In this blog post, we will explore how an experienced 3PL partner can boost your business and support you during your seasonal sales spike.
If you are a retail business owner and have an online presence, some seasons will be crazy. Granted that it will also be peppered with a lag season in between. Especially the duration when the schools are about to open, during summer and other holidays, and the days before Thanksgiving right up until Christmas will be the busiest time ever. These times are great for the revenue of your business but simultaneously can be overwhelming.
Many retail owners nowadays tend to rely upon third-party logistics providers to tide them through these busy seasons. There are several reasons why you should use third-party logistics or 3PL during the busy season, but the following are a few:
The process of preparing for the holiday can be time taking. When you consider all the tasks you are required to perform to ensure that you stay ahead of the game, things can get overwhelming quickly. Especially if your staff capacity is limited, it is very easy to overlook some aspects of product delivery that might later be crucial. Work with a third-party logistics provider. They will help you address some important parts of your business, especially during the peak season. Some examples of important parts that a 3PL can address are providing warehouse access, picking up your product, packing your product appropriately, and then shipping your product.
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Partnering with a reliable 3PL provider to take care of important aspects of product delivery ensures you have enough time to concentrate on other important aspects of your business. For example, developing campaigns for marketing purposes, ensuring that your physical and virtual stores are well-prepared for the holiday rush, and checking that you have enough and more stock to meet the holiday customers successfully. It never hurts to have some extra stocks handy for your high-selling items.
No Hiring During Season
When you prepare for a busy season, another aspect that you always have to consider is the extra resources required during the season. These extra hired people will need to handle the long hours at the physical shop, the extra calls to the customer service helpline, and considerably high sales processing. The process of hiring extra workers can be time-consuming and expensive. There is also the consideration that the workers you hire temporarily may not be reliable and might add to your burden instead of alleviating them.
Instead of taking the headache of sorting out the workers required only during the holiday season, you might consider hiring a 3PL provider. They will handle your extra resource concern without you handling the burden. Based on the 3PL provider you chose, they will meet the extra workers required during specific times and ensure that your business runs smoothly during all times. A 3PL will hire the extra workers and ensure they understand the workload and deliver accordingly.
Flexibility When Responding
A business, by its very definition, is unpredictable. Sometimes you get a steady influx of customers way higher than anticipated or hoped for. At that point in time, you and your workers struggle to keep up with the high customer demand.
At the other end of the spectrum are times when you anticipate a high customer volume, prepare and invest accordingly, and hire workers, only to find that the demand is nowhere near as high as you expected. At that point, you have an excess of products and staff who now don’t have enough work to justify their pay.
A third-party logistics company can help you deal with this and give you the flexibility required. They adjust their responses based on your business needs. If the demand is high, they provide extra resources to help you meet it. However, if the demand is not that much, they can tailor their help accordingly to reduce the wastage of resources. So, the 3PL decreases your service, and you don’t have to terminate any worker.
The process that begins with the placement of an order, followed by procuring the product, and lastly, delivering the product to the customer is expensive. You have to ensure that you get the right material for packing the product. You will have to choose the correct mode of transport to deliver the product. You must ensure that you can answer all your customer’s complaints and queries. Last but not least, you will also have to ensure that you hire just enough people to meet all these times, particularly during the peak holiday season. Sounds exhausting and expensive, doesn’t it?
If you hire a 3PL, the abovementioned concerns are handled on your behalf. You pay your selected 3PL a pre-determined amount, and they will handle all the potential issues. They will handle your shipment, delivery, and staffing for the holiday rush. When you compare the cost of dealing with these issues individually to the fixed price you pay a 3PL, you will find that the latter is much cheaper and comes with fewer hassles. So hiring a 3PL will save you money and prove to be a solid investment for your business.
Suppose you already work with a third-party logistics or 3PL provider. In that case, you might not want to change your current contract with them. However, as the holiday season approaches, meeting with them and syncing up is always a good idea. Ensure that the supply can meet up with the demand. You must ask your 3PL provider some pertinent questions. Based on their response to your questions, you can decide whether they are well-equipped to deal with the inevitable surge of orders that will come their way during the holidays.
While a 3PL partnership is crucial for dealing with peak seasons, nothing beats preparing for it well ahead. Ensure that you and your order fulfillment partner meet and discuss your plan. You must take stock of your existing inventory and restock your inventory if you think you might fall short. Suppose you and your partners know what is in store for you and prepare yourselves well ahead. In that case, chances are that the holiday season might not catch you by surprise and inevitably overwhelm you.
XPDEL helps eCommerce brands accelerate their growth, empowering them with multi-channel fulfillment, whether shipping directly to consumers, delivering to businesses, or selling through retail stores. We are founded and operated by veterans with experience from Amazon, FedEx, UPS, JDA, Walmart, Target, and other leading companies in eCommerce and Retail. Guided by these experts, we provide customer experiences that help you grow your business.