The current circumstances that the world is facing, mainly due to the pandemic, have increased the need for delivering the best to our customers, while offering good value and meeting timelines. Any provider who isn’t delivering the promised level of service ought to be immediately replaced by one that can so the business doesn’t suffer from loss in productivity, profitability, and customers. Customers today want fast and accurate deliveries, therefore a third party logistics (3PL) provider that is getting in the way of meeting these escalating expectations, must be succeeded by an efficient and ambitious one that both fits your business mantra and benefits you.
When and Why Should You Switch to a Different 3rd Party Logistics Provider?
Although switching over to a new third party logistics company to handle your eCommerce fulfillment may cost your business both in terms of time and resources, some reasons can drive you to an absolute necessity of making this change. That said, transitioning to a 3PL provider that is a better fit for your organization saves resources in the long run. If you are experiencing any or multiple of the following scenarios discussed below, it’s probably a sign to bid farewell to your current 3PL.
- Redundancy of tasks that comes from not having a lean supply chain is reducing your profitability.
- Your current 3PL fulfillment process isn’t providing the level of service you had signed up for.
- Your business requires a 3PL whose order fulfillment services are constantly revised and updated to meet evolving needs of time. If your current 3PL isn’t equipped to keep up with the constant shift in trends and needs, your business will suffer losses too (if it hasn’t already). With increase in business, your current 3PL will either no longer be able to handle your order shipping needs or will hinder your growth.
- You’re not getting the quality of service that you are paying for, and you’re suffering in terms of poorly-forecasted customer demand, carrying dead stock and overall poorly conducted order fulfillment. Also, several 3PLs have hidden fees in their cost structures causing you to pay higher than you planned to commit to.
- You’re experiencing shipping delays or paying higher shipping costs compared to other available options.
- The current 3PL isn’t keeping up with the order accuracy that your business is known for. Messed up and delayed orders are costing you the loss of business and earning you bad reviews on socials.
What are the Factors to Consider When Searching a New 3PL Provider?
If you have decided to switch to a new 3PL, you must research your options and shortlist those that best suit your business needs. Assess their services and set of expertise based on the following factors.
Assess the 3PL’s fulfillment solution by the kind of technology they use for delivering their services, and see if that works with your business. The more technologically advanced 3PLs with digitized software solutions may be better for optimizing supply chain processes and dock to stock efficiency.
eCommerce Fulfillment Processes
The 3PL must work on your entire supply chain process by working to optimize every bit of your operations and provide end-to-end eCommerce solutions. Only then will your customers enjoy an entirely improved experience.
eCommerce Fulfillment Warehouse Location
Check the location(s) the 3PL has to offer for eCommerce warehousing and logistics services and solutions. See if it can enable you to strategically store your inventory by splitting it across multiple 3PL fulfillment centers and offer faster and cheaper shipping to your customers.
What are the Essential Steps for Switching to your New 3PL?
If you have found the 3PL that is the perfect fit for your organization, the next big task is picking a timeline for transitioning and laying down a framework of how you plan to make the transition as smooth and seamless as possible. Although the task may seem staggering and hard to pull off flawlessly, following the carefully planned steps mentioned below should make it easier.
1. Supply Chain Review
Review your current supply chain location and processes and see what needs to be changed. First and foremost are any essential changes in location that need to be considered, depending on where your current fulfillment center is located and where the new one is based. Order your inventory accordingly as you can neither risk not meeting customer demand nor can you hoard unnecessarily high amounts of inventory and be left with dead stock.
2. Updating the Customers
Make use of your social media platforms and website to give your customer a heads up about the transition and any temporary circumstances that may occur causing shipping delays. Also, send out emails to subscribed accounts. Keeping customers in the loop will mitigate the risk of losing their business.
3. Breaking Off from the Old Order Fulfillment Center
For a smooth transition to managing your operations from the new fulfillment center, it is best to phase out the old one slowly. Make use of the current/old one for fulfilling orders until the contract lasts, meanwhile setting up the new one. Once you’re done onboarding and feel prepared to go live, you can run a clearance sale on the leftover stock before completely shutting it down.
Why Should You Switch to ShipBots Fulfillment?
If you have made up your mind to switch to a new and better third-party logistics provider, then read on to learn why you should consider collaborating with ShipBots. ShipBots has extensive experience catering to thousands of clients, dealing with huge volumes of orders and complex business processes.
We know the ins-and-outs of taking up new clients and providing them a smooth transition as we help them improve their process and receive better outputs. At ShipBots, we make use of analytics to study past trends and make data-driven decisions. We help our clients effectively forecast customer demand and offer eco-friendly shipping solutions at competitive fulfillment pricing. To learn more about our offerings and expertise, contact us here.