How Businesses Can Leverage Fulfillment Companies during an Economic Downturn

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Fulfillment Company|How Businesses Can Leverage Fulfillment Companies during an Economic DownturnThe pandemic has sent shockwaves all around the globe at a time when everyone was still reeling from the hangover of welcoming the New Year. People knew about the novel strand of Coronavirus that had been silently creeping into their lives and causing severe damages to their health. But no one ever fathomed in their wildest dreams that the whole world would come to a halt because of this virus. Industries started shutting down, and companies soon got out of business. This led to the economy to tank, and not just in one country but of the entire world. As a means to cut down on expenses and save the slump in the economy, industries started downsizing employees and resorting to alternative means to go about their business in as less money as possible. One of those means that we attempt to talk about in this article is a fulfillment company. Not many of you might be aware of what a fulfillment company is and what its functions are. And that is why we shall clear a bit on that part before discussing how companies have been using the 3PL strategy to manage the economic downturn.

What is a Fulfillment Company?

A Fulfillment Company is also known as a 3PL (third-party logistics) company that tends to take care of certain vital business criteria. This kind of company forms an integral part of the demand-supply chain of any business and also helps a business in its cost-cutting endeavors. Therefore, roping in a 3PL company in distressing times can come in handy for several industries. Now that companies are having a hard time to stay afloat, more and more enterprises are turning towards a fulfillment company to fulfil their basic requirements. In other words, a 3PL company is a resort that businesses can outreach to and get some of their very important functions related to supply chain fulfilled. Now, if you have been wondering about how a 3PL company works, here is what you need to know. A fulfillment company receives inventories from manufacturers and then follows the specific instructions about shipping the products to the consumers.

The Need for a 3PL:

3PL companies have more than just one use, and their demand has skyrocketed now more than ever, in the times of pandemic. However, even under normal circumstances, the role of a 3 Pl company is indispensable. There are mainly three reasons why you mighty require the services of a 3PL company. The first reason why you might need a 3 PL company is if you have more than 20 orders to take care of in a day. It might not be possible for you to handle the bulk on your own, and therefore, the need for a 3PL company becomes imperative. You will also require the services of a 3PL company if you find yourself running out of storage space. Storage spaces can be extremely costly, and in these trying economic times, when you are looking for ways to cut down on costs, 3PL services might just be the way to go. Finally, you might also need a 3PL service if you are expecting a spike in the volumes of your order. You might not have enough resources to handle the volume yourself and therefore, might want some additional help.

Types of 3PLs:

Now that we are in the midst of a pandemic and companies are looking for ways to cut down the expenses to stay afloat, it is important to learn a bit about which 3PL services would come handy to save the situation. There are a number of 3PL services. Full service, Warehousing, Transportation, Distribution, and Shipping and Receiving are some of them. 3PL services are eclectic in their approach and have a myriad of solutions up their sleeves. For instance, a full service will meet your end-to-end requirements and come in as a package, whereas warehousing will only take care of the requirements of the warehouse, meaning, these services would seek to store, ship and return products. To trim down the expenses, you could opt for one of these services and manage the rest on your own. Companies are also laying off employees to opt for a full-service facility from a 3PL company.


These are extraordinary times, and nothing like we have seen or experienced before. Difficult times, therefore, call for innovative measures. Life shall continue to thrive, and people shall learn to live alongside the virus. Businesses shall, therefore, require smart ways to function and with the discussion that followed in this article about a 3PL company, it seems like these services are wise options. Roping in a reliable 3PL company shall not only help a business stay afloat, but also make the supply chain seamless.

How the Rapid Growth of Ecommerce Is Driving Changes in Logistics and Transportation Management

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Ecommerce|How the Rapid Growth of Ecommerce Is Driving Changes in Logistics and Transportation ManagementThe e-commerce industry is fulfilling one of the biggest needs of today’s shoppers: instant gratification. This means that American shoppers are drifting away from traditional brick-and-mortar stores and towards the so-called “Amazon effect”. This is causing the industry to grow by leaps and bounds.

Smart devices and wireless connections are now nearly everywhere and have already contributed immensely to the growth of the e-commerce industry. But, the desire for instant gratification is also forcing logistics and transportation businesses to provide delivery options that are faster, more cost-effective, and convenient as well as offer increased flexibility to the customer.

With the customers demanding faster deliveries, field service businesses are now looking to develop a more time-definite supply chain. They are in a race to conquer the “last-mile” and are seeking the most effective ways to deliver packages of all sizes directly to customers’ homes.

From the size of shipments to the distribution networks and even the way warehouses may need to be built, e-commerce is impacting more than we realize. It is changing the entire logistics industry and the world we live in.

How is Ecommerce Transforming Logistics and Transportation Management?

To maintain customer loyalty and stand out from the crowd, most e-commerce companies are continually trying to offer cheaper and faster shipping or easier returns. This means that logistics companies need to rethink their fulfillment processes.

Transportation Needs Are More Complex

The fulfillment process is well-trodden territory for brick-and-mortar retailers: packages come directly to the stores at predictable intervals. However, for e-commerce businesses, shipping parcels to different locations safely and punctually requires complex planning. Expensive and complex processes, such as reverse logistics and last-mile delivery, mean that logistics businesses are continually adapting their processes to meet customer expectations and stay competitive.

The latest trend in last mile delivery management focuses on the localization of distribution, where the goal is to leverage the existing infrastructure and optimize it through technology. Cloud-based optimization may also help transportation companies handle the fluctuations in demand through better scheduling and planning.

Inventory Planning Has Become Crucial

Online shoppers are becoming increasingly demanding. A recent study found that almost 80% of customers want same-day shipping, while nearly 61% expect their packages to arrive within 1 to 3 hours of placing an order. Many logistics companies are struggling to deliver on this expectation. So, rethinking inventory placement is key to gaining a competitive edge over rivals.

Distribution Centers Are Closer to Customers

With the omnichannel approach to e-commerce gaining ground, there is a major need for distribution centers to be located near urban markets. The proximity to urban areas allows parcels to get delivered faster, which is a key differentiator. Companies with a planned network of strategically placed distribution centers will be better able to handle the scalability issues that the hugely growing e-commerce market is likely to impose on them.

Operation Costs Have to Be Reduced

With customers expecting free shipping and membership schemes that guarantee same day delivery, transportation costs have increased. Route planning tools can help plan and share accurate routes with the drivers to deliver the parcels on time, while ensuring the lowest cost of transportation. In fact, according to a McKinsey report, algorithmic route optimization results in an almost 16% increase in a company’s profit, without compromising on quality.


The rapid growth of the e-commerce industry will demand an equally strong response from the transportation and logistics businesses. To keep up with the increasing demands from e-commerce companies and to meet the expectations of customers, logistics companies will need to invest in warehouses and distribution centers.

Businesses that fail to keep up with the logistics trends will risk losing a competitive edge and falling out of favor with customers. The successful logistics businesses will be those that can quickly find innovative solutions to new problems and are ready to find solutions to more problems the day after that.