As a business owner, one of the challenges you are going to face is balancing all business processes. This is especially true if you are a small business owner still trying to make a name in the highly competitive e-commerce industry. You are going to be taking care of everything from processing orders to shipping them as well as handling inventory. It can get chaotic and will continue to be like that as your business grows.
Let’s say that your business caught the eye of consumers and you have finally steadily built a good consumer base and it is expanding rapidly. While this is a good sign, you might get overwhelmed with fulfilling orders after orders. On top of that, you have to manage other responsibilities such as marketing as well. There will come a time that you need someone to help you balance everything out. No matter whether you are working alone or with a small team,
What is a Third Party Logistics company?
A third-party logistics company or more commonly known as 3PL is an outsourced business that provides services such as but not limited to:
- Inventory management
They are also known as fulfillment centers since they fulfill the orders of an e-commerce retailer. They will store your goods in their warehouse, pack the products that are ordered, and ship them directly to your consumers. This saves you a lot of time as a business owner since there will be someone else who will be taking over the responsibility of managing your products.
Benefits of using a 3pl or fulfillment company
- Saves money and time. Getting the services of a 3pl or fulfillment center is a cost-efficient solution for your business in the long run. While it may entail additional fees for storage fees and such, it is a great investment for businesses that don’t have the resources to store products on their own. You will also have more time in focusing on marketing and promotions to build your business. When you have a reliable partner you can rely on, you don’t have to shoulder the heavier part of your business.
- Efficient inventory management. When the volume of orders increases, managing inventory by yourself can be quite difficult. With the help of a 3pl, there is already a centralized system for receiving products from your supplier and fulfilling orders.
- Efficient distribution. 3pl companies will take care of your products from packing to shipping. They also have connections to freight services and find the most suitable and convenient option for you.
- Experts in the industry. Nobody knows how to become a great business better than those that have been in the industry for a long time already. 3pl companies have honed their skills over the years and have formed connections to guarantee that they will deliver great results to their clients.
How to Choose a Fulfillment Partner
Just like in any other business decision you have to make, you have to be careful when choosing a fulfillment partner. You have to consider several factors before you decide what is suitable for your business. The first thing you have to ask yourself is where do you intend to find one.
If you are sourcing products locally, you can just find fulfillment centers or 3pl companies based in the US. However, if you are sourcing products from foreign countries such as China, you might want to look for providers that are located or, at least, have offices there. Shipping products from China to the US is quite costly, so having a warehouse in China will cut down expenses. That being said, finding a fulfillment partner overseas is risky since you will be relying on another entity based in another country to oversee your supply chain.
To help you with decision-making, we will be discussing which factors you should look for when
looking for the right fulfillment partner in China for your e-commerce business.
Since your potential partner is operating their business abroad, you should find a fulfillment center that has been in the industry for quite some time already. Experienced 3pl companies are usually more efficient when it comes to inventory management and order fulfillment. In case some problems will come up during the whole process, they can fix the issues quickly to avoid disrupting the supply chain.
Another advantage of hiring experienced fulfillment centers is that they have already formed connections with reliable freight services. Because they have a strong relationship with these shipping companies, they can give you discounts or lower the price of shipping.
Your fulfillment partner should offer the basic services (warehousing, inventory management, shipping) and possibly have other services that might be useful for you. Depending on the products you are selling, they should be able to give solutions that cater to your needs. You need to be sure that they can handle your requests.
You should also check how they manage inventory and fulfill orders. Technology allows a seamless process from start to finish. Many 3pl companies have been using inventory software to easily keep track of your stocks in their warehouse. Another great service they should offer is shop integration. Whatever online platform you are using–Amazon, eBay, or Shopify– your fulfillment partner will be able to receive and fulfill orders easily by integrating your shop into their system.
We mentioned before that it is best to go for a fulfillment center or 3pl company that is based in China to save money especially if you are sourcing your products from there. If your business caters to international customers, products can be directly shipped from China to any destination. There is also less risk of product damage when storing goods in a warehouse in China than having them shipped to the US for storage.
Additionally, you should also inquire about their other warehouse locations. Some fulfillment centers have other warehouses in different countries and this is a great way to cut down shipping costs and delivery time even more.
No one wants to work with someone who has a bad reputation. You need to find a reliable partner that can do a great job with fulfilling orders. To protect yourself from fraud or any scams, you have to do in-depth research about your potential fulfillment partners and determine whether their track record is clean. Read reviews online or ask their clients to give you an idea of how they operate and if they are highly capable.
Choosing your fulfillment partner in China is a tedious process but rewarding if done right. If you want your business to succeed in the e-commerce industry, you will need all the help you can get to achieve your goals. Why not go for a one-stop-shop 3pl company to do the work for you?
Streamline Your Supply Chain With Lansil Global
You don’t have to look far for a fulfillment partner– Lansil Global does all the work for you at a price that is well within your budget.
Technology has allowed online sellers to connect with people from all over the world and we understand how important it is to satisfy your customers so we are offering our fulfillment services to you. We store your products in our warehouses in China or US, integrate with your store account on any online platforms, and then connect you with a suitable freight shipping service to deliver your products. Our services are aimed to give you a seamless experience from start to finish and we also offer other useful services to enhance your supply chain.
If you are thinking of availing of our services at Lansil Global, leave us a message or call us at +1 909-310-3030. Streamline your supply chain today!