Contract logistics is outsourcing key resource management functions to a third-party firm. Contract logistics firms handle various activities including planning and designing distribution systems, designing strategic processes for production, designing and maintaining facilities, Warehousing, delivering and collecting payments, handling inventory, and providing certain elements of customer support. A contract logistics provider typically works as a team to deliver effective results with minimal investment and little or no initial outlay of capital. This can prove to be very cost-effective for companies as they only pay for the services they use. Contract logistics outsourcing offers several advantages for businesses looking to improve their logistics and customer service processes.
In order for a business to effectively use contract logistic companies, they need to have in-house expertise in a number of critical areas. These include planning and designing supply chains which involves establishing a shipping and transportation infrastructure to ensure products reach their customers on time. The overall objective is to keep merchandise in storage as well as on hand to meet customer demands. Contract logistics also involves ensuring that inventory management is done correctly so that companies are able to estimate future needs and adjust their production and storage capacity as needed.
Managing the supply chain also requires that a contract:
contract logistics businesses implement three phases have the skills to monitor and report upon the health of the entire chain. This includes the flow of goods from the manufacturer, through the retail chain, and to the final customer. It also means that contracts between the company and the supplier must be monitored and enforced rigorously. The failure of a supply chain to meet delivery deadlines or exceed allocated amounts can result in heavy penalties and fines. This is why a contract logistics company may sometimes require their clients to submit reports and maintenance checks on a regular basis.
When it comes to warehousing, contract logistics businesses implement three phases in the fulfillment process. The first phase involves receiving and storing incoming orders. The second phase involves storing these orders until an appropriate warehouse is built for them. And finally, the third phase involves transporting the items to the appropriate warehouse locations. At this point, the services of a 3PL come into play.
When an order is received, a contract logistics service provider takes possession of it and begins the three-step inventory process. Once the inventory reaches the fulfillment center, the service provider sends it to the manufacturer who places the order for the goods to be manufactured. Once that is complete, the order is transferred to the distribution company that places the products for sale. All three phases of this supply chain take place in close proximity to one another.
Fulfillment center provides warehousing facilities:
The fulfillment center provides warehousing facilities and transportation facilities to meet the logistics services rendered. In some cases, warehouses are rented out for the long term. Other times, a contract logistics company will build and own its own facility. In either case, the company needs access to the proper resources such as trucks, forklifts, special racks for storing perishable items, and refrigeration or heating equipment. It also needs a staff of skilled labor to man the warehouse, run the equipment and maintain the proper inventory levels.
Shipping and delivery management is an area where contract logistics companies differ from traditional shipping and freight brokerage firms. The shipping and delivery management field includes an entire category of specialists including air freight, trucking brokers, freight airlines, and freight forwarders. Rather than hire employees specifically for these positions, the contract logistics services agency uses their expertise to provide on-the-job training and on how best to utilize their specialized knowledge to best benefit the client. Some examples of specialists who might find work with a contract logistics company include shipping and delivery management specialist, air freight specialist, trucking brokers, and freight forwarders. The company might have special expertise in certain areas, so contact them to find out.
For many companies, the order fulfillment process is too difficult and time-consuming to hire additional personnel to handle. So, they contract with a company like ShipBob, which is an innovator and manufacturer of custom-designed shipping and warehouse logistics carriers as well as fulfillment systems. They make available to companies the technology that allows for the automation of the order fulfillment process. Their specialty is in providing solutions that make it possible to keep track of product trends, optimize freight and shipping costs, and increase revenues. By taking advantage of this innovative technology, you can reduce the cost of your supply chain and increase sales.