The days of “one company doing it all” may be numbered. In today’s highly competitive market where specialisation is the key, executing all business functions in-house may not lead to success. Outsourcing business activities to an experienced partner can give a company a leg-up in these highly competitive times. Especially when dealing with such fundamental operations like warehousing that has undergone drastic changes and improvements in recent years.
Numerous Multi-National Companies (MNCs) are already outsourcing their warehousing to 3PL and logistics solutions providers. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly doing the same, as they understand staying ahead in this business area requires an uneconomic amount of capital, in-depth knowledge and experienced staff. Keeping it in-house may lead to a slow and painful extinction of the entire company.
Read on to learn 4 ways how 3PLs, can assist your business with warehouse optimisation that assists your business to stay lean and may save you from extinction.
1) Pay for what you use – Flexibility is crucial for a growing business
Life would be much simpler for supply chain managers if demand forecasting was done accurately.
Unfortunately, in a real world business scenario, there are variations every day. Keeping in mind peak seasons, companies have to build up capacity, what leads to an inefficient utilisation of warehouses most of the time. Overall cost per unit goes out of the window, which eventually adds to the cost of a product. Moreover, capacity enhancement is a time consuming and capital-intensive activity, so it is not possible for companies to increase capacity quickly when necessary.
3PL providers offer flexibility in terms of storage capacity. Having multiple customers within the same facility gives them the chance to even out seasonal demand variations. You can simply chose to pay for what you use and protect yourself against fluctuating warehousing requirements.
2) Analytics – a key element of optimisation
Measuring and analysing is important to ensure a continuous improvement of processes. Analytics offer comprehensive visibility of all the aspects of warehouse management. It not only reveals how well you are performing but also assists to find out the areas that need immediate attention.
Analytics should be embedded into the IT infrastructure of a warehouse to ensure there is smooth capturing and flow of data. A good 3PL has robust analytics tools in place to ensure customers get full visibility of their products and all the relevant information on how various SKUs are performing.
3) Access to value added services
Gone are the days when warehouses acted as storage locations for raw material and final products. New age warehouses are at the centre of many value-added services like quality checks, packaging, labelling, bulk breaking and last mile distribution.
Traditional organisations are facing operational challenges as they try to manage many different functions under one roof. They don’t have either the required infrastructure or skillset to manage the complexity of a multi-functional facility.
A 3PL provider is specialised in managing each of these value added services and has well defined processes in place for a smooth flow of operations. Bundling all the services together offers the customer savings in terms of cost and time and improves the overall warehousing experience.
4) One point solution for all logistics needs
In today’s supply chain scenarios, it is not possible to see different functions in silos. Companies, which manage their own warehouses, often struggle with integrating the whole chain together with different partners for freight forwarding, packaging and last mile delivery.
An efficient 3PL provider that is capable of putting all the pieces together saves you from the hassle of managing multiple partners and offers a one-point solution for all your logistics needs. This further assists 3PL providers to see the overall picture of the entire value chain and strategy to meet your long-term goals.
I know that extinction may be a rough term, but SMEs are facing challenging times, with highly competetive markets and an everchanging economic landscape. Specialisation is the key to stand out and outsourcing is a major tool that allows you to focus on your core business again.
Successful business managers know the value that a 3PL like BCR can bring to the table. Collaborating with a 3PL can provide businesses with the benefits of modern warehousing facilities, without adding additional costs. Warehousing and distribution are core competencies of a 3PL provider. They have the required infrastructure and expertise to manage it well and even lower the overall costs of a supply chain.
For more than a century, BCR has continued to help small, medium and large businesses achieve an optimum logistics solution with warehousing and transportation, including air freight and sea freight services to and from the major ports including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Fremantle (Perth).