As a business owner or manager, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities. You have to find and manage customers, supervise employees’ tasks, monitor the performance of your marketing strategies, and attend business meetings. And above all, there’s a logistic function which is one of the backbones of the success of your business.
Doing all the tasks of your business can be overwhelming. Some areas of the company might be more demanding and time-consuming. And if you aren’t careful, you might compromise some areas for others. Therefore, your company will barely experience growth. Fortunately, you can outsource some functions and find more time to manage your business. One of these is to outsource your logistics.
An Overview Of Logistics Outsourcing
Logistics outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third-party company to handle your various business supply chain functions. These include processing orders, handling materials, warehousing, inventory management, packaging, and transporting finished goods to customers.
The service provider you hire to manage your business supply chain department is known as a third-party logistics (3PL) firm. Such a company will use its warehouse to provide you with all the supply chain or logistics services. It can handle all the supply chain issues, including logistics planning, procurement, and customer service.
Pros Of Logistics Outsourcing
When it comes to logistics outsourcing, some business owners are reluctant to work with third-party companies. Little did they know they were losing a great opportunity to enhance operational efficiencies and company growth. There are several benefits of logistics outsourcing. They include the following:
- It Allows You To Save Money
Saving money is one of the practical ways to ensure your business runs well for the foreseeable future. It allows you to reduce costs while increasing your profits. Logistics outsourcing provides cost-effective solutions to manage your supply chain function or department.
For instance, you won’t have to run your own warehouse, which means you don’t have to worry about the cost of managing a warehouse, including electricity bills, monthly rental charges, and maintenance fees. The outsourced 3PL company will use its warehouse to manage your inventory. In the long run, this helps you to save huge sums of money.
In addition, logistics outsourcing eliminates the need to employ a full in-house for your supply chain department. The company will use its team members to manage the warehouse. This helps reduce your labor expenses. Therefore, if your goal is to reduce costs in your business, one of the ways to achieve that is through logistics outsourcing.
- It Gives Quick Access To Technology
Another benefit of logistics outsourcing is having quick access to new technology. Technology is evolving every second, and you should be able to quickly integrate these developments into your business systems for success. A 3PL will advise and guide you to ensure you’re using modern technologies efficiently.
One of the technologies a 3PL company may assist you in implementing is the Internet of Things (IoT), which is becoming increasingly popular in the supply chain. This technology embeds software, sensors, and other technologies in physical objects that will help you collect data on client demands and interests. As such, you can optimize your actual output and increase the quality of your products.
- It Provides Scalable Solutions
Logistics outsourcing may allow you to respond quickly to clients’ demands. If you manage your logistics internally, you might have many issues with your supply chain function. For example, you might not have enough labor force and machinery to handle increased demand during the holiday season. Besides, you may experience problems when you want to scale down after product demand has reduced drastically.
Logistics services are designed to respond efficiently to clients’ demands. They can scale up or down according to your demand. It can also help you expand into new markets, including international targets.
Cons Of Logistics Outsourcing
Although logistics outsourcing has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Here are the two major disadvantages of going in this direction.
- The Transfer Of Responsibility
One of the big disadvantages of logistics outsourcing is the transfer of responsibility. The hired 3PL will be the one communicating with customers in most cases. And if its staff doesn’t effectively communicate, your business will be liable for poor customer service. Therefore, do due diligence when selecting a logistics partner to ensure you find a reputable one with excellent staff.
- The Risk Of Company Information Leak
When you outsource any of your business functions, you need to understand that there’s always a risk of critical information leaks. The outsourced logistic firm will deal with your business and customers’ confidential information. Your business can suffer financial loss if such information gets leaked to unauthorized people. Therefore, before you sign a deal with a 3PL, it’s important to confirm they’ll maintain your confidentiality.
If you want to manage your supply chain function effectively, you may hire a 3PL. It’ll handle all your logistic tasks as you focus on managing your business. As discussed in this article, logistics outsourcing has benefits and drawbacks. However, the pros are more than the cons. When you decide to partner with a 3PL, make you’ll find the most suitable service provider for your business needs.