Nowadays, selecting the proper third-party warehouses is considered the game changer move within business settings that help offer quality service and keep pace with your workload. If you need help finding the best third-party warehousing, this post is for you. This is a common problem you are facing, so let’s see the right solution for it.
What is a 3PL Warehouse?
When talking about the third-party logistics warehouse, you must have heard about the 3pl logistics facility that provides outsourced logistics services to businesses in need of distribution and storage solutions. This facility is known as the extension of the supply chain management team of the company that offers different services to the businesses to pay attention to core competencies and streamline their operations.
In general, 3PL Warehouses offer some standard services, including inventory management, receiving, order fulfillment, return management, and shipping. In addition, many 3PL warehouses provide value-added services like assembly, repackaging, kitting, and labeling. All these services are helpful for your businesses to customize orders that can improve the overall customer experience and meet the customer’s specific needs.
Why Do You Need A 3PL Warehouse For Your Fulfillment Network?
There are many benefits associated with a 3PL warehouse, includes;
Expertise And Access To Technology
Expertise and access to technology are one of the significant benefits of using 3PL warehouses. It has been identified that many 3pl service providers use advanced WMS or warehouse management systems to improve efficiency and optimize their operations. In addition, these facility providers have skilled and experienced logistics professionals who support and offer guidance on shipping strategies, inventory planning, and others.
Nowadays, 3pl logistics companies are more in demand because they offer more flexibility to specific businesses. It allows enterprises to scale their business operations up or down as required. Business owners need not worry about the fixed costs of leasing or owning a warehouse. In addition, 3PL warehouses involve a network of facilities that allows businesses to expand their distribution reach into new markets.
If you want a significant financial investment, leasing or owning a warehouse can be the best option. Your business can avoid these extra costs and pay only for the required services and storage by outsourcing the 3pl service providers.
Another significant benefit of using 3PL warehouses is the improved efficiency of your business. Your business can benefit from leveraging WMS technologies that enhance overall supply chain management, improve inventory accuracy, and faster order fulfillment.
Related: Top 3PL Companies Near Me For Fast, Efficient Shipping
Tips For Finding The Right 3PL Warehouse For Your Fulfillment Network
Third-party providers have years of 3pl experience that help to transport, address storage, and handling requirements on behalf of client companies. These service providers use sophisticated software to design a distribution plan and warehousing management that will best fit the company’s needs whose products they store.
Hence, while choosing the suitable 3PL Warehouse for your fulfillment network, you must make sure that it suits well with your business operations, customer service culture, and growth plans so that you can access services on a long-term basis.
It is suggested that your company select a 3PL that is an adviser and a solutions provider you can trust. However, finding a suitable 3PL Warehouse can be daunting as you need to focus on many important factors. Here are some essential tips that can help you find the right 3pl service providers.
1. Verify The Services Of 3PL
You can find various services and facilities with most 3pl logistics. But, some of these logistics service providers are experts or specialists in the supply chain function or in individual industries. In general, 3PL involves some common service areas, including freight or transportation management, freight bill auditing, distribution management, public or contract warehousing, freight consolidation, and technology solutions. These 3PL service providers have their specializations, so you need to verify the 3PL services and ensure they suit your business needs in present and future aspects.
2. Search on Google
One of the most accessible places to search for the best 3PL warehouses is Google. It is an effective strategy that helps to find more leads for open warehouse space. However, you might need help contacting those you find on Google because there are more chances of ignoring your inquiry. It is widespread for all sizes of 3PLs to ghost potential clients. Hence, it would help if you focused on the targeted search queries on Google based on the characteristics of the warehouse services and geographical location.
3. Test Communication Standards Of The 3PL Provider
In the present scenario, you may find multiple vendors who are excellent at convincing you -what and when you want to hear it and give you the right solution that makes you feel better about their services and facilities. But, it is critical to understand how they communicate apart from the interview process. This can help you to know how they will work on your behalf after hiring them.
You need to ensure that the 3pl logistics companies use the latest communication platforms, like TMS systems and cloud-based CRM, to help enhance communication with customers for shipment planning. Moreover, you must ensure they customize their reporting functions and communication based on your needs.
These days, you can find several 3PL online. However, it would help if you focused on the best-qualified 3PL, who will be honest, transparent, open, and ethical. You can clear out all your doubts about their services and facilities, and they will make you feel confident and comfortable in their abilities.
4. Focus On References And Certifications
When looking for a 3pl warehouse near me, you must locate a good 3PL that offers convenient services for your business. After that, you must verify their license to provide freight broker services from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Apart from that, you need to verify the certification whether they maintain the bonding, the correct insurance, and safety standards on an ethical standard and complete the work on behalf of your required services. A 3PL service represents your brand or company, so you must ensure they represent your company ethically with the proper license and certifications.
5. Inquire About Their Insurance Processes And Claims
As a business owner, you must complete the personal interview with 3PL. After specifying the list of qualified candidates, asking them about their insurance process to protect your assets, like freight claims and filing insurance, is crucial. Choose a professional 3pl logistics service with an easy and robust program to set up insurance for filing damaged claims and specific types of shipping.
6. Warehouse Affiliates And Associations
When looking for the best 3PL warehouses, you must consider the directories of accredited warehouse affiliates and associates. Affiliates are considered warehouse experts with a broad warehouse owners network that helps move your goods. Warehouse associations are for-profit and nonprofit groups that unite supply chain professionals.
These two resources have no obligations and are free for the potential 3PL client. Many warehouse associations provide staff and warehouse owners training, tradeshow access, research materials, and more. If you find these excellent sources of warehouses, choose them to take care of your needs for warehousing.
7. Evaluate And Choose A 3pl Warehouse Partner Focusing On Your Requirements
You must evaluate 3PL options based on your warehouse needs. It is essential to focus on specific characteristics to avoid bad decisions and assess the best warehouse partners. For instance, you can pay attention to the location, customer service, logistics features, or special handling. It has been identified that every business has different priorities and needs in a 3PL warehouse partner, so you must discuss with the team the specific needs before starting work.
8. Look For Existing And Large Transportation Networks
Transportation companies play a significant role in moving goods successfully from point A to point B. In between the process, the warehouse services work as a crucial resource to get goods where it is required to deliver. 3PL warehouses are helpful to act as distribution centers or transload goods across different transportation modes. Thus, while searching for a warehouse partner, you must focus on transportation networks like cargo vessels, major rail lines, and ports.
9. Financially Strong
You must pay attention to the 3PL services that have financial stability so that they can help to improve your business.
Related: 13 Important Questions to Ask 3PL Providers
Finding the perfect 3PL company for your business doesn’t have to be a frustrating search. With nine great tips to start from and an understanding of your own needs and processes, you can find the right fit and maximize efficiency. The proper storage solutions can help you save money on operations, free up space to focus on growth, and, most importantly, build customer loyalty through reliable shipping solutions. Ensure that whichever 3PL provider you select is professional and esteemed in their industry. Proper communications between parties are also crucial for seamless operations. If you’re looking for a cost-effective partner in inventory control that provides high levels of quality, speed, and accuracy, look no further than Simpl. Connect with our experienced team today to see how we can easily handle your logistics needs.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to 3PL vs. Freight Broker