It can be hard to quantify the value that superior third-party logistics provides to your business. While you see the cost when things go wrong — return shipping, replacement products, dissatisfied customers — it’s not always easy to understand what your 3PL does right.
A superior 3PL services company provides more than excellent eCommerce fulfillment (though that is a critical service). The best 3PL companies offer extra services that add value to your fulfillment operations and allow you to provide better service to your customers. Having a superior third-party logistics partner improves your brand reputation, consumer reviews, and customer loyalty.
Here’s your guide to identifying superior 3rd party logistics services and understanding the value they bring to your eCommerce company.
Three ways that third-party logistics can improve your business
The point of transition from in-house fulfillment to more extensive warehousing operations is difficult for many eCommerce companies. Self-fulfillment gave you complete control, so you could be assured that your orders were handled with the care that you want to show to each customer.
Outsourcing order fulfillment to a 3PL can be challenging because shipping orders is the most direct contact you have with your customers. But investing capital in a bigger warehouse space and hiring additional employees is a risky business decision that could slow your growth.
The key to outsourcing is choosing a superior third-party logistics company. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we understand the value of exceptional logistics. We treat your orders with the same care that we would if they were our own. And we give all our clients care and attention, whether it’s a company that ships thousands of orders a day or a growing enterprise that’s outsourcing fulfillment for the first time.
Here are three ways that 3rd party logistics can improve your fulfillment operations while giving you time to focus on expanding your market share.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we hold our fulfillment to the highest standards. We know that every order and every customer matters, so we pick, pack, and ship with care. We staff our warehouses with experienced fulfillment workers who take pride in error-free fulfillment. Red Stag reinforces that commitment with a bonus structure that rewards staff for accurate pick and pack fulfillment. And, on the rare occasions when we make a mistake, we fix the error and pay you $50 for the trouble.
Our commitment is to deliver your orders as well as you would have done it yourself — or even better. Our clients praise our exceptional record of high-quality and accurate fulfillment.
Professional warehouse management
Most fulfillment company contracts include a shrinkage allowance. That means you pay for the first 2%, or 5%, or even 10% of your inventory that they damage or lose.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we believe that professional warehousing should be better than that. We continuously improve our warehouse management systems to include state-of-the-art warehouse practices. Our contracts don’t have a shrinkage allowance. If any of your products are lost or damaged while in our care, we reimburse you. With superior third-party logistics, you should experience less inventory loss than in your in-house fulfillment operations — because we are the professionals.
Flexible warehousing and fulfillment operations
Buying or leasing a warehouse space burdens your business with fixed costs. You need enough space to accommodate your inventory and staff for peak season. Some of that space sits empty during slower sales periods, costing you money instead of making it.
When you outsource your fulfillment, you get a flexible amount of space. You can store more inventory when your products are selling fast and less when sales go down. At Red Stag Fulfillment, we charge our clients only for the warehouse space they use, down to the cubic foot. And, unlike Amazon FBA, we don’t limit inventory during the busy holiday season.
These are just three of the many reasons that Red Stag Fulfillment clients appreciate the services we provide. Our business isn’t just fulfillment; it’s helping our clients grow their businesses.
What makes a superior 3rd party logistics provider?
Here are some of the qualities to look for when you’re searching for a superior third-party logistics company.
Very low error rate
Every error not only costs your business money — it can also cost you a customer. We aren’t perfect, but Red Stag Fulfillment strives for perfection. As a result, we are an industry leader in order accuracy and error-free fulfillment.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we don’t just talk about our superior service — we guarantee it. If we make a mistake in picking, packing, or shipping an order, we pay you $50. If we ship an order late or don’t move your stock from the loading dock in two business days, we pay you $50. Red Stag’s fulfillment guarantees are one of the reasons our clients say we are the best fulfillment company they have ever partnered with.
Exceptional customer service
When you work with Red Stag Fulfillment, you get your own customer service rep. If you have a problem or a question, you don’t call an impersonal call center far from the warehouse. Instead, you talk to a representative who knows your business and can work directly with other staff members to address your issue. We respond to every customer service inquiry within a few hours and resolve it as quickly as possible.
These are just three hallmarks of above-average third-party logistics. We’ve created a fulfillment company questionnaire that you can use to ask all the right questions as you consider which 3PL is right for your business.
Outsourced logistics services that add value to your supply chain
Fulfillment can be more than warehousing products and packing orders into boxes. Custom 3PL services add value that your customers will appreciate. In addition, these services make it easier for you to run your business more efficiently.
Most eCommerce companies conduct business through multiple sales channels. Each marketplace or eCommerce platform has different rules and requirements that you have to follow. Omnichannel fulfillment brings all your sales channels together into one dashboard. Your customers get a seamless ordering and delivery experience, no matter where they place an order. And your inventory management is more straightforward because all your stock is stored together.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, our dashboard comes with dozens of eCommerce integrations. And we offer custom integrations so that you can bring your entire operations together in one dashboard.
Kitting is grouping products together under a new SKU. Many online retailers use kitting to increase sales volume or offer services such as subscription boxes. However, not all 3PLs offer kitting services.
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we have witnessed firsthand the value of kitting to our clients’ fulfillment operations. Clients have used our kitting services to bundle and unbundle products and cut costs through package consolidation. Through kitting, we were able to help one client resolve a factory error that left a component out of the product package without sending all their products back to the factory.
Shipping zones and distance add to your order delivery time, but your fulfillment doesn’t have to. Red Stag Fulfillment offers same-day fulfillment with order cutoffs at 3:00 pm or 5:00 pm Eastern Time. And we back our same-day fulfillment with our fulfillment guarantees: If we don’t ship your order on time, we pay you $50.
Specialized fulfillment services
At Red Stag Fulfillment, we provide specialized fulfillment services for bulky, heavy, and oversized products. We are experts in keeping shipping costs as low as possible for heavy products and reducing dimensional weight charges. Our warehouses are designed to accommodate oversized boxes, and we stock heavy-duty packaging to ship bulky items safely. Red Stag is consistently voted the best fulfillment company for bulky, large, and high-value products.
What special fulfillment services does your eCommerce company need? Working with a 3PL that has expertise in handling products like yours is a great way to improve your order fulfillment.
Superior third-party logistics and the total value of your fulfillment
Red Stag Fulfillment was founded on an understanding of the value of superior third-party fulfillment. The entrepreneurs who started the company had a bad experience when they first outsourced their logistics, and they saw how inadequate fulfillment could hurt their business.
When you evaluate 3PL services, it’s essential to consider the total value of your fulfillment. Total value is not just the cost of each fulfillment service or the amount on your monthly invoice. Your fulfillment value includes:
- The reduced cost of goods sold because your shrinkage is zero.
- Improved inventory planning and demand forecasting because you have better inventory accuracy and visibility.
- The money you save on new customer acquisition. When you retain customers because of fast and accurate order delivery, you have a loyal customer base on which to build a strong and growing enterprise.
Those savings don’t show up on your monthly bill, and they may seem intangible. But the benefits to your business of superior third-party logistics are real. You’ll see them on your balance sheet and in your profit and loss statement at the end of the year. The results of top-notch fulfillment will appear in your glowing customer reviews and high ratings.
If you’re ready to add value to your supply chain with superior 3rd party logistics, Red Stag Fulfillment is here to help — give us a call anytime.
More about superior 3rd party logistics:
- How Smart Fulfillment Partners Support ECommerce Growth
- Do You Really Need to Own Your Warehouse?
- The Complete Guide to Onboarding with a New Logistics Company