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How to Determine When Your Company Is Ready for a Third-Party Logistics Provider like Whitebox

It’s part of every successful ecommerce company’s trajectory: outgrowing your in-house capabilities and considering a third-party logistics solution like Whitebox.

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Few companies can manage nationwide or international warehousing and distribution on their own, and even fewer have relationships and expertise with Amazon fulfillment.

The same goes for handling regulatory compliance and meeting increasingly complex logistical needs. Without help, your business risks being unable to fulfill customers’ orders efficiently and cost-effectively. Let us help you determine if your company is ready for a third-party logistic provider like Whitebox.

Third-Party Logistics

Third-party logistics (often known as 3PL or TPL) describes the outsourcing of a business’s warehousing and distribution services. 3PL companies can handle everything from inventory management to shipping and final-mile deliveries.

And they’re more popular than ever. Grand View Research reports that the 3PL market was valued at over $830 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% from 2020 to 2027.

If your competitors use a 3PL, which the data shows they do, don’t get left behind. Let Whitebox help you make the transition from seller fulfillment to Whitebox fulfillment easily and efficiently.

Partnering with a third-party logistics company like Whitebox is a critical point in the life cycle of most eCommerce businesses, now more than ever. The challenge lies in identifying the right moment to bring in the experts and choosing a 3PL that can grow with your brand. 

The Role of a Third-Party Logistics Provider in Ecommerce Business 

A 3PL company like Whitebox can handle all shipping and fulfillment services for your ecommerce business.

We can oversee all logistics, from warehousing to delivery, and we can help you achieve perfect order fulfillment by offering expert inventory forecasting, picking, packaging, and freight forwarding solutions.

Your logistics costs will be lower as a result. In fact, a 2019 report by Korn Ferry found that approximately 72% of 3PL users reduced their expenses by contracting out to a third-party logistics provider. Let us help you save unnecessary costs and headaches.

Without the need to oversee your own fulfillment centers, warehousing, and shipping services, you can focus on what you do best: running your business. You can devote less time and expense to matching the speed and efficiency of competitors’ logistics. That frees you up to invest in what makes you unique, like your products, marketing, and customer service.

Why Your Brand Needs a Third-Party Logistics Provider

If your company has grown beyond the capabilities of your own distribution center or office, you may already be feeling the pain of delayed order fulfillment, inventory overload, and reduced customer satisfaction. With that in mind, here are a few reasons your company should consider distribution and warehouse outsourcing through Whitebox.

  • Expert knowledge. Our distribution solutions team is composed of comprises experts in distribution, shipping, and product warehousing. They know how to move goods as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible. They also bring inventory management smarts to the table, ensuring you stock the right amount of product to stay profitable.
  • Entrance into new markets. Many businesses find themselves limited by the geographic locations of their warehouses. In contrast, our company has built access to our own fulfillment network of warehouses that can reach over 98% of the US population in 2-days.and product fulfillment centers in many major markets. That opens up new opportunities for you.
  • An end to distribution pain points. Workflow issues, warehouse management woes, communication breakdowns, and pricing errors are just a few of the pain points businesses commonly experience. Whitebox’s third-party warehouse services are better prepared to handle these challenges with tracking software, workforce management systems, and smart warehousing.
  • Vertical Advertising & Logistics Integration. For Whitebox customers, we also offer a Marketplace Advertising Agency to grow topline sales. Brands can enlist fulfillment partners to manage your eCommerce or wholesale supply, and marketing agencies to execute your marketplace sales strategy, but if these two critical pieces of your business aren’t integrated to work in lockstep, you can expect disconnected operations, lost opportunities, and what’s worse, a poor customer experience.

Vertical integration is a proven strategy for success. With a single partner to manage fulfillment and sales, you can capitalize on new opportunities as they arise in real-time, discover greater efficiencies in moving and selling, and glean insights to continually improve both sides of the business. Furthermore, vertical integration enables brands to pass on lower costs to customers and increase sales.

When Your Brand Should Partner with a Third-Party Logistics Provider

Despite the advantages, not all brands need to outsource their logistics. For others, bringing on a 3PL provider like Whitebox is a critical next step. Below is how to determine what’s right for you.

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What situations call for a third-party logistics provider?

