There are many reasons why your order fulfillment, warehousing and shipping needs may be best served by working with a third-party logistics provider (3PL). A 3PL provider can seamlessly scale to your supply chain demands by handling assembly needs, distribution, warehousing, outsourcing of supplies, order management system integration, fulfillment, inventory management, and shipping and tracking. By using a 3PL you can come closer to streamlining your entire fulfillment chain and utilizing warehousing space at our facility to clear valuable warehousing space at your facility to accommodate more revenue generating business activities.
Among the many key benefits of working with a 3PL is scalability. As your business grows and as your products gain greater distribution in the marketplace, you need a logistics partner that can ramp up services quickly when needed, and scale down when busy seasons subside. In the logistics and supply chain management business, many organizations outsource to a third-party logistics provider to take advantage of numerous elements of their services. Based on client needs, a 3PL can provide a single service to support the supply chain or deliver a bundle of services that can manage the entire process start to finish.
Understanding the 3PL Order Fulfillment Process
The 3PL order fulfillment process includes receiving, storing, picking and packing the order, shipping services and returns. Some 3PL companies also provide other logistics services referred to as value-added services: These include Amazon FBA prep services, kitting and specialty packaging and others. A 3PL provider will allow companies to leverage large networks of resources so they can develop a complete solution for this process.
Pallet loaded receipts, UPS/FedEx/USPS small packages or floor-loaded containers are physically received at the warehouse and all material arrives with a packing list. Product IDs, quantities and descriptions are entered into the order management system (OMS) by the 3PL’s client service manager. A receiving report notification is automatically generated via email so all parties involved in the process are made aware of receipt.
Products are stored on flow shelves for ease of picking and any overflow is stored on full pallets. Storage combines bulk, racked and high-velocity pick areas for efficient storage and picking.
Picking and Packing
After orders are received and entered into the order management system a pick slip is generated. This indicates the products’ location so the picker can easily pick the order and pack it into the appropriately sized carton. A packing slip is also packed into the carton to indicate the contents before a label is applied with shipping information.
Your 3PL should look for the best shipping rates on every package that leaves the warehouse. This requires them to be aware of the best current rates from all carriers including FedEx, UPS, USPS or LTL freight.
Returns can be a hassle if you don’t have the capacity or order management system in place to handle items ordered by mistake, damaged during the shipping process, or other various reasons. Handling returns with ease should be part of your part of your 3PL’s process and an important part of the customer experience.
Taking Advantage of value-added 3PL services
Kitting and Assembly
Kitting and assembly are often required for distributions that a client may have. You can rely on a 3PL such as Fulco Fulfillment, Inc. to execute and manage the kitting flawlessly.
Your 3PL is experienced in dealing with a variety of packages, so they can help you save money through their established network of material suppliers. They know how to make your package secure and make sure the contents are protected during shipping.
Amazon FBA Prep Services
Is your business selling on Amazon? Fulco Fulfillment are specialists in dealing with confusing Amazon processes and can walk you through best practices and make sure you are meeting all of the FBA requirements.
A 3PL like Fulco Fulfillment, Inc. will Save your Organization Time & Money
Many forward-thinking companies realize the benefits of outsourcing to a 3PL. By not spending money on extra square footage and warehousing, and by investing in a partnership with a reliable 3PL they can expect to save money. Having more space in your office building is another benefit of a 3PL. Overflow storage kept at a 3PL warehouse eliminates office clutter and chaos. Outsourcing to a 3PL can mean significant benefits for a business as it grows and faces more complex supply-chain management and logistics challenges. This partnership eliminates the need to buy or rent warehouse space. Without this partnership and continued company growth, internal costs would continue to escalate including order management system, equipment costs, employee insurance, etc.
Time consuming events that can be eliminated, including: packing boxes, arranging logistics, LTL and transportation, setting up technologies and hiring additional labor can free your organization up so you can focus more time on your core business.
As your business expands, managing the supply chain can become difficult and costly. Mistakes made in logistics can damage the customer experience, stunt your business’ growth, and eat into your profits. That’s why it’s important to select a 3PL partner with outstanding references and a substantial track record of success.
Making the most of Peak Seasons
If holiday or other peak seasons are your busiest and most important times of the year, a 3PL provider can manage the processes seamlessly so you can maximize profits during your peak seasons. Regardless of when that peak season occurs, taking orders, picking them, packing them, and shipping them can be extremely time consuming, especially while trying to run your business as a whole. The stress of keeping on top of shipments, along with everything else, can really put a damper on your business. The easiest, and most efficient, way to get through the peak season rush is with a 3PL provider. Preparing for this in advance, and understanding why a 3PL provider is so important, will put your business ahead of the game, and it will allow you to get everything in order before the holiday seasons really begin.
Fulco Fulfillment, Inc. Helps Business Succeed Year-round
While it might feel strange relinquishing control of the fulfillment process to an outside company, by working with an experienced 3PL such as Fulco Fulfillment, Inc. you can leave all the operational details to us, freeing you up to focus more on other aspects of your supply chain and your core business goals. Let’s discuss your logistics needs. Our warehouse is conveniently located in Northern New Jersey near major highways easily accessible from New England to the Mid-Atlantic. To learn more, call 973.361.1700 or request a quote by filling out the contact form.