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Category Archives: Fulfillment Solution

Everything You Need to Know about Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

When it comes to third-party logistics (3PL), there are a lot of misconceptions floating around. Some people think that third-party logistics is only for large businesses, or that it’s too expensive for small businesses to use. Others may not even know what third-party logistics is or how a 3PL provider could benefit their business.

In this post, we’ll break down everything you need to know about third-party logistics and explain how it works. We’ll also provide information on how to find the best third-party logistics provider for your business needs.

What Exactly Is Third-Party Logistics?

A third-party logistics provider is a company that provides outsourced logistics services to customers. Typically, a 3PL will manage the entire supply chain for a customer, from procurement and manufacturing through to distribution and delivery. 3PL providers can also provide value-added services such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and returns processing.

They have the experience and expertise to develop customized solutions that meet the specific needs of their clients. As a result, businesses that partner with a 3PL provider can focus on their core competencies and leave the logistics to the experts.

In recent years, the rise of e-commerce has led to an increase in demand for 3PL services, as businesses look to outsource their logistics operations to specialist providers. The global 3PL market is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, as more businesses look to improve their supply chain efficiency and meet the needs of their customers.

What Is the Difference between a 3PL, 2PL, 4PL and Freight Forwarder?

As mentioned above, a third-party logistics provider is a company that provides outsourced logistics services to business such as transportation, warehousing, and order fulfilment. This allows businesses to focus on other more important business tasks while leaving the logistical side of the business to the experts.

A freight forwarder, on the other hand, is a company that specializes in the transportation of goods. A freight forwarder does not typically offer other logistical services, such as warehousing or order fulfilment.

A 2PL is a company that provides logistical services but does not own its own fleet of vehicles or warehouses.

Meanwhile a 4PL is a company that provides end-to-end logistics solutions, from transportation to warehousing to order fulfilment. 4PL providers typically manage multiple 3PL providers, allowing them to offer a comprehensive solution to their clients.

What Are the Benefits of a 3PL Provider?

While each company has its own unique needs, there are several key benefits that 3PL providers can provide your business.

Cost Savings

One of the biggest advantages of using a 3PL provider is cost savings. By outsourcing logistics to a third party, companies can avoid the high costs of maintaining their own transportation and warehouse infrastructure. In addition, 3PL providers often have economies of scale that allow them to provide services at a lower cost than companies could achieve on their own.

Expertise

Third-party logistics providers can bring expertise and experience to your company. Many 3PL providers have extensive knowledge of the logistics industry and can offer insights on how to improve your supply chain. They can also help you implement new technologies or processes that will make your operation more efficient.

Flexibility

Another key benefit of 3PL provider is increased flexibility. Companies that use third-party logistics providers can quickly adjust their supply chain in response to changes in demand. This can be crucial in industries with rapidly changing customer needs, such as fashion or consumer electronics. 3PL providers can help companies expand into new markets or add new product lines without needing to make major investments in logistics.

Inventory Management

Inventory management is essential for any business that wants to maintain a healthy bottom line. However, managing inventory can be a time-consuming and complex task. 3PL providers specialize in managing inventory and can provide businesses with the tools and resources they need to streamline their operations. In addition, 3PL providers often have relationships with manufacturers and suppliers, which can help to reduce costs.

Business-to-Business (B2B) Fulfillment

A third-party logistics provider can offer many benefits to a business, but one of the most significant is business-to-business (B2B) fulfillment. B2B fulfillment is the process of handling and shipping orders from one business to another. A 3PL provider can manage this process from start to finish, including warehousing, order processing, and shipping. This can be a valuable service for businesses that do not have the resources or expertise to manage their own fulfillment operations.

Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Fulfillment

Another key benefit of using a 3PL provider is business-to-consumer (B2C) fulfillment. In today’s fast-paced world, consumers expect to receive their orders quickly and efficiently. By partnering with a 3PL provider, businesses can take advantage of their expertise and resources to ensure that orders are fulfilled quickly and accurately. As a result, businesses can provide a better customer experience and build loyalty among their customers.

Value-Added Services

Value-added services can include things like inventory management, order fulfillment, and even returns processing. By partnering with a 3PL provider, businesses can offload some of the responsibility for these tasks, freeing up their time and resources to focus on other areas of their business. In today’s competitive marketplace, the ability to focus on your core competencies is more important than ever before. As such, the value-added services offered by 3PL providers are a key benefit that businesses should consider when making their shipping and logistics decisions.

Why Choose APS Fulfillment, Inc. for Your Third-Party Logistics Needs?

Overall, there are many benefits that third-party logistics providers can offer.