If your ecommerce business is struggling to handle your growing logistical needs, it’s time to consider warehouse outsourcing. In these situations, you should probably call our experts:

  • Your market size is restricted to your existing warehouse locations, making it hard to expand.
  • Distribution problems are lowering your perfect order-fulfillment rate.
  • You need specific services such as just-in-time delivery or kitting but don’t want the expense of developing and implementing these services in house.
  • You need room to expand but don’t want the cost and risk of acquiring more fulfillment warehouses.
  • You lack the resources and expertise to manage inventory strategically.
  • Your current logistics expenses are too high, making growth unsustainable.
  • Market demand for your product varies, but you lack the flexibility to scale up and down in response to demand.

When is a third-party logistics provider unnecessary?

Some companies are less likely to benefit from partnering with a 3PL company. In these situations, handling your own warehousing and distribution makes more sense:

  • You need complete control of your storage and distribution processes.
  • You cannot risk sharing proprietary shipping and ordering information with a distribution warehouse.
  • You determine that third-party shipping is currently more costly than your in-house solution.
  • Your industry requires highly specific, highly regulated needs, such as temperature-controlled delivery.
  • Your industry is highly localized, and you have no need to expand your market base.

Choose The Right Warehousing and Distribution Service

Use the following pointers to find the perfect 3PL company for your needs.

  • Understand what fulfillment services your 3PL provider offers. Depending on your current business needs and future plans for growth, you may be best served by a full-service 3PL provider like Whitebox. Companies like ours do it all: Direct-to-Consumer, drop-shipping, B2B, retail replenishment, marketplace prep, and—for brands focused on Amazon—Fulfilled by Amazon and Seller Fulfilled Prime.
  • Ask what technology tools and insights your 3PL provider offers. Insights created in the warehousing and distribution processes can help brands with future decisions related to inventory planning, order tracking, and more. Make sure your 3PL provider is tech-enabled, like Whitebox, with tools such as a warehouse management system to provide the data you need for forecasting and other needs. Be sure to find out if such tools work with your internal systems. Ours most likely do, since Whitebox offers modern API and tech capabilities.
  • Make sure your 3PL provider can handle your geographic shipping coverage. Your 3PL provider should be ready to grow with you and help you optimize your shipping logistics. Finding a partner with multiple fulfillment centers will enable you to store products closer to your end customers and save on shipping—one of the largest ecommerce expenses. We just expanded our warehousing network, meaning we can readily meet your growing business needs!
  • Know your 3PL provider’s success metrics. It’s key to find a provider that will deliver the quality service your brand is known for. Always ask about your provider’s on-time and order-accuracy rates. Whitebox’s success rate has always been and remains at the top of the industry. Ask us about how much our ecommerce partners love us!
  • Find out if your 3PL provider offers customization. Providers offer different levels of flexibility when it comes to customization. Whether you need custom-branded packaging or special handling processes, it’s essential to find a provider that meets your specifications.

Besides understanding your options, it’s critical to perform due diligence when choosing a third-party logistics provider.

Check how long the service has been in business, whether they have long-term clients with needs similar to your own, and what kind of expertise they can bring to your unique situation. Your 3PL provider should be able to not only meet your current logistical needs but partner with you to optimize and grow your business.

 

We can help you determine whether your company is ready to outsource its warehousing and distribution needs.

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Whitebox Health Report

The Whitebox Health Report is a great first step in optimizing your listings. Our in-depth report gathers data from your listings, keywords search data, and competitive listings to score your listing and provide data-backed recommendations on opportunities and optimizations.

Listing Quality Check
Search Term Insights
Customer Review Analysis
Competitor and Market Analysis

Get an in-depth analysis of each of your listings by ASIN, along with a Whitebox Opportunity Score to help you prioritize the listings to focus on first. 

  • EBC Inclusion
  • Image & Video Evaluation 
  • Product Description Opportunity 
  • Node Count Opportunity 

Understand where your listings are potentially missing out on sales because they aren’t indexing for search. See how often your product indexes for a given keyword.

Know how the amount and quality of your reviews are trending over time.

  • Year-over-year review counts 
  • Month-over-month new review additions by product 
  • Average Review Rating by month and by product

Grasp the market share potential and gain insights into your direct competitor’s marketplace performance.

  • Total Products Being Sold by Brand 
  • Monthly Order by Brand 
  • Monthly Revenue by Brand

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