Once upon a time, there were fewer manufacturing entities in the world, and shipping companies clamored for relationships with each and every business. During this long-ago time, your business may have thrived in an appease-the-business-no-matter-the-size world. However, global manufacturing and supply chain processes have undergone a significant shift: the number of manufacturers and businesses in need of shipping has grown beyond shippers’ maximum threshold. Fortunately, Third-Party Logistics Service Providers (3PLs) offer a solution to this problem to help in gaining efficiency in transportation management. In fact, 3PLs restore many of the benefits that existed in the shipping world of yesteryear. If your business has considered outsourcing or you are new to the idea, we at Cerasis, a 3PL or more aptly, a transportation management provider, will show you how a 3pL can provide significant benefits you in these 8 key ways.
Face the fact: money is the heart and soul of your business. While you may have a goal or mission statement, your business cannot operate without an influx of money, and some of this money should be spent with caution. By outsourcing to a transportation management provider, you can reduce your in-house expenses on shipping processes.
A Transportation Management Provider Have the Bargaining Chips
Remember our mention of shippers trying to vie for all the businesses? Well, most carriers focus their attention on the entities capable of bringing in the most business, and some may have actually terminated contracts with smaller businesses who did not bring enough capital. A transportation management provider operates at the request of hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller businesses, organizations, and co-ops. This gives 3PLs the same bargaining power, if not more, than the largest companies on the planet, such as Amazon or Walmart.
Flexibility in Business Processes
Outsourcing your shipping processes to a transportation management provider gives you increased flexibility in overseeing your daily operations. You have standards for completing aspects of manufacturing and order fulfillment, and these operations hang on the satisfaction of your customers. When an issue arises, your customers suffer, and you need to know someone else will back you up with a viable, expert-level solution. By taking care of potential issues, you can adjust your business output at your own pace.
Modern civilization demands business transparency, especially with continuing growth and hype of government tax breaks and assistance remaining a primary voter concern. 3PLs have processes in place to handle this concern as many of their operations have no bearing on or possess the potential to disrupt proprietary processes or information of your business, so huge amounts of information about their activities can be released to the public. This completely eliminates the risk to your business while showing you have nothing to hide, except your innovative formula for a new, eco-friendly cleaning product or piece of technology.
Improved Employee Satisfaction
Some might argue outsourcing leads to employee frustrations, thoughts of “mutiny,” distrust among employees, and lost jobs; however, outsourcing a process like transportation to a transportation management provider does not result in the termination of your employees. Instead, it allows your employees to return to the processes and duties that were defined in their basic job description. Consider how an employee might react when he or she discovers he or she must also oversee data entry during the order fulfillment process. Will the employee feel appreciated? No. Will the employee grow to resent his or her employer? Probably. By eliminating the need to expand your employees’ duties to include shipping processes, you can use outsourcing to improve employee morale.
Analysis of Big Data
Since a transportation management provider has a strong amount of leverage against shipping carriers, they control how quickly your product arrives to your customers. This occurs through the analysis of big data, collected via transportation management systems, identification of inefficiencies in the order fulfillment processes, and the integration of the TMS into other logistics systems and databases. Ultimately, a transportation management provider exists as a macrocosm of something you may have already completed: your implementation of a new ERP system.
Access to Technology
Speaking of technology….Technology is changing rapidly. And using software that doesn’t keep up with the latest innovations can put your company behind its competitors. Implementing new product updates can be costly—and sometimes they do not fit your needs. You could hope that you hire he right development team or purchase an off the shelf TMS that doesn’t come with services as well, but realistically, you are quite challenged to find that unique talent as that takes time, training, and more money. When a transportation management provider has an army of developers who are continually improving technology (like we did at Cerasis when we launched our LTL e-commerce solution or the soon to be widely available reverse logistics application within our TMS, the Cerasis Rater), you as the shipper are the benefit of years of experience matched with technological expertise who are taking the biggest issues the marketplace is facing and applying innovative solutions.
Focus on the Core of the Business
If you were asked to define your business, what would you want to include first? Would you speak about how you send your merchandise to customers, or would you want to say what you produce? Obviously, you would want to speak about your product or services, not how your business gets it to customers. Your products and services are what your customer wants. The shipping side of business is an extraneous fact that comes with business processes and several relationships to maintain, and as such, you do not have to be concerned with it. You should be focusing on developing new products or improving existing products to increase your own return on investment. Outsourcing your shipping needs to a transportation management provider restores your focus. It gives you the time and energy to focus on your products. It also frees up employee duties in other shipping-related aspects of your company to focus on what your company is about: your products!
What is your goal for your business? Growth and success, right? Expanding your business and achieving a stronger hold of your market means you will need to please more customers, produce more products, and ensure you meet any possible government regulations or public criticisms. A transportation management provider enables you to achieve lasting, expansive results, and Cerasis holds the key to your business’s future success. Can you really afford to continue worrying about shipping concerns yourself?