You can launch a new ecommerce business, or increase your retail shipping by opening a new online direct to consumer store. The possibilities of success are limitless, especially when you have the right backend solution.
Launching an e-commerce site requires many elements: marketing, products, web development, and so on. Supply chain management is an important aspect of an e-commerce business that runs smoothly. This is something many digital store owners forget when they first plan their business.
After you have launched your business and are a success, your supply chain elements like logistics, warehousing and customs (if shipping over the border) can quickly become your biggest cost and headache. This is especially true if your supply chains are not properly managed. Your customers will end up paying more for less service if they don’t have a reliable network of suppliers and the experience to coordinate them.
You can avoid all of this with a managed 4PL system that will keep your products moving and satisfy your customers while increasing your profit margin.You can have a look at some of the ecommerce business problems and their solutions.
What is 4PL (Fourth Party Logistics Provider)?
A 4pl (fourth party logistics provider) is a high level supply chain management and logistics service provider. All aspects of the supply chain and the client organisation are managed by a 4pl, which also offers a centralised interface. They are a type of business process outsourcing and offer their clients strategic guidance and operational help.
Previous supply chain solutions required you to juggle the management of teams, fleets of trucks, shipping schedules, inventory movement, transport companies, and much more. With 4PL, you can choose to deal with a single company that will handle everything for you.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Get updates on the latest posts and more from High-pe straight to your inbox.
When employing the 1PL method, manufacturers handle their own shipping to retailers, warehouses, or ports or to specific retailers who pick up products directly from the manufacturer.
- Requires a substantial in-house team of professional in shipping logistics
- Needs fleet of vehicles and operators
- Need to manage multiple processes and relationships with external parties simultaneously.
- Inconvenient to compete in a global market
Although manufacturers still manage shipping logistics themselves, they use transportation providers to move their products. This could be a railroad, a delivery service, or an ocean transport firm.
- It has a huge internal team of shipping logistics experts
- There is little sense of the true cost
- Inaccessible to economies of scale
- It is difficult to think strategically
In the form of outsourced businesses that provided transportation, cross-docking, inventory management, packing, and other supply chain services, 3PL added a third party to the conventional “shipper and carrier” model.
- Relying entirely on one supplier
- The supplier is locked into its own services
- No direct access to data
- More of a tactical company than a strategic partner
Why To Choose 4PL for your Ecommerce Business
- Optimize Operations
4PLs can provide a range of options to help businesses run at their best. They manage all activities within the supply chain, no matter who’s moving your cargo. That means, if you’re using multiple logistics companies they will be managed by the 4PL handles them all in addition to the services they offer.
This is also true for online sellers that sell on different markets as well as eCommerce sites. With a 4PL, it is possible to manage the entire fulfillment process inside the identical dashboard regardless of the number of platforms you’re selling your products on.
A 4PL serves as one point of contact that streamlines your processes. With their ability to handle everything from purchasing order management and warehouse storage as well as customs and allocation of carriers They free up time to concentrate more on the other aspects that your company needs to focus for example, generating more sales. Instead of worrying about the best way to store your goods and transport them from point A to B, you can focus your efforts to marketing, product development or other areas.
- Access to Supply Chain Experts
Working with a 4PL gives you access to a team of supply chain specialists, which is one of the best things about it. These businesses are made up of skilled logistics experts who have the knowledge to address any logistical issue. They also have a vast amount of knowledge and experience about the industry, its subsectors, laws, and other topics. They will be available to answer questions and address any issues you may have, and they may assist you in avoiding potentially expensive mistakes.
- Warehouse Management
Your e-commerce business will primarily consist of single-item orders and shipping. Without an effective warehousing system, it’s possible that you’re not allocating space effectively, which could affect a number of operations like receiving, product storage, picking and packing, and inventory tracking. Using technology that enables you to control and monitor warehouse operations from the moment your products are received until they are shipped, 4PL providers can design a comprehensive warehousing and inventory management solution. This solution also includes robust reporting that offers insights into potential areas of improvement.
- Data-Driven Analytics and Insights
A 4PL may be a powerful resource for transforming unstructured data into valuable business intelligence because it keeps track of all the information related to your supply chain. You can keep an eye on things like service levels, staffing costs, and more with customisable reports and KPIs. You may do this to add value across the whole supply chain.
Additionally, a good 4PL keeps your critical data safe. You might not have enough time or money to stay on top of all the most recent cybersecurity dangers as a company. However, 4PLs consistently make investments in their systems to strengthen their security and guarantee the privacy of their clients’ data. And in the event of a catastrophe, it will be up to the 4PL to handle the aftermath and set things right.
- Access to Powerful Technology
4PLs have access to robust, all-encompassing technological systems that let them offer solutions for successfully running their clients’ enterprises. When a firm deploys a core technology system, it frequently places the emphasises on the administrative and financial aspects of running the business. Typically, it lacks strong tools for controlling logistics and transportation operations.
By working with a 4PL, you will gain the advantages of having your logistics and transportation operations controlled by robust technological platforms created especially for that need. Working with a 4PL will help you to guarantee that all of the crucial operations of operating your business are correctly managed, as opposed to buying a system for your firm and hope it would do all you need.
Take Your Business to the Next Level with 4PL
There are several excellent reasons, if you are a business owner, then your company should think about hiring a 4PL. Only a handful of the many advantages of outsourcing all of your logistics-related tasks are shown above. If you’re still unsure, organize a consultation with a 4PL to discuss your requirements and the kinds of solutions they may offer for your business.