A common question amongst people new to supply chain management and logistics is ‘What is 3PL?’ So, please allow me to explain.
A 3PL (also known as third party logisitics) is a firm that provides full logistical support and supply chain management for their customers, but specialise in warehousing and fulfilment services on a catered scale for its customers’ needs.
However, whilst every 3PL company is different, Bray Solutions offer the full package from receipt and storage of products, order fulfilment, order despatch through various carrier partners, through to other value added services such as cyclical/annual stock-taking and reporting.
Hertz and Alfredsson (2003) describe four categories of 3PL providers:
- Standard 3PL Provider: this is the most basic form of a 3PL provider. They would perform activities such as, pick and pack, warehousing, and distribution (business) – the most basic functions of logistics. For a majority of these firms, the 3PL function is not their main activity.
- Service Developer: this type of 3PL provider will offer their customers advanced value-added services such as: tracking and tracing, cross-docking, specific packaging, or providing a unique security system. A solid IT foundation and a focus on economies of scale and scope will enable this type of 3PL provider to perform these types of tasks.
- The Customer Adapter: this type of 3PL provider comes in at the request of the customer and essentially takes over complete control of the company’s logistics activities. The 3PL provider improves the logistics dramatically, but does not develop a new service. The customer base for this type of 3PL provider is typically quite small.
- The Customer Developer: this is the highest level that a 3PL provider can attain with respect to its processes and activities. This occurs when the 3PL provider integrates itself with the customer and takes over their entire logistics function. These providers will have few customers, but will perform extensive and detailed tasks for them.
SOURCE: Hertz, Susanne; Monica Alfredsson Strategic development of third party logistic providers (February 2003) – INDUSTRIAL MARKETING MANAGEMENT
You’ll be surprised how much money you can save with the switch to a 3PL provider. You no longer have the facility and staffing overheads or equipment costs, and time spent on posting and packing can now be used to focus on what you do best – marketing your business and selling your product.
The team at Bray Solutions will work with you to create that cost-effective and efficient plan for the size and scale of your business.
With a state of the art warehouse management system that tracks and audits the history of each SKU stored and despatched, as well as automating daily and weekly management reports, you are kept in the loop every step of the way.