Tag Archives: third party

What is Logistics?

Logistics is a term used to define the process of moving goods from point of origin to point of use, notwithstanding the process of reverse logistics, which describes the process in which finished goods get put back into the Supply Chain to create added value.


What is logistics

History

The definition of Logistics has been a constant for many years, with origins going back to the Military, the term Logistics simply represents moving product from Point A to Point B in the fastest and most cost effective way possible.


Although answering the question, “What is Logistics?” is relatively simple, the processes are far more complex.

  • Tightening of the economy, currency fluctuations, increased competition and reduced margins have been catalysts for companies to take a closer look at their cost centres.
  • Manufacturing, Warehouse Space, Inventory, Technology, Shipping Costs, Packaging, Staff and Material Handling Equipment, all represent a significant cost to a company; but yet are necessary to operate an effective Supply Chain.

3PL Providers

Although many companies continue to manage their own supply chain, more and more companies choose to outsource their supply chain to specialist organizations; these organizations are called 3PL providers.

3PL providers manage inventory, storage and distribution of product. 4PL providers take it a step further; not only do they run inventory, storage and distribution; they also manage Customer Services, Reverse Logistics and other value added services.

Although this is not a new concept, we are starting to see more small to medium sized businesses adopting these options. Whilst it is beneficial for SMEs’ to invest into product development rather then capital expenses; it is also beneficial for SMEs’ to concentrate on sales and marketing rather than storage and distribution.


A Word of Warning

Freight companies are not 3PL providers, holding inventory does not make a freight company a 3P provider, when looking for a 3PL or 4PL provider do your due diligence, take a look at their current clients, take a look at their technology and finally make sure they can scale as your Business scales.


So, the original question “What is Logistics”

What is logistics? Logistics is a term, Supply Chain is the process, whatever you do make sure you can get your product from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible. Here at 3PL we can guarantee the use of a third party will add value to your business.

See more information on third party logistics here…

 

3P Logistics and Black Friday

Are You Ready For Black Friday 2015?

3P Logistics Black Friday

For those who don’t know that Black Friday is this Friday, where have you been? Yes, Black Friday is this Friday, the 27th of November.

Certain analysts predict British shoppers alone will spend up to £1bn on tech, games, clothes and other goods in 24 hours, whereas Visa Europe believes that shoppers will spend up to £1.9bn during the consumer holiday. The consumer holiday being the whole weekend, which ends with Cyber Monday on November 30.

Third party logistics businesses and order fulfilment providers are ready for the sales weekend that starts with Black Friday and ends with Cyber Monday. Here at 3P Logistics, as an E-commerce fulfilment provider, we are in close contact with our partners, especially over this period. The warehouse will be full of products ready to be sold online at discount prices. Stock has been moved to premium locations for ease of packing, in order to cope with the high demand that comes with the largest sales event of the year.

Of course, we’ve all heard of boomerang Thursday also. No? Well, boomerang Thursday is given its name due to the amount of returns of products from customers that businesses like 3PL have to deal with. It’s just as important to be able to process these returns smoothly and efficiently, as it is to get orders out on Black Friday itself.

Amazon have decided to take the sting out of Black Friday and list certain products at marked down prices all week on the run up to Black Friday. 7,000 deals were available from yesterday – five days earlier than the official sale day falls. Customers will be able to get their hands on new offers every 10 minutes for the entire week, with items ranging from the Amazon Kindles to a Withings smart-watch. Retailer’s lightening deals are back. Limited items are available for a short period of time with Prime members having the ability to see these deals before other shoppers.

In the US, expenditure is set to be far higher than that of the UK because of how much it is established as a big sales event. For America Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period, and takes place strategically on the first shopping day after Thanksgiving.

It is clear for everyone to see what the rewards of online retailing actually are, but having to deal with customer demand during the spike that is Black Friday, during the increasingly demanding period that Q4 is, can make it a minefield. Luckily enough, 3P Logistics Ltd are the perfect fit for you online retailers.
Nonetheless, the one big question surrounding Black Friday is whether or not your business can afford not to take into account every essence of making a Black Friday sale. There really is no accounting for the way in which shoppers adapt their spending habits for retail events like this so it’s really important that retailers have every box ticked. Therefore it is good that retailers have grown up recently, most specifically in terms of managing customer expectations.

Tesco are a great example of this. They have taken a completely proactive approach to Black Friday this year and released a message online that warns Black Friday and Christmas shoppers that there will be delays with their next-day click-and-collect services, as one can imagine. It’s not just the smaller online sellers, big supermarkets and other multi-channel retailers have to set expectations within their customers. This is what gives you an edge on the lesser prepared retailers, can you really afford to give THEM the edge?
We will see, this Friday, the 27th November.

Read More about 3P Logistics >>

3P Logistics and Splash About International

3P Logistics Secures Contract Win…

3P Logistics and Splash About International

3P Logistics secures contract win with Splash About International

3P Logistics Limited, a leading provider of value-added logistics solutions and e-fulfilment to the retail sector is pleased to announce that it has signed an 18 month contract with Splash About International Limited.

Splash About International Limited is the leading manufacturer of baby swimming products worldwide. Best known for its multi award winning Happy Nappy range of products which are insisted upon by 99% of swim schools, Splash About has over 25 years of experience in designing and inventing swimming products now taken for granted and used every day in swimming pools all over the world. Splash About Happy Nappies cover over 150’000 baby bottoms in the UK each week and delivers it’s swimming products to trade and consumer customers all over the world.

3P Logistics will provide operational support for Splash About brand from its 75,000 sq ft ecommerce and retail facility in Wigan.  The operation will include the e fulfilment of online consumer and trade orders and subsequent worldwide distribution.

Ian Walker – Managing Director 3P Logistics commented:

“Splash About is an aspirational brand and the market leader in its field. Following an initial 12 month introductory association we worked closely with Splash About to fine tune certain processes and provide a logistics solution that would aid continued expansion. Some 12 months on it is fitting testimony to all involved that we have now cemented a longer term association and we look forward to supporting Splash About on its journey”.  

Bernadette Spofforth – Managing Director Splash About International Limited:

“Splash About is a fast growing business and we needed an agile logistics provider that understands the growth journey we are on and the logistical challenges associated with global expansion. 3P Logistics took the time to get to know our people and in doing so they got to know our business. In awarding the contract to 3P Logistics we now have the supply chain stability and expertise alongside us and see 3PL has an essential extension to our business”.

You can check out Splash About products on their website at http://www.splashabout.com/

Brands Look To Fulfilment Houses…

Brands look to fulfilment houses for distribution of goods to consumers.

As e-commerce is becoming a viable platform for most businesses, an increasing number of brands are looking to fulfilment houses to support the distribution of their goods to consumers according to leading UK fulfilment house 3P Logistics.

Brands are discovering that utilising outsourced warehousing for fulfilment and distribution can increase their profit margins and likely to increase sales.
E-fulfilment, by definition, is what happens between the time the customer buys the product from a webstore and the moment they receive the goods. From a customer perspective, this process reflects how the brand performs. By using specialist fulfilment warehouses, brands can focus on their core business activities, such as planning, marketing, developing product and consumer relations.

Using e-fulfilment can level the playing field for smaller companies and marketplace sellers allowing them to compete with big-named brands.
John Scully – Development Manager at 3P Logistics says

“Using outsourced warehousing and fulfilment, sellers effectively lower their operating costs and scale the business. Brands can leverage our resources without having to directly invest in property, technology, personnel and the time required to set up warehouse. Cash is key in any business and should be used to source goods and take them to market as opposed to taking on a whole range of overheads associated with an in-house solution.”

Identifying Your Target Market

As proud as you are about what you do, the harsh truth is that no one is going to buy your product or service if they don’t understand why they would need it. You must firstly identify who your potential customers are, and only then will you be able to target them with your product or service – the more you know, the more targeted you can be with marketing activity and the faster your business will grow.

3P Logistics Blog
Image source: entremarketing.net/

The concerning fact is that too many businesses choose to skip this step, believing it to be too difficult and time-consuming, and will instead use wider forms of marketing in an attempt to target a larger portion of the market – this will, unfortunately, result in a huge amount of wasted time and resources in chasing customers who are not suited to your business. With a little research there is a wealth of information about your potential customers just waiting to be uncovered. And, once you gain this insight your marketing activity will be driven to the next level, leading to greater engagement and that all important ROI.
But just how do you go about defining your target audience?

Step 1: Figure out who YOU are

Before you can identify what your customers look like, you must first know how you look to them. The more you know about who you are, the easier it will be to identify who you are likely to appeal to. Consider aspects such as:
What is it you sell?
What is your USP?
Where do you serve your customers?
What do you do best?
Can you adapt your services to match customer’s needs?

Step 2: Understand your market

Before you get down to the particular needs and wants of your target audience, you first need to understand the bigger picture. Consider the size and location of your reachable market – the amount of available customers you can realistically compete for -and whether this market is growing or decreasing. Work out your primary competitors in this space and try to identify any segments to establish which are the most attractive to you. Additionally, keep an eye on media channels to determine any political, economic, social or technological trends which may impact either you or your potential customers.

Step 3: Understand your current customers

Understanding your current customers is key to delivering excellent service and repeat business, as well as being the easiest way to figure out who else you should be targeting. Consider:
The demographics of your current customer base
Their current buying habits
Why do they buy from you/use your service?
Why do they need you?

Step 4: Map out what your ideal customer looks like

Now that you understand the market available to you and who you currently sell to, you can begin to map out what your ‘ideal’ customer looks like to you. With this ideal customer in mind, you can create highly targeted marketing campaigns that will, hopefully, deliver that much sought after ROI. Use the data you’ve already gathered to create personas of the difference types of customers you want to attract, including information such as demographics, buying behaviour , and why they would need you, etc.

Identifying and understanding your target market is essential to the long-term success of your business. Knowing who they are and what makes them tick will provide you with a properly defined audience to convey your message to. Ultimately, even the most creative of marketing campaigns is a waste of time if it doesn’t reach the relevant audience that has a demand for your product or services.

It Seems Like Yesterday

WOW! – How time flies?

Yes It`s been a whole year since we entered our shiny new order fulfilment depot in the North West – and my what a whirlwind of a year it’s been!
In the space of just 12 months, our 75,000 square foot warehouse and call centre facility carries over 30,000 unique product lines and over 3.5 million units and the extra space has certainly been put to good use.

3P Logistics Racking

In keeping with the growing demand for outsourced logistics services the depot has seen a wave of investment over the past 12 months which has enabled both existing clients to grow and for new business to join us. Since relocation, three additional phases of racking have been installed catering for over 3000 pallets of storage. In addition, a 3,000 sq ft mezzanine floor was installed and is now in full flow with phase 2 imminent. With an ever increasing demand for pick and pack services our packing stations appear to be breeding and at the last count some 15 workstations were in action.

3P Logistics Packing and Storage

Our 5,000 sq ft of head office space has also undergone some exciting changes, too. In addition to the 8 seat call centre, a web photography studio and staff shop is now housed within and adds real value for our clients.

If 2014 was great then 2015 promises to be a landmark year for everyone associated with 3P Logistics.
If you`ve ever considered outsourcing your warehousing and logistics to a third party then now could be the ideal time.

To find out how an association with 3PL can help support your business on the journey of “good to great”…

Chat to us: 01942 720 077
Email us: enquiries@3p-logistics.co.uk

Why Choose Outsourcing?

With Christmas firmly behind us, the New Year is a great time to re-evaluate your logistical set up in planning for another year of trading. Everything from freight imports, warehousing, end customer delivery and the quality of your logistics is an important factor in the success of your mission as an aspiring retailer.

It’s easy to identify that a smooth-running logistics operation will lead to a more successful business with lower operating costs, higher customer satisfaction and higher profitability. However it’s still very much the case that some business owners find it difficult to consider outsourcing as an option and to pass over such responsibilities to a third party.

3P Logistics In House Solution
Image source: Hostgator

In the first instance, the mind-set barrier of relinquishing control needs to be broken down. For many retailers, outsourcing delivers countless benefits which allow them to focus their efforts on other areas such as selling and merchandising, while leaving the logistics in the hands of a business dedicated solely to this function. The benefits gained by those who outsource enable them to grow quicker, and as a leaner business they are able move ahead of their competitors with greater flexibility, lower cost structures and higher customer satisfaction.

When a company outsources, its retail logistics can become more efficient through the ability to leverage processes, knowledge and expertise from a business whose sole focus is on the logistics process. You can hold your logistics partner completely accountable for the full process from transportation, deliveries, warehousing, installations and aftermarket support, taking off further strain of any pointing fingers – After all, it’s much easier to replace an outsourced vendor who isn’t holding up its standards than it is to replace and entire internal department. Your logistics partner can also respond quickly to daily, weekly and monthly volume demands making for quicker response times to stock fluctuations.

Outsourcing is a great way to take pressure from a business and leave it in the hands of people who are dedicated to the process needed to relieve that pressure, leaving you to focus on the core elements of your business and on its growth and success.

Banish The Post-Christmas Blues!

With the Christmas period now firmly behind us, our waistlines can begin to recover from the over indulging of the holiday season – but can the same be said for your business?

The festive season is known as ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, but spare a thought for the thousands of retailers beavering away behind the scenes to help bring Christmas joy to millions of families up and down the land.
Were you one of the countless online sellers struggling to meet demands and dreading this period due to the added stress and pressure?

If so, this simply does not have to be case.

3P Logistics
Image courtesy: thechickenshavehadenough.blogspot.co.uk/

I have no other choice – DO I?

Make the smartest New Year’s resolution yet by outsourcing your order handling to a third party Order Fulfilment Company and help to reduce the strain. By choosing to outsource to a 3PL, your business will not only benefit from increased scale but you will also manufacture the time to focus on other aspects of the business. The time spent storing and keeping track of stock, packing and posting etc., often detracts away from the critical focal points of sourcing and selling. Outsourcing to an order fulfilment company can often prove to be a cost-effective solution and help give your business the edge in a very competitive world.

How does it work?

-You send your stock to be securely stored and visible on system
-Customers place orders
-Orders are then extracted from your site/marketplace
-Orders are picked and packed to specification
-Timely delivery of orders on the selected service and system confirmation

What are the benefits?

Outsourcing is a great way to free up time, space and to save money. By choosing to outsource to an Order Fulfilment Company, orders are progressed from the point of inquiry right up to point of delivery including after-sales support. With orders being taken care of elsewhere, you can focus on the core elements of your business and on fueling business growth rather than simply “getting through” a working day. Outsourcing order fulfilment can result in lower operational costs which frees up money to be spent more effectively on other elements of your business, and let`s not forget the impact to work/life balance.
The ever-increasing demand for outsourced logistics shows just how beneficial a warehouse and logistics partner can be to your business.

Make outsourcing top of your New Year’s resolution list today and start enjoying the benefits tomorrow.