A common question amongst people new to supply chain management and logistics is ‘What is 3PL?’ So, please allow me to explain.
What is 3PL? A 3PL (also known as third party logistics) is a firm that provides full logistical support and supply chain management for their customers but specialises in warehousing and fulfilment services.
However, while every 3PL company is different, Bray Solutions offer the full package. Receipt and storage of products, order fulfilment, order dispatch 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 core functions of logistics. For a majority of these firms, the 3PL service is not their primary activity.
- Service Developer: they offer their customers advanced value-added services such as tracking and tracing, cross-docking, specific packaging, or providing a unique security system. Solid IT foundation and a focus on economies of scale will enable this 3PL provider to perform these tasks.
- The Customer Adapter: this 3PL provider comes in at the request of the client and mostly 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 concerning 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 costs, and time spent posting and packing you can now focus on what you do best – marketing your business and selling your product.
The team at Bray Solutions will create a cost-effective and efficient plan for the size and scale of your business.
With WMS that tracks the history of each SKU stored and dispatched, as well as automating daily and weekly management reports, you are kept in the loop.