At APS Fulfillment, Inc., we offer full-service e-commerce fulfillment out of Miami that includes state-of-the-art warehouse management software (WMS). We make inventory management and goods tracking easy and simple, even during these complicated times and supply chain shortages. We’ll also support your business and automate the warehousing, prepping, shipping, picking, and packing of your orders!

Get in touch with us today and one of our consultants will tailor a fulfillment plan that will help grow your business. To book a consultation, call (954) 582-7450 or email [email protected].

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Walmart Fulfillment Services: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

walmart fulfillment servicesWhen it comes to choosing a fulfillment partner, businesses have a lot of different options. Amazon, Walmart, and other big names in the e-commerce space offer their own fulfillment services, which can be tempting for businesses looking for a fast and easy solution. However, before deciding, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each option. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Walmart fulfillment services.

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Why Use Third-Party Order Fulfillment for eBay Businesses?

ebay fulfillmentOne of the originators of online buying and selling, eBay is an e-commerce pioneer that’s still quite popular today. But just because it’s an older e-commerce platform doesn’t mean it’s allergic to innovation and improvement. And one such improvement many businesses are taking advantage of these days is eBay order fulfillment through third-party logistics (3PL) providers.

Outsourcing your fulfillment can solve many of your eBay order fulfillment challenges, as well as provide a number of benefits. Let’s take a look at some of those benefits of working with a third party for eBay order fulfillment.

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How Different Packaging Materials Can Help Boost Customer Retention

Different Packaging Materials Customers care about packaging materials. While it may not be immediately obvious just how impactful the right packaging material can be, consider this: Ipsos found that 72% of Americans said that a product’s packaging often influences their purchasing decisions.

That means that if your business isn’t offering the right packaging material types, you may be losing out on a sale. What’s more, 55% of online shoppers said that they would return to a website if their purchase came in custom packaging, highlighting the importance of packaging customization in customer retention.

All that said, let’s take a look at a variety of packaging material types, and what each material is best suited for.

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What Are the Top E-Commerce Fulfillment Challenges & How Can You Overcome Them?

eCommerce Fulfillment ServicesWhen it comes to e-commerce fulfillment services, the margins can be razor-thin, and the difference between profit and loss on a given delivery can come down to a few simple decisions.

E-commerce fulfillment companies often face many challenges. Understanding those challenges and how best to overcome them is one of the fastest ways to boost profits at your business. As a top e-commerce fulfillment center, we know what it takes to maximize profits and how to avoid common pitfalls.

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What Is Amazon Fulfillment by Merchant & How Does It Work?

Amazon FBMIn order to fully participate in the e-commerce market, businesses need to have access to Amazon and its enormous customer base. But when it comes to Amazon fulfillment, there are a number of choices that you as a business owner needs to make.

The first is whether you’re looking for a vendor central arrangement (Amazon buys directly from you) or seller central one (you list your products on Amazon, but still own your inventory). Next, you need to determine if you want Amazon FBM (fulfillment by merchant) or FBA (fulfillment by Amazon).

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Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) vs. Fulfillment by Merchant (FBM)

Fulfillment by AmazonAs the e-commerce market grows larger and larger with each passing year, the options for fulfillment are increasing in tandem. But which fulfillment option makes the most sense (e.g., saves the most money) for your business?

Perhaps the two most common order fulfillment options right now can be broadly categorized as fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and fulfillment by merchant (FBM).

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Direct-to-Consumer Fulfillment Options in Florida

Direct To Customer FulfillmentBrick-and-mortar retail stores were already on the way out before COVID-19 made in-person interactions dangerous—we’ve only just seen the adoption of online shopping and direct-to-consumer fulfillment proliferate. But as your business grows with these new e-commerce opportunities, you’ll need a proven direct-to-consumer shipping company to keep up with demand, allowing you to easily scale to meet your growing customer base.

There are few things the online customer prizes more than shipping speed and reliability. Those two factors alone can make the difference between a brand-loyal lifetime customer or them taking their business elsewhere.

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When to Outsource Subscription Box Fulfillment

Subscription box services are extremely popular, especially now during the pandemic. Customers enjoy receiving monthly deliveries of exclusive merchandise ranging from skincare products to tech gear to reading material and clothing. If your business offers subscription box services or other e-commerce deliveries, chances are that you’ve definitely seen some major growth in the last few months.

And if you haven’t had the opportunity to expand just yet, there will likely come a time in the near future when meeting customer demand and delivering orders on time becomes a challenge. As your customer base grows and as you attempt to provide more products, things can get overwhelming very quickly. So, how can you keep up with the demand and when should you outsource your subscription box fulfillment service? Here are some issues and challenges that signify now may be the right time to outsource your subscription box service.

