And just like that, some of the most beloved brands in the world began to fall apart. You don’t have to look very far to find examples of companies — large and small, beloved and little-known — to see examples of what happens when you can’t handle logistics. Companies like Adidas, Toys R Us and many others, have all had their supply chain challenges.
Supply Chain Digest did a deep-dive on the subject several years back when Amazon.com was selling RAZR phones and still trying to perfect its supply chain processes. Most of the companies profiled in the article survived. Others weren’t as lucky.
And while a lot has changed since then, one thing has remained the same: For a business to be successful, it must master fulfillment, especially if it wants to compete in the ever-growing e-commerce arena.
Failing to develop a reliable fulfillment strategy can be disastrous, as one coffee company found out after they appeared on Good Morning America. They basked in the glory of meteoric sales, and after about 30 days, everything fell apart. They couldn’t keep up with the orders that poured in after getting national recognition. Ultimately, they lacked the critical component of having their business logistics and supply chain management figured out beforehand, likely thinking it could all be managed in-house.
There are plenty of other examples of fulfillment failures that we could highlight, but why wallow? You’re too busy working to grow your business, and that means you’re thinking about the future, looking for solutions and wondering what the new year will bring.
Here’s a look at what you can expect in the world of fulfillment in 2020 as well as some fulfillment tips for making it a great year.
More companies will turn to 3PL
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term 3PL, it stands for “third-party logistics,” and it’s a vast industry that’s getting bigger by the day.
3PLs involve teams of experts that can manage all of the logistics and distribution of your product. You make it, and your 3PL partner makes sure it gets to the customer on time and within budget.
The rapid growth of e-commerce has helped the 3PL industry reach new heights. According to Allied Market Research, the global 3PL market will be worth more than $1.5 trillion by 2025. (Yes, that’s “trillion” with a “T.”)
Why are companies turning to 3PLs for their logistics needs? The answer is simple: Logistics is complicated, and companies that are good at manufacturing products aren’t always the best at warehousing and fulfillment, supply chain management, managing domestic and international freight services, and all of the other logistical details.
One of the best fulfillment tips you can follow is to find a 3PL partner of your own.
Analytics will always be important
Whoever said, “Knowledge is power” probably worked in logistics.
According to the 2020 23rd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study, which was recently released by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, everyone wants useful data about their supply chain processes.
Producers and 3PL providers both say they want to know with precision what’s happening along the supply chain, why it’s happening, what will happen, and what needs to be done to keep everything humming along efficiently and effectively.
In other words, analytics will always be crucial. The challenge is to identify 3PL providers that have best-in-class logistics technology, accurate data collection, and the ability to analyze and trend the data to improve processes.
3PLs will continue to create win-win situations
Why are so many businesses turning to 3PL partnerships for their fulfillment needs? They work.
According to the Third-Party Logistics Study, 93 percent of companies that hire 3PLs say they’ve experienced positive results. The number of 3PLs that enjoy rewarding relationships is even higher.
If you’d like more information, or to begin a 3PL partnership of your own, connect with us today.