Maximize Your Partnership With Your 3PL

E-commerce brands today rely heavily on Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers for scalable order fulfillment solutions. As your operations grow, choosing the right 3PL partner is critical for success.

maximize 3pl partnership

A maximized 3PL partnership allows you to tap into the 3PL’s expertise in fulfillment services, warehousing and distribution, inventory management, and supply chain optimization. This lifts a heavy operational burden so you can focus on sales and marketing.

But how exactly can you maximize the 3PL partnership for peak performance? Here are 4 key ways:

1. Align Goals and Create Transparency

maximize 3pl partnership

Getting alignment on goals, expectations and processes is crucial upfront. Prioritize open communication channels right from the start.

Provide visibility into your sales forecasts, inventory needs, and growth projections. In return, get clarity on the 3PL’s fulfillment capabilities, warehouse locations, automation and technology infrastructure.

Setting defined SLAs (service level agreements) and KPIs for order accuracy, on-time delivery, and inventory accuracy also creates accountability on both sides.

Ongoing transparency through fulfillment metrics and reporting ensures potential gaps are addressed proactively before they impact customers. This allows for scalable and flexible solutions as needed.

2. Leverage the 3PL’s Technology Capabilities

maximize 3pl partnership

Advanced 3PL partners offer e-commerce brands far more than just bricks-and-mortar warehousing and shipping services today. Technology is a key component to consider when maximizing your 3PL partnership.

Look for providers that offer integrated inventory management platforms, Cloud-Based WMS, shipment consolidation tools, TMS integration and more.

The right technology stack gives you end-to-end visibility and timely insights to optimize inventory planning, demand forecasting, and omnichannel order orchestration across channels.

Automated inventory tracking and order management also minimize overhead while enabling faster fulfillment, fewer backorders and higher product availability.

This is especially valuable for e-commerce brands selling across multiple online stores, marketplaces and retail channels.

3. Treat the 3PL Like an Extension of Your Team

maximize 3pl partnership

Think of a maximized 3PL partnership as essentially adding a fulfillment and supply chain management extension to your internal team.

Tap into their expertise through regular check-ins and strategy sessions. Seek input on inventory optimization, freight cost management, custom kitting solutions, daily order orchestration and more.

This approach allows you to benefit from capabilities and experience that are too expensive to build in-house during early growth stages.

You also gain flexibility to meet seasonal or unexpected order peaks seamlessly without lengthy talent acquisition and training. Enable your team to focus intensely on sales, marketing and product development instead.

4. Prioritize Agility and Continuous Improvement to Help Maximize 3PL Partnerships

maximize 3pl partnership

Even with alignment and robust processes in place initially, brands and 3PLs must collaboratively adapt to evolving needs.

As you grow, fulfillment requirements may change needing solutions like white glove services, custom kitting, or a West Coast warehouse for faster nationwide delivery.

Be ready to add or modify services, integrate new technology, improve workflows and more. Keep an eye on fulfillment KPIs together and leverage root cause analysis for continuous improvement.

Also anticipate and collaborate on capacity planning for big sales events or new product launches. Quickly activating overflow supports and contingency plans prevents chaotic catch-up during peak seasons.

The Perfect 3PL Partner Powers E-commerce Growth

While this covers four major areas of focus, maximizing your 3PL simply requires seeing them as an integral strategic partner rather than just a vendor.

Approaching engagement with collaboration, transparency and leveraging their supply chain expertise at every step sets you up for optimized success as partners.

Beginner’s Guide to Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

The world of e-commerce is always changing, therefore understanding the roll of Third-Party Logistics is integral to keeping up. In light of this our beginner’s guide to third-party logistics (3PL) will delve into the essential aspects, offering insights into fulfillment services, warehousing, and much more.

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The right 3PL ally allows your lean e-commerce team to effectively compete at enterprise levels when it comes to world-class order fulfillment. This accelerates profitable omnichannel growth so you can better serve customers with supply chain excellence.

Does your brand need scalable fulfillment solutions to achieve ambitious omnichannel commerce goals? Reach out to discuss your needs and we’ll provide solutions tailored to your unique requirements.

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