The Benefits of 3rd-Party Logistics vs. In-house Fulfillment Operations
Let’s be real, shipping strategies can be exhausting and complex, especially with the nuances of ecommerce.
Inbounding inventory, staffing warehouses, labor, negotiating carrier agreements (for discounted shipping rates), and managing unit economics and total expenses consume so much time that could be better spent focusing on other “revenue-generating” activities that create more value for an ecommerce business.
Ecommerce Order Shipping 101
Ecommerce orders are shipped in one of two ways, in-house warehouses and third-party shipping companies.
Considering 3PLs and in-house facilities have some overlap, but, there are also key differences. 3PLs can provide more flexibility, while keeping things in-house gives you more control over the process. Let’s explore this more in depth!
Owned Warehouses (In-house) Give Total Control, but Also Complete Responsibility
Keeping the end-to-end of order fulfillment in-house gives you total control over your product and shipping logistics. Inbounding inventory, stocking, storing, packing, tracking and shipping are all the responsibilities of the brand themselves.
The entire process is in your hands. Some brands have the means to keep things in-house, having the expertise and resources already. In-house allows more face-to-face oversight, and the ability to conduct audits whenever you want.
But for many other brands, this is exceedingly overwhelming. What happens when an order is returned? What happens when hourly warehouse workers don’t show up? What happens if your mom who’s helping ship out orders is out sick or on vacation? Or something is shipped poorly? Having excellent customer support and strong shipping logistics for the end-to-end fulfillment process is crucial for any successful business.
A key reason for keeping logistics in-house is it seems a lot easier, which makes sense. When a business first launches, success is never guaranteed so who knows how quickly a new venture will scale! And who do you trust more than yourself or family members to help and show up everyday?
That’s why we always recommend on our consultation calls to ensure that there’s value in shipping out your first orders yourself. To learn more about our consultative approach, schedule a 15-minute call with our team here.
By managing the process in-house, brands can understand the nuances and challenges of scaling fulfillment so ask yourself how much do you value your time and where do you want to focus your limited time and energy?
Third-Party Logistics Give Scale & Expertise but Also Requires Trust & Accuracy
Onboarding with a 3PL may feel like treading open waters, but it can lead to experiential, long-term benefits. Partnering with a trusted 3PL can give you peace of mind, rest assured knowing your product is being handled with the utmost care.
There are privileges to partnering with a 3PL. Budgeting for in-house shipping includes maintaining enough infrastructure, complying with state and national labor standards, hiring, training and maintaining staff, software development and licensing, just to name a few. But! When you work with a 3PL, all of that is their concern, not yours. 3PLs are shipping and inventory management champions.
3PLs offer automated order processing through tech integration and personalized support for easy ecommerce shipping. Customers can buy directly from your website and the shipping order goes directly to the 3PL. That saves you time. Additionally, 3PLs maintain a brand’s inventory management, and customer support for shipping, for the end-to-end fulfillment process.
3PLs like Atomix, takes the traditional value of a trusted partner to the next level. Let’s learn how!
Atomix Helps Bridge the Gap between In-House and 3PL Fulfillment
By combining the control, customization and customer service of In-house fulfillment operations with the scale, expertise and freedom of outsourcing fulfillment, ecommerce brands can experience a new type of scale.
Scaling is made possible by creating custom processes with the Atomix Team tailored specifically by our team to your brand and then managed by our unique, dedicated pod model.
Now, brands can experience scaling effortlessly while accessing affordable 2-day delivery with easy software and friendly team!
At Atomix, we know how important trustworthy fulfillment is and we ensure reliable shipping logistics to set your brand for great success. We take the 3PL model one step forward by implementing our exclusive Micro-Pod Platform method. The Micro-Pod platform is purpose-built for independent brands, and designed to help increase their productivity and profitability by eliminating complex processes and costly operations.
Our Micro-Pods are warehouses within warehouses. Each pod has its own Pod Manager incharge of their Pod’s brands. They are responsible for the tracking, shipping, and stocking of your products. By keeping operations within these micro-pods, it gives you more control over your inventory. You get the face-to-face oversight with Atomix, bridging the gap between in-house and 3PL fulfillment services.
Atomix built the Micro-Pod Platform to provide founders and business owners with the resources of a fulfillment partner in addition to a customer experience that prioritizes precision, personalization, and ease of use. You have more control over shipping yourself, without the hassle of warehouse and labor management. At Atomix, we work for you, whatever that may be.