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  • #996110
    JLA
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    Hi All,

    New Member here.
    Just reaching out to the forums to get some feedback. I am in the process of setting up a Third Party Logistics/Order Fulfillment company that will cater for smaller online businesses, based out of Melbourne.

    The feedback I am asking for is issues you have had with other Order Fulfillment/3PL companies. (no names needed). Working for a 3PL currently I see frustration that our company causes its Clients. Our new idea would allow us to be more personal and give people flexibility.

    We want to be translucent at the beginning with our pricing structure and our abilities. We don’t want to promise the world if we cant give it to you.

    I thank everyone in advance for there replies.

    Thanks

    JLA

    #1205434
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 3,488
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    JLA, post: 244205, member: 91358 wrote:
    Hi All,

    New Member here.
    Just reaching out to the forums to get some feedback. I am in the process of setting up a Third Party Logistics/Order Fulfillment company that will cater for smaller online businesses, based out of Melbourne.

    The feedback I am asking for is issues you have had with other Order Fulfillment/3PL companies. (no names needed). Working for a 3PL currently I see frustration that our company causes its Clients. Our new idea would allow us to be more personal and give people flexibility.

    We want to be translucent at the beginning with our pricing structure and our abilities. We don’t want to promise the world if we cant give it to you.

    I thank everyone in advance for there replies.

    Thanks

    JLA
    Hi And Welcome to the Forums. It is great to have you!

    Thank you for joining Flying Solo and posting today.

    We have some 3PL providers here who have been down the same road – I am sure you will find a lot of support here.

    Good luck with your new business.

    #1205435
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
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    Welcome JLA,

    Interesting times…. in this space not a lot of the guys/gals in here use 3PL – although there are a couple.

    Ou may already know most of the pitfalls customers experience, this your venture although I would like to say a few things you may or may not have considered:
    – don’t underestimate your costs when pricing
    – ensure you have some decent capital to cover quiet times
    – be patient – 3PL is quite fickle in both clients expectations of both service and price
    – be approachable (sound like this is a tick)

    Not sure how many bites you will get as not an abundance of users in here, but I will follow with interest as well.

    Good luck and look forward to hearing about your journey.

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1205436
    aaron.miller
    Member
    • Total posts: 117
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    I have investigated using a 3pl several times but never went thru with it.
    Issues I faced:
    No one was upfront with the pricing, you had to fill out forms and then wait for someone to email or call you, some companies took weeks to respond.
    Really early order cut off times like 11am. Surely you would be smart enough to locate the 3pl right beside Australia post and or startracks depot and be big enough to negotiate with the courier a late pickup of around 6-6:30pm.
    Issues integrating the 3pl systems with the website.

    #1205437
    ShipIT
    Member
    • Total posts: 7
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    Hello

    I think technology is key if you can provide and automated process for merchants where they can auto send through their order information, carry out address validation and then you provide tracking information back to them along with branded notifications via sms and email to their customers it will make you stand out form the rest.

    StarShipIT works with many 3pls in Australia to provide this technology and the 3pl’s we work with are growing at a great rate all with very happy merchants.

    Thanks
    Rebecca

    #1205438
    LucasArthur
    Participant
    • Total posts: 3,171
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    ShipIT, post: 244622, member: 78560 wrote:
    I think technology is key if you can provide and automated process for merchants where they can auto send through their order information, carry out address validation and then you provide tracking information back to them along with branded notifications via sms and email to their customers it will make you stand out form the rest.

    Although this is awesome advice, maybe a little self promotional, IMO i feel that some of the most important factors before technology and even before pricing are::
    – Does the 3PL understand you, your products and your objectives
    – Allow communications easily between you and themselves
    – Good track record with accuracy (with or without tech) of picks
    – Has great access to a network of delivery options (maybe ShipIt or similar as well)
    – Responds well to challenges, including expanding your range or even discussing new options and how they may impact warehousing – shipping or other (or make recommendations to reduce costs or improve deliveries)

    There are many others as well, but truly, the amount of clients we have helped or had come across to us (short or long term) that were moving from another provider with reasons such as above will astound you. Most commonly it is about communications, inability to get hold of the 3PL for urgent requests or (even within 24 hours) or to resolve important client demands is quite concerning.

    Once more, wishing you all the best on your adventure and look forward to hearing how you get on.

    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1205439
    JLA
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    aaron.miller, post: 244329, member: 55775 wrote:
    I have investigated using a 3pl several times but never went thru with it.
    Issues I faced:
    No one was upfront with the pricing, you had to fill out forms and then wait for someone to email or call you, some companies took weeks to respond.
    Really early order cut off times like 11am. Surely you would be smart enough to locate the 3pl right beside Australia post and or startracks depot and be big enough to negotiate with the courier a late pickup of around 6-6:30pm.
    Issues integrating the 3pl systems with the website.

    Aaron,

    You are 100% correct with transparent pricing structure. I have searched alot of 3PLs to try and find a pricing structure to use for my last company but found very hard to find. With my thought of appealing to smaller businesses i want them to know the price pretty much as they go onto my website. A sliding scale so the more you do the cheaper it is but it will be there on the front page.

    With regards to the cut off time if you have single piece orders there is no excuse you cant extend the cutoff til 2pm. I know from experience you can have Australia Post pick up later if as you said have the volumes. Or alternatively you can drop it off.

    Thanks for your thoughts mate.

    Cheers

    JLA

    #1205440
    JLA
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    0
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    ShipIT, post: 244622, member: 78560 wrote:
    Hello

    I think technology is key if you can provide and automated process for merchants where they can auto send through their order information, carry out address validation and then you provide tracking information back to them along with branded notifications via sms and email to their customers it will make you stand out form the rest.

    StarShipIT works with many 3pls in Australia to provide this technology and the 3pl’s we work with are growing at a great rate all with very happy merchants.

    Thanks
    Rebecca

    Rebecca,

    Have seen your program in action or one similar to it. Customers want to know where there parcels are that is for sure.

    I think starting a 3PL you want your WMS to be able to do it all.

    Thanks

    Chris

    #1205441
    JLA
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
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    LucasArthur, post: 244623, member: 34537 wrote:
    Although this is awesome advice, maybe a little self promotional, IMO i feel that some of the most important factors before technology and even before pricing are::
    – Does the 3PL understand you, your products and your objectives
    – Allow communications easily between you and themselves
    – Good track record with accuracy (with or without tech) of picks
    – Has great access to a network of delivery options (maybe ShipIt or similar as well)
    – Responds well to challenges, including expanding your range or even discussing new options and how they may impact warehousing – shipping or other (or make recommendations to reduce costs or improve deliveries)

    There are many others as well, but truly, the amount of clients we have helped or had come across to us (short or long term) that were moving from another provider with reasons such as above will astound you. Most commonly it is about communications, inability to get hold of the 3PL for urgent requests or (even within 24 hours) or to resolve important client demands is quite concerning.

    Once more, wishing you all the best on your adventure and look forward to hearing how you get on.

    Jason

    Jason,

    I think the biggest killer is Communication. Small 3PLs need to build there businesses on their flexibility and communication. You need to be there for the new businesses.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my Forum much appreciated. Will keep everyone up to date.

    Thanks

    JLA

    #1205442
    Jesseemia
    Member
    • Total posts: 11
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    JLA, post: 244205, member: 91358 wrote:
    Hi All,

    New Member here.
    Just reaching out to the forums to get some feedback. I am in the process of setting up a Third Party Logistics/Order Fulfillment company that will cater for smaller online businesses, based out of Melbourne.

    The feedback I am asking for is issues you have had with other Order Fulfillment/3PL companies. (no names needed). Working for a 3PL currently I see frustration that our company causes its Clients. Our new idea would allow us to be more personal and give people flexibility.

    We want to be translucent at the beginning with our pricing structure and our abilities. We don’t want to promise the world if we cant give it to you.

    I thank everyone in advance for there replies.

    Thanks

    