Packaging Issues

Subscription box companies must deliver on their promise to provide quality products with every box they send out. Traditional packaging materials and boxes are not the way to do this. Most subscription box services will have customized packaging which add to the experience for customers when they receive them.

If you are having a difficult time customizing your packaging, it may be time to seek help from a third-party logistics provider. They can provide you with custom sticker designs and other external packaging options that reflect your brand and the products you offer. They will also ensure that you have all the internal packaging options that best suit the product you send. If you have fragile items, they can provide you with the right packing materials to secure your shipments.

Growth of Business

One thing that is inevitable with a successful subscription box company is growth. If you notice that customer orders are coming in faster than you can fill them, you put yourself in a dangerous position. During an increase in sales you will not have time to hire and train people while also building systems for your business. If you do not get a handle on the increased sales volume and fulfillment, you will not be able to meet customer demand and could lose business. If you work in the online world, you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If you do not deliver products on time, your customer will likely leave you for a competitor.

When you work with a subscription box fulfillment company, you can manage growth. They will handle the logistics of your subscription box business while you focus on your sales and marketing goals.

Volume Order Fluctuations

Depending on your goals, you may deliver subscription boxes weekly, biweekly, or monthly. In the periods between your delivery cycle, there are slow times where you can focus on other business priorities such as driving more sales.

With a 3PL partner, you will be working with a team that understands your business model. They can accommodate you by holding stock in their warehouse while waiting for your fulfillment date. This serves as an advantage instead of you paying for warehousing space and labour to keep up with high order volumes for only a week out of each month. With a 3PL provider you can have a more scalable model that provides you with the ability to meet peak order requirements without any permanent overhead costs.

Limited Delivery Time

Part of your strategy with subscription box marketing is to create enticement on social media for the delivery of your next box. To manage expectations and meet customer expectations, you must ensure that your boxes arrive in subscribers’ mailboxes around the same date.

Subscription box fulfillment companies can help you process your orders strategically so that you can meet these expectations. They will send out your orders based on customer location to ensure the delivery time is just right. With their established networks they can narrow the delivery window, ensuring that your customers get their boxes around the same time every month.

Service Issues

If you are too busy managing the fulfillment of your orders, you might end up skipping customer returns and customer service inquiries. If you cannot manage fulfillment and customer service, you will sink the reputation of your brand. Customers that are dissatisfied with brands are quick to go online and write scathing reviews about your company. If dozens of customers are complaining about you on social media, you will see a drop in your business.

With the help of a 3PL provider, you can better manage customer returns, customer service, and fulfillment. While you connect on a personal level with your customers, they will provide a high level of service that boosts your reputation.

Logistics Problems & Quality

As your subscription box service grows, you will need to scale your business to manage the effects of growth. The first place you will notice a dramatic change is with inventory. Effective inventory control is necessary to manage your logistics process properly. However, it is expensive and time-consuming to develop a software solution on your own. As a result, most small- to medium-sized businesses resort to licensing expensive software solutions to manage inventory.

A 3PL provider provides you instant access to their robust software systems. These systems can help you manage inventory and you may even access valuable technologies such as automation and robotics. By outsourcing to a 3PL partner, you can get the most out of their existing systems without breaking the bank. Their cloud-based solutions allow you to access vital inventory information from your laptop or mobile device anywhere in the world. You can observe what is happening with your inventory in real-time and check stock levels at multiple warehouses across the country. With their help you can get a bird’s eye view of your entire logistics process.

Contact APS Fulfillment, Inc. for Subscription Service

If you’re looking to scale your subscription box business to keep up with growth, there are many benefits to working with a 3PL provider. As previously explained, they manage everything from inventory management to shipping and can help you scale your business.

APS Fulfillment, Inc. is ready to help you by providing safe, secure, and clean warehousing, full-service CRM integration, a prime location near the port in Fort Lauderdale, and partnerships with all major delivery companies. We’ll help you reach your customers and grow your business to its fullest potential. Our services include e-commerce fulfillment, product fulfillment, returns processing, and more.

Contact us at 954-582-7450 or email [email protected] today to book a consultation and learn more about our customized 3PL services and how we can help you.

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Why Retailers Need More Fulfillment Space to Fill Orders During and After the Pandemic

ecommerce fulfillment servicesThe United States has been one of the hardest hit countries around the world when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic. Social and physical distancing guidelines encourage more and more people to stay home as much as possible and only go out to do essential errands. That means more and more people are placing online orders. As a result, business owners have been forced to rethink and reformulate their existing product fulfillment and distribution strategies to better meet the growing consumer demands.

To avoid having to deal with various physical distancing and mask-wearing guidelines or store regulations, more people are ordering their products online from the comfort of their own homes.

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