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4 Partnering with a 3PL: A Practical Alternative You might be surprised to learn that warehouse expansion isn’t the only answer to capacity concerns. If you don’t have the funds for a full-blown expansion or can’t put together the right team to manage a transition just yet, consider outsourcing fulfillment to a third-party logistics (3PL) partner instead. Turnkey solution – A full-service 3PL warehouse supports you at every stage of fulfillment. You don’t have to manage inventory, handle returns, or worry about shipments getting out the door on time. Leading 3PLs use sophisticated warehouse management system (WMS) software to handle complex operations like ecommerce and omnichannel fulfillment. A 3PL does the heavy lifting for you, giving you more time to focus on increasing revenue, enhancing product quality, and expanding product offerings. Just hand over your inventory and they do the rest. Hidden savings – Because 3PLs pass on volume discounts and already have distribution centers close to your customers, they can reduce shipping costs. Also, the best 3PLs can adjust warehouse allocation based on real-time needs, so you only pay for the space you’re actually using and for the inventory received and picked, packed, and shipped. Additionally, most 3PLs bring years of logistics expertise that can also drive efficiencies in speed to fulfillment and customer unboxing experiences. This eases stress on your cash flow and ties costs to volume, letting you save up for other important investments in the future. Delay the warehouse decision – Outsourcing to a 3PL makes it possible to stay longer in your existing space. You can devote attention to operational and product line upgrades without having to scout for properties, compare designs, manage new construction and renovations, obtain financing, or hire and train a new workforce. Instead, you can sit tight until you’re sure the time is right. Not all 3PLs are created equal, however. Do your homework before selecting a partner. Look for a provider with a strong track record, innovative systems that integrate with your order management systems or shopping carts, ability to scale, proven return on investment, and values that align closely with your own. A 3PL partner can help you turbocharge your fulfillment efficiencies, so you can concentrate on adding product lines, improving customer satisfaction, and building your brand. Time to Expand Your Ecommerce Warehouse? A Guide from Extensiv 9

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