Fulfillment is one of the most challenging parts of running a small business. As your business starts to scale, trying to ‘do it on your own’ could be to your business’s detriment. Outsourcing your fulfillment needs to a third-party logistics service (3PL) can save time and resources as you expand.
What are fulfillment services?
A fulfillment service is a third party logistics company that stores, preps, and ships your orders for you. When you are balancing a growing team, working in small spaces, or feeling overwhelmed, investing in fulfillment services may be a great option. Once items are received, critical business decisions are driven by inventory status and availability. Staying on top of this can be difficult as business owners are often focused more on growth than the intricacies of a logistics flow. 3PL services offer inventory tracking and its progress, while also updating stock constantly and keeping accuracy at the forefront. Challenges come when running a high growth business, so it may be beneficial to offload your fulfillment challenges to a 3PL service.
This strategic and necessary upgrade can result in massive gains for any size business. Fulfillment services like Saltbox work hard to manage receiving, inventory storage, processing, and most importantly shipping.
What to consider when choosing a 3PL
Not all 3PL’s are created equal. From hidden costs for onboarding and membership to pricing based on square footage and inventory, many 3PL services prioritize large ecommerce companies over growing small businesses. Finding the right 3PL service that offers the most support for your business at the most affordable cost is key to growing your small company into a booming enterprise.
Fulfillment requires working hand-in-hand with a dedicated team that you can trust with your inventory. The right partner makes this easy and provides a personalized experience dedicated to your business success. Saltbox is a premier 3PL partner that guarantees customer satisfaction and communicates with appropriate stakeholders as needed. Their services allow you to focus on growth while they focus on securing your logistics and order fulfillment.
Choose a 3PL that has transparent pricing structures. Hidden fees, and order minimums should not stall you from growing your business. When choosing a 3PL try to consider pricing based on storage rates, packing, shipping, and hourly rates designed for special projects. Pricing should not take you for surprise, and all costs should be reasonable and predictable on a monthly basis.
Proximity is a critical component when choosing the right partner. Their location should align with your current business structure. Our recommendation is to find fulfillment services close to major cities, your manufacturer or distributors, and last mile delivery to the local area. A bonus is if you can be close to your fulfillment team to keep your business hands on and allow you to check in on your own inventory.
Don’t let multiple platforms stop you from expanding your business potential. With fulfillment support, you will be able to reach new audiences. Direct to consumer orders can be supported as well and land your business ahead of the curve. 3PLs can support your business with platforms like Etsy and Shopify. With support across multiple channels, the right 3PL service will make managing your logistics simple.
The Bottom Line
Not all 3PL providers are right for your business. It is critical to do sufficient research when looking for the right partner to help you achieve your business goals. Choosing the right 3PL is not the work of a day, and you should feel empowered to make informed decisions after your search. Ask yourself where your business is right now, but more importantly understand where it is headed. Fulfillment services can allow you to focus more on growing your business and less on logistic challenges with a 3PL partner.
If you feel confident about fulfillment services, consider expanding with a 3PL that offers a micro-fulfillment center within a co-warehousing facility. At Saltbox, you can work alongside your micro-fulfillment center in office and warehouse space. Additionally, as your orders and business grow and scale, Saltbox’s solutions will grow with you. The Saltbox difference is having a partner that operates as an extension of your team that understands the challenges of various size operations. Saltbox can help alleviate stress related to logistics services making it easier to run the most important parts of your business.
Saltbox serves as an invaluable resource for small businesses nationally. Saltbox offers key fulfillment services and can benefit your growing business by focusing on personalized needs that many 3PL services overlook. When choosing a 3PL, make sure they are an extension of your business and can provide you with personalized solutions and offerings. No need to build your business on your own. Get started with Saltbox Fulfillment and let’s grow your business together.