DISTRIBUTION MARKETING WITH A 3PL
Today’s companies are looking to employ the best methods possible for having their products reach consumers quickly and in great condition. What some don’t know is that there’s a phrase for this: distribution marketing. Distribution is a channel of marketing whose primary purpose is to bridge the gap between the producer of a product and the end-user, whether the parties are located in the same community or in different countries (1).
But even for the most well-equipped company, this takes plenty of time, resources and money. When distribution is planned hastily, orders can easily become disorganized and compromise a company’s reputation. This is a risk that companies shouldn’t be willing to take.
That’s where a quality 3PL partner comes in. The right 3PL partner can align your company values with your delivery and storage needs. This is invaluable to today’s burgeoning e-commerce economy that often promises delivery within hours. Expectations run high and warehouses are key players in ensuring a product’s safe and timely delivery to consumers.
Let’s explore the following benefits of partnering with a 3PL for an improved distribution marketing strategy.
Any company willing to grow will inevitably need to upgrade its technology for an improved distribution marketing strategy. Unfortunately, doing so tends to come with an exorbitant price tag.
Fortunately, companies hiring a 3PL partner can reap the benefits of a state-of-the-art warehouse management system (WMS) without paying for a full-blown technology platform themselves (2). A WMS is a type of software program that is used to control how and when inventory is moved. Some 3PLs are even able to connect their WMS with a company’s current technology, displacing the need to replace it (2).
WAREHOUSE AND STOCK MANAGEMENT
A quality 3PL can add helpful changes to benefit your stock distribution. For example, a 3PL can implement cross-docking to reduce the storage time of your stock. Cross-docking means that your material is transferred directly from the arriving vehicle to outbound transportation. Product moves faster because it doesn’t stay in the warehouse (3).
Distribution marketing implements quality organization strategies for your stock and manages the way it’s stored throughout the year. As an example, knowing which of your items are seasonal, a 3PL can organize your items so they can be transported more intuitively throughout the year (3).
You could save even more of your time (and money) by assigning many other tasks to your 3PL. Tasks might include managing stock locations, storage capacities, bulk inventories and more (2).
VALUE ADDED SERVICES
As consumer demands increase, 3PLs are bringing added value to their services by providing complete inventory and order visibility throughout the entire supply chain (2). Everyone benefits by understanding where different items are along the supply chain.
Another warehousing trend that adds value to distribution marketing is final-stage kitting and packaging. This allows your 3PL to postpone decision-making around specific order volumes so you can instruct them to pick and pack items according to any given retailer’s requirements (2).
It’s important to remember that a 3PL can do much more than send products out. In fact, many of them offer services to accommodate customer returns so they don’t land back on a company’s doorstep. This is also known as reverse logistics, an entire leg of the e-commerce supply chain dedicated to handling goods that are undelivered, damaged, malfunctioning, require exchange and more (4). Hiring a quality 3PL to handle your reverse logistics can help keep your customers happy while increasing your profits by recovering assets and reducing unnecessary waste to deliver value to shareholders (4).
The logistics industry will continue to evolve with the growing demands of consumers. As of 2019, 56% of 3PLs said they are rising to this challenge by allowing consumers to order online for home delivery (5). In a world where many customers expect to receive a package mere hours from ordering, 3PLs provide the superior distribution marketing technologies that are now essential to meet that demand.