you are usually locked in to a long-term lease which is a commitment that may be too much cost for a small business to handle. 3PL companies offer flexible plans and pricing that can scale up or down to help alleviate the burden during seasonal or holiday months.
No warehouse to manage – Outsourcing means all the personnel management burden is on someone else. There is no reason to hire, train and manage warehouse employees nor would they be on your payroll. Also, you avoid typical warehousing overhead such as utilities, insurance, shipping materials and other costs.
Ease international shipping – When you sell overseas, the logistics of shipping become much more complicated with taxes, customs, and other potential obstacles that can delay shipments. A 3PL company has done this thing before and can make sure the process goes smoothly.
Focus your resources on growing your business – Warehousing is a huge step for a small business and it is hardly ever an easy transition. When you outsource your warehousing and fulfillment, it allows you to dedicate more of your time and money on new projects and new sources of revenue.
When should my business consider 3PL services?
Your business is growing, and sales are increasing. The is a good problem to have but if your inventory system is inadequate and you are relying on old processes, you may find it difficult to deliver your products on time and keep up with consumer demand. Before this happens, here are some signs that you should consider 3PL services.
You have a seasonal sales cycle – 3PL warehousing is scalable to account for fluctuations to your business due to seasonal issues.
Not enough space – If your inventory and warehousing has been in a spare area of the office or even a basement or garage, remember that this space is limited, and you will need more as you grow. Outsourced warehousing allows you to gain more space at a fraction of the cost.
No processes in place – If your inventory system is a series of sporadically updated spreadsheets, you need a 3PL service. An inadequate inventory management system is inefficient and creates errors and the issue only gets worse as your orders increase.
FW Warehousing can handle all your outsourced warehousing needs
Call us today and we can help you streamline your warehousing processes, lower your costs, future-proof your inventory management, and make sure you can fulfill your deliveries to your customers.