Today’s business models demand a much leaner, flexible and scalable approach that very much points towards the outsourcing of ALL non-core activities. Every modern day business needs partners and 2019 will see a further shift towards outsourcing becoming best practice for most business types.
SO WHAT IS OUTSOURCING?
In its simplest form, outsourcing is the use of a third party specialist to deliver a particular business function or process. Outsourcing has been around for decades and surprisingly enough counts as the second largest aggregate employer in the UK today. The UK’s single biggest advocate and contributor of outsourcing is none other than the UK government.
IN-HOUSE OPERATIONS VS. OUTSOURCED OPERATIONS?
The good news – there is no right or wrong answer here as decisions are governed by a wide range of factors including people, timing, finances etc. We start by simply understanding the key drivers for change and the perceived benefits to outsourcing. Adopting such an impartial and consultative approach ensures the right guidance is offered and the appropriate outcome is achieved.
A decision to outsource can be determined by many factors. A number of common elements can act as the tipping point for outsourcing including:
- Lack of time
- Lack of expertise
- Lease renewal
- Convert assets to cash
- Insufficient capacity
- International expansion
- Inferior service levels
- Reduced operating costs.
Outsourcing should not be seen as an opportunity to shift a problem onto someone else or to purely to save money. Value over cost should always be a firm consideration, whilst shared gain will be become far more common place in the years to come.
GAIN A COMPETITIVE EDGE
The use of sector specialists can help to realise greater efficiencies and innovation with a delicate balance between enhanced service and reduced costs. Value added logistics providers not only provide the basic warehousing and distribution services you would normally expect but also provide on demand access to a comprehensive “sweet shop” of support services including:
- Product refurbishment
- Call centre operations
- Customer services
- Web photography
- Digital marketing
- Demand planning
- Freight forwarding
- Customs support.
FOCUS ON YOUR CORE ACTIVITIES
If you’re a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer then warehousing and transportation is neither your core business nor your area of expertise. In partnering with the right provider you unlock the ability to focus on what is core to your business and you could well unblock the blockages in the bargain.
OUTSOURCE TO GAIN CONTROL
There is a common misgiving that outsourcing various aspects of your business relinquishes control. In today’s world of web based applications and business intelligence plus the extra time gained through outsourcing places you firmly in the driving seat. Instead of being the oarsman you instantly become the captain whilst the business reports supplied help to form a dashboard of key metrics relevant to your business.
The last few years have seen a growing trend of businesses opting to outsource their warehousing and logistics operations. Traditionally it is the warehouse that governs the location of the head office and without the headache of a warehouse the choice of location becomes far more flexible. 3P Logistics have many clients across the retail, wholesale and manufacturing sectors that use our third party warehouses in tandem with a standalone head office and this works to great effect. Our purposeful order fulfilment centres are equipped to provide an extensive range of support services including freight management, warehouse storage, b2b trade order fulfilment, b2c e-commerce fulfilment and client services.
Ian Walker – Founder & MD 3P Logistics Limited