Being a small business owner is a little like plate spinning. With a pole on each arm, leg, elbow, chin, and straight on your eye, the key is to keep your focus riveted on one plate at a time. You can spend a lifetime perfecting the skill of plate-spinning.
Or you can just recruit another pair of hands.
Any business owner can attest that supply chain management is a full-time job; however, when you already have two or three full-time jobs, outsourcing your supply chain management can help you save time, mitigate costs, and rescue your sanity.
Third-party logistics companies (3PLs) have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources primed exclusively for supply chain management. Aside from industry experience, 3PLs can provide valuable automation tools to optimize your supply chain.
A Transportation Management System (TMS) is one such tool. With the help of a trained integration specialist, a TMS can automate coordination with your manufacturing and distribution centers for maximum efficiency and accuracy.
In addition to automation, 3PLs can also aid in reducing the administrative demands of a supply chain. In an industry that often adheres to Murphy’s Law, supply chain disruptions can be a regular occurrence. Rather than waste the day away on logistics, a 3PL can tend to those issues, leaving you more time to expand your business.
3PLs also offer consolidated billing. Rather than chase multiple invoices in different locations, you can save time by referencing only one document.
Outsourcing your supply chain can be one of the easiest ways to cut significant expenses.
3PLs will often offer auditing services that identify discrepancies between the distribution center and carrier billing charges. This practice reduces unnecessary charges caused by mistakes and promotes accurate payments to all parties.
If you have a 3PL that goes the extra mile, some services will even provide periodic account audits to review opportunities for potential savings with their clients.
3PLs are also privy to the latest in industry freight rates. Good supply chain management services will pass on this information to clients to assist them in maintaining informed pricing structures.
Of course, these services are all offered in addition to maintaining your supply chain, helping you maximize your savings. If these benefits are compounded with bundled saving plans, you’ll be able to save even more.
Outsourcing your supply chain is one the kindest things you can do for your mental well-being. When the burden of getting your products to your customers is taken from you, you can devote all your attention to making the best products possible. 3PLs can help in assuming the responsibilities that require the most time.
As one example, standard operating procedures (SOPs) are often followed haphazardly due to turnover and frequent retraining. A 3PL can institute standardized SOPs and encourage compliance for smoother operations. Not only will you have saved time by outsourcing the management of your SOPs, but the resulting organization can also facilitate residual benefits.
Most 3PLs will also offer analytic services, including data cleansing. By maintaining clean data, you’ll save on expenses and time by mitigating errors. Most of all, you’ll prevent headaches caused by errors resulting in poor customer service.
Outsourcing your supply chain can save you time, money, and stress. By implementing automation, calling on industry expertise, and relying on a 3PL to maintain an organized process flow, you can elevate your business to unprecedented heights. Or at least a better quality of life.
The England Logistics’ Supply Chain Management (SCM) division is dedicated to assisting shippers with all aspects of their logistical needs. SCM utilizes tools that offer enhanced visibility, efficiency, and profitability. Our team is dedicated to providing the best service and creating a customized strategy for your company’s needs. Reducing costs while increasing profitability is our goal, and we’ll work hard to see your business grow.