The global economy is continuing to evolve at a rapid rate, with distant markets now more accessible than ever and the ferocity of competition becoming greater every day. Canadian businesses are experiencing substantial pressure to improve all aspects of their operations in order to remain competitive and gain advantage in these challenging times. To do this, organizations must embrace the reality that there are many opportunities to leverage third-party resources and capabilities to help achieve growth and success within Canada, as well as outside our borders.
One area of any business that presents significant opportunity for improvement is the world of logistics, including:
- transportation and warehousing
- material handling and packing
- order fulfilment
- returns processing
- customer services
While many businesses are proficient at most of these tasks, there will inevitably be ways to redesign logistics processes to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and deliver greater customer satisfaction. By taking a deep-dive in to your logistics operations with the help of a trusted and reputable third-party logistics firm (3PL), you can pinpoint the areas that present the greatest potential ROI by investing in a more effective approach. For many companies, this approach comes in the form of partnering with a 3PL services provider.
There are many advantages that Canadian companies can obtain through 3PL logistics services. For growing businesses that are feeling the stresses of internal resources being stretched thin, 3PL services can provide the relief you need and set the stage for continued growth and expansion in to new markets. Let’s take a look at some of the key advantages that can be seen as a result of leveraging 3PL services, and that are spurring more and more Canadian companies to incorporate them in to their operations.
An Effective Way to Reduce Costs
One of the most common reasons that companies opt to use 3PL services for their logistics instead of internal resources is the reduction of costs and overhead. Owning a fleet of vehicles requires a huge investment of capital, and carries many ongoing costs of operation, including fuel, maintenance, insurance, and licensing. By utilizing 3PL services, your company can free up a large amount of capital and relieve monthly cashflow problems, which can then enable those dollars to be reinvested in other areas of the business, such as product development, customer service, marketing, or human resources.
Flexible and Scalable Warehousing Capacity
Growing companies are all too familiar with the challenges of fixed warehousing capacity. Many times, especially for seasonally-affected businesses, warehouse space alternates between too much and not enough. When warehouse space sits empty and unused, the result is an inefficient use of capital and overhead. When the demand for space exceeds the capacity, the result again is wasted resources as you scramble to rent short-term storage space or end up accumulating overtime hours as employees struggle with cluttered aisles filled with overstock. 3PL services alleviate these problems by providing warehouse capacity that flexes and scales with the demands of your business. That way, when the seasonal rush hits, you can be sure that your business is able to handle the surge effectively.
Improved Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is absolutely critical to the success and longevity of a business, especially when factoring in how integral logistics is to the customer experience for e-commerce companies. E-commerce businesses live and die by their shipping times, freight costs, and packaging quality. No customer wants to have their order delivered late, damaged, or at a massive cost, so it’s absolutely essential for businesses to take every step to achieve the best possible customer experience. 3PL firms help provide greater consistency in packing and shipping, shorten fulfilment times, speed up delivery, and even handle returns processing to help reduce friction in the customer experience and improve their overall satisfaction with their transactions.
Reach Distant Markets
Another way that Canadian companies are seeing significant advantage through 3PL services is in their ability to reach distant or remote markets, both within Canada and internationally. 3PL firms offer the ability to service every corner of the country, helping grow the area that your company can effectively serve from local, to regional or national, and even international. Canadian companies can greatly benefit from the expertise of a 3PL partner in the areas of customs and border regulations, simplifying the process for you and ensuring smooth transition of goods from country to country. By helping expand the reach of your business, 3PL services can be the catalyst for your company to achieve the next level of success and profitability.
It’s no secret that businesses in Canada are faced with a unique set of challenges. We have a population that is highly concentrated along an international border, an unpredictable climate, aggressive competition, and many other factors that affect how we approach logistics. As your business seeks to continue its growth, it’s essential that you evaluate all opportunities for improvement that present themselves. While logistics operations may not be the most glamourous or high-profile aspects of your business, they are some of the most critical processes affecting the survival of your company.
Having a solid, predictable, and reliable set of logistics resources and processes in place can be the difference between success and failure, so partnering with the right 3PL provider could be the best decision you ever make for your company. When looking for a logistics partner, you’re going to want to evaluate them based on several factors. You’ll want to ensure they have national coverage for warehousing and transportation, as well as in-depth experience, and a well-established reputation. When you commit to a 3PL logistics partner, you’re going to want to be sure your trust is well-placed.
If you have questions about 3PL logistics services and how they can help your business achieve new levels of success, contact the team at SCI today.
Our experienced logistics professionals will help guide you through the different opportunities that exist for your business, and help you make smart choices that will set the stage for future growth.