To be successful as a wholesale distributor today, founders and CEOs need to become experts at everything. Yet, being so isn’t realistic, nor should it be.
As you grow and expand your wholesale distribution business, it often makes sense to outsource warehousing, order fulfillment and shipping to a third-party company, otherwise known as 3PL (Third Party Logistics).
The right 3PL partner can help you integrate shipping and logistics into your own tech stack, which also helps you to provide a superior customer experience as you grow your business and expand your geographical footprint.
By allowing 3PL partners to take the reins on shipping and logistics, that will free you up to optimize and manage other important priorities, such as customer support, a regional sales strategy and negotiating contracts with suppliers.
This approach allows wholesale distribution owners to focus on what their strengths are, whether that’s industry expertise, branding or sales, for example.
One of the ways to keep customers happy today is by providing a post-order experience that is automated and keeps your customers up to date on every milestone. Without a 3PL, this is no easy feat. Today’s B2B buyers expect a consumer-grade buying experience. For example, today’s B2B buyers want:
An order summary emailed to them immediately after a purchase
To be notified when the order is packaged and prepared for delivery
To know the carrier used and tracking number
Real-time delivery updates via their preferred method, such as email or text message
To know what day the package is likely to be delivered
A notification when the package is delivered
An easy way to return the order, usually by including a preprinted return label
In order to deliver the aforementioned experience when a product ships, a set of custom workflows, integrations and technologies are needed to make it happen automatically with each shipment.
If you were to attempt this in-house, you’ll need to integrate systems and applications to ensure data integrity. Today, this ability and skill set are high in demand and often difficult to find. Unless you are regularly integrating business systems, this too can be a challenge for growing and even established wholesale distributors.
In addition to all of the above, the rules of the shipping and logistics game are constantly changing. By outsourcing your shipping and logistics needs to the experts, it becomes their job to ensure that your customers are on the receiving end of best-in-class order fulfillment and tracking. Wholesale distribution software for small business can help with all of this.