Have you recently donned the entrepreneur cloak or are you an experienced player? In any case, you would have realised that the B2B e-commerce sector is showing no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, business to business landscape seems to be changing and ever-evolving. With big players like Amazon Supply and Google Shopping crashing the e-commerce gates, this market has become all the more competitive! Isn’t it?
Nowadays, there is hardly anything that goes inaccessible. Thanks to the internet! All the information a consumer need is just a swipe away! Buyers are more discreet about their needs and prudent about what they want. Even in the B2B e-commerce sector, buyers prefer to spend a lot of time on the internet, doing extensive research before making any purchase decisions. Top of this, the market has become highly competitive. This adds to swaying the consumers from one portal to another. Hence, as a business owner, you need to consider your supply chain efficiency.
If you are trying to control and manage your supply chain efficiency, what are your challenges at hand? It isn’t very difficult to guess. Surely, order processing and logistics are an on-going hassle for you. Well, fulfilment issues are a constant pain for the B2C business owners. However, things are much more complex in the biz to biz sector. You would find very few manufacturers and distributors in this segment who are completely happy with their fulfilment process.
So how do you think the majority of business owners deal with their supply chain management? Well, to minimise disruptions, most of the business owners, prefer to outsource fulfilment-related activities to third-party courier service providers. If you haven’t yet thought about it, then this is the right time! Because your B2B e-commerce business, no matter how small it may currently seem, is eventually going to expand. Soon, you will realise that fulfilment partners are like a lifeline for your organisation. They will help you streamline your fulfilment needs, aid in customer satisfaction and at the same time help you stay competitive in the market.
Most of the shipping partners come with a bundle of advantages. Considering this they will be the helping hand for your business needs. While some fulfilment providers have expertise in offering specialised or specific services, others are a pro in providing integrated solutions that will aid logistics big time. You can also rely on integrated platforms that provide complete outsourcing solutions to handle your entire supply chain. Nowadays most companies in the biz to biz sector are depending on automated platforms. Even if your business has not reached that stage, you can still opt for the same. You will benefit from the support, expertise or technology they provide. Your business would need a lot of effort and resources to reach their scale and expertise if you ever try to establish such a setup on your own.
So let’s see how third party carriers can take your business a notch higher.
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Think! What is that elephant in the room? What is the most important aspect in the entire logistics chain that eats up the majority of your investment? Yes, of course, it is the inventory management and its storage. These are the pain points that most business owners dread. Infrastructure, it’s maintenance and the manpower behind it can consume a large share of your capital. At the same time, it is cumbersome and time-consuming.
Obviously a fulfilment carrier specialises in logistics. While you might have entered the market only recently, the carrier you choose would have been in the industry for a while.
So obviously they have more contacts than you and can pull the strings for a smooth supply chain effortlessly. Wouldn’t they have more extensive network in comparison to your organisation’s supply chain? Yes, chances are that they most likely know the right people for warehouse space and resources to manage your inventory. They can put you in touch with the right people and get the ball rolling for your B2B e-commerce. Also, if you are lucky and your third-party carrier is one of the prominent ones, then you can sit back and relax. In this case, they would have already invested in buildings and systems. For deals involving dedicated facilities, the right career may invest in infrastructure on your behalf. This could be a part of a long-term partnership agreement.
Once you save on the infrastructure cost, a huge burden is put off your shoulders. You can put those savings aside and pass it along to your customers. Saving on warehouse doesn’t just mean saving space cost. From a logistics point of view, it also means that you saved yourself from having a big hole in the pocket. Indirectly, it saves you on staff and overhead costs such as transportation. These costs are part of the overhead you pay but are shared across several clients. As a business owner, you benefit from this broad allocation of costs.
You can use these savings to provide value-added services to your customers. This, in turn, makes your business base stronger and your customer base more loyal. Nothing in the entire supply chain provides your B2B e-commerce business the price advantage as what the benefit of infrastructure cost savings does.
Once your warehousing needs are taken care of, what is the next thing that breaks your back? Well, next comes the shipping costs! Majorly, shipping rates are driven by order volume. Partnership with a third-party carrier helps you access better freight rates.
Most carriers allow you to piggyback on their rates. This means you benefit from the collective shipping volume of the entire warehouse. Other than this, outsourcing logistics also provides you more purchase power when it comes to packing and shipping materials.
If you follow an in-house fulfilment process, chances are that it is dispersed from a location that is convenient for your business. Maybe your facility is not in a location that provides optimal cost and transit time to your clients. Working with a warehouse that is centrally located helps you save on shipping costs and accelerate order deliveries to customers.
Alongside, customer service and returns consume a huge amount of time and cost in the logistics chain. Third-party fulfilment partners provide customer support and efficient return support. So undoubtedly, your business gets improved customer service and better hand at operations.
In-house supply chain management and operations can become burdensome at some point in time. We know, you couldn’t agree any less! With expanding, business comes the need for greater investments, bigger infrastructure and need of advanced technology. In a way, these demands fall on your organisation. Partnership with fulfilment carriers can accommodate your needs as your B2B e-commerce grows.
The greatest benefit of a third-party carrier is its ability to scale space, labour and transportation as per the inventory needs. If you have one of those businesses that have anything to do with specific seasons and festivals, a carrier can be a boon. During the festival season, most businesses have a higher-order ratio. Internal fulfilment typically leads to recruiting and training new staff alongside addressing the pressure of supply chain management.
Fulfilment partners help you enjoy stress-free transitions between industry ups and downs. As your business grows, a logistics carrier can scale up to increase staff and product storage capacity. This eliminates time-consumption and costs involved in hiring recruits.
Also when it comes to territorial expansion, carriers allow your business to scale as they have the resources to seamlessly support growth in the new markets.
In a way, businesses are greatly benefited if they choose to outsource their supply chain management through a third-party carrier. Fulfilment carriers offer an all-in-one solution including assembly, packaging, warehousing and distribution. By saving on resources and outsourcing expertise, biz to biz owners can maximise their profitability.
Apart from this, logistics partners enable high customer service and cost-effective applications. A fully loaded cost study of third-party fulfilment versus internal fulfilment options can enable a company to understand its financial benefits. In the business to the business sector, the third-party partnership provides faster time-to-implement at a lower capital investment than building internal fulfilment facilities.
To capitalise on the advantages of a good supply chain, it is advisable that you have other essentials in place. Where will your suppliers and customers connect with you? Is your web portal consumer-friendly to provide the end users the ease of shopping, returns etc.? In the digital space, your B2B e-commerce website is the first point of contact between you and your customers. Ideally, the first step to an efficient business is having a website that’s easy to access, customer-friendly and appealing.
StoreHippo can help you create the e-commerce website that your wholesale business needs.We know what clicks and what doesn’t, what will make that first impression in your customer’s mind and what will turn them away. Our platform offers a host of features needed to start, run and grow your B2B ecommerce business.
A solid fulfilment strategy promises to make your business a success. Why not consider a reliable shipping aggregator platform that can make this task easier for you? Aggregator platforms such as ShipKaro is an ideal solution for biz to biz entrepreneurs who want to scale their business without taking the pain of setting up inhouse shipping services. ShipKaro offers cost-effective options to boost your supply chain management.