Outsourcing cargo handling and order fulfilment can be very useful for small and medium-sized enterprises, saving both time and money. But there are risks to be mitigated when adding a third party to your supply chain. After posting on the pros of pick and pack outsourcing last week, today we look at some of the checks you should carry out to help you choose a reliable pick and pack company.
Pick and pack outsourcing
Picking and packing is a process whereby goods arriving into the warehouse are entered into the stock inventory and warehouse management system. Components are then picked out according to a customer order and repackaged ready for shipping direct to your customers. Outsourcing your pick and pack can make your business’s supply chain more cost and time-efficient but here are a few things you should check for before using third-party logistics (3PL):
1. Risk of damage or errors
To reduce the risk of damage or errors in picking and packing, always use experienced freight and logistics suppliers with a reliable reputation. (At International Forwarding, for example, we offer 30 years’ experience, and a reputation for dependability and flexibility. Find out more about us…)
2. Security and efficiency
Check that your supplier’s picker packers are dedicated warehouse staff who are fully trained in all aspects of warehouse storage and cargo handling. Ask what security measures are in place at the storage facility.
3. Fast turnarounds
Pick and pack is usually done by hand so check there won’t be a bottleneck in the service. Check the staffing level is sufficient to manage high demands with seasonal goods.
4. Stay in control
You can minimise the risks of third-party logistics through the use of warehouse technology and stock management systems to keep track of your orders. At IFL, we can provide you with a computerised stock control / inventory database, for example.
5. When things go wrong…
Something will go wrong eventually but when it does, be sure you have a dedicated point of contact who will try to solve the problem as quickly as possible. This is when personalised customer service counts for a lot more than an automated phone line. At International Forwarding, you’ll always find a friendly voice on the other end of the line; we pride ourselves on performance and personal service.
Find out more
If you’re thinking of outsourcing all or part of your cargo handling, talk to IFL today. We will do our best to find a solution to suit your business, no matter how complicated. We like a challenge! You can read more about International Forwarding’s pick and pack services here. To receive a competitive quotation on your cargo handling or find out about our reasonable storage rates, please do get in touch.