By Ruth Richter • July 19, 2017
Small manufacturers often begin their businesses by shipping their own products, but after a while, as the customer count grows, in-house order fulfillment can become a serious drag on time and resources. Perhaps management has come to the realization that a 3PL is the best option, but they don’t have the time to deal with managing extra paperwork for the supplier. Luckily, there’s a method that Sage 100-run companies are using to save time working with their 3PLs. Learn that method in today’s blog, along with three ways you can tell you are ready for a 3PL.
Once you’ve taken the plunge, you can get fast, direct, friendly answers from 3PL integration experts with two decades of experience. Contact ROI Consulting online or call us at 402-934-2223, ext. 1 to learn more about seamless 3PL integration with your Sage 100 system.
How to Tell if You Need a 3PL
In the age of e-fulfillment, many manufacturers are already feeling the pressure from retailers to provide drop shipping services, which lessens the inventory burden for their trading partners. Savvy manufacturers understand that providing drop shipping can pave the way for increased retail partnerships … but they also understand that drop shipping single products to 1,000 people is a lot harder than bulk shipping pallets of 1,000 products directly to retailers.
The easy way to scale up and meet the challenges of drop shipping is to outsource to a 3PL (third-party logistics company), but if you’re used to shipping everything in house, you may balk at paying another company to take over shipping duties. Here are three ways to tell you should seriously consider a 3PL.
- Business Demands
Growing a business is hard work. Not only does your business need to manufacture a quality product to meet ever-increasing demand, there is the management of labor, that endless pile of government paperwork, serving existing clients—and, of course, for the business to last, a strong effort needs to be given to marketing and sales. Outsourcing drop shipping logistics tasks to a third-party specialist might be the best choice.
- Uneven Sales Cycle
Seasonal products such as American flags, snowboarding goggles, holiday ornaments, or hunting gear come with built-in rush periods—and a sales cycle that is uneven. Paying for a larger warehouse all year in order to handle a larger inventory in a single season, you may want to consider the scalable inventory costs that a 3PL can provide.
- Limited Space
Conversely, the company may manufacture a product that everyone needs year-round, such as plumbing supplies or iPhone cases. The sky’s the limit for your sales potential except that sales can only sell what can be stored in the warehouse. If the company is limiting production counts to fit available square footage, it’s going to be hard to build sustainable growth.
How to Make Business Seamless with a 3PL
Perhaps one (or two) of these three scenarios ring true to your current business, but what’s stopping management is the concern that working with a 3PL will create a time drain in terms of paperwork and data entry. The data entry of orders for the 3PL may create unfortunate issues with shipping accuracy and order processing and it’s not worth the risk damaging hard-won relationships with retailers.
If these are the problems that are holding the company back from expanding business with a 3PL, let ROI be the first to assure you: There’s an automated way to ensure order accuracy with your 3PL and we are here to help!
Ensure Order Accuracy with Your 3PL
The best way to work with a 3PL while maintaining the high levels of accuracy required is to eliminate the need for duplicate data entry entirely. This can be accomplished with 3PL integration, which connects the eCommerce orders placed in Sage 100 with the 3PL.
Customers running Sage 100 have the flexibility to create real-time, bi-directional sync between their eCommerce platform or shopping cart and their ERP, and also to create real-time, bi-directional sync between their ERP and their 3PL’s distribution system.
Automatic sync between these systems mean that:
- Purchase orders are sent to 3PL in real-time, no re-entery
- Tracking from the 3PL is sent instantly in your ERP and back to the ecommerce platform
- Accuracy is maintained across eCommerce, ERP, and 3PL’s systems
Welcome to the world of fast, accurate, hassle-free drop shipping.
Integrate with Your 3PL Using IN-SYNCH from ROI Consulting
Modern companies, like Dynamic Solutions Worldwide and Mountain View Services, Inc. are lowering their stress levels and increasing their sales potential by seamlessly outsourcing drop shipping to 3PLs using IN-SYNCH from ROI Consulting. Conversely, 3PL’s like The Fulfillment House are shipping products of their customers from all over the world with orders received though Sage 100 integration. Maintain your reputation for timely, accurate orders with integration between your 3PL and your Sage 100 system when you contact ROI Consulting online, or call us at 402-934-2223, ext. 1.