Third-party logistics providers (3PLs) are known for their ability to streamline supply chains, help businesses avoid stockouts, and facilitate the funneling of goods from suppliers to consumers. However, 3PL services not only promote overall operational efficiency and continuity, but these solutions can also help create better customer service relations.
If your organization has been exploring ways to elevate its quality of service, the 3PL method may be the answer. 86% of shippers feel that 3PL service enhances customer relationships. Here is everything you need to know.
What Are 3PL Services?
3PL service include a dynamic array of shipping, warehousing, distribution, and reverse logistics (returns processing) functions. Leading 3PL service firms also connect you with innovative technology tools like transportation management systems (TMSs) so that you can access real-time insights about your freight.
The scope of 3PL services can be tailored to the unique needs of your business. By customizing your services, a provider can deliver better value for your organization and enable you to overcome your growth hurdles.
Tap into Cost Savings
3PLs work with a huge network of shippers, distributors, carriers, and warehouses. They use these industry connections to unlock cost savings for your business and reduce your operating expenses. You can use this additional capital to enhance your product, invest in back-end processes, or pass savings along to your customers.
Keep Clients in the Loop
Naturally, clients want you to keep them apprised of the status of their shipments. They want to know the estimated delivery time and if their shipment is on schedule. When you work with a disjointed array of shippers and carriers, it can be nearly impossible to provide real-time updates about freight.
3PL services remedy this issue by using modern TMS technology to track and monitor the status of your shipments. You can use this information to keep your clients in the loop, proactively notify them of delays, and demonstrate that you care about meeting their needs.
An experienced 3PL services provider will be able to systematically examine your distribution strategies and identify opportunities for improvement. They will then make recommendations that will promote better efficiency and operational agility. The end result is a more seamless experience for your customers. They will benefit from better product availability, fewer shortages, and expedited shipping times.
Avoid Shipping Delays
Frequent shipping delays and order cancellations can cause undue friction between you and your customers. If these issues persist for weeks or months on end, you will experience damage to your brand image and find it more difficult to retain clients.
A 3PL firm can help you mitigate shipping delay risks and provide actionable insights into your inventory. You can use this information to guide ordering strategies, guard against stock-outs, and provide customers with more accurate shipping estimates.
Expedite Returns Processing
Despite your best efforts, customers will sometimes need to return or exchange your products. The good news is that you can still salvage these relationships by offering a seamless return process.
The best 3PLs offer reverse logistics, meaning they manage returns processes and can arrange for replacement goods to be sent to your customers. Making the returns and exchange process simple demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction and is a great way of strengthening your brand image.
Should I Use 3PL Services?
As your business grows, managing your supply chain processes in-house will become increasingly complex. Utilizing 3PL services can help you simplify your warehousing, shipping, and inventory management workflows. Additionally, a great third-party logistics partner, like R2, can optimize customer relations and enable you to promote brand loyalty by providing your clients with exceptional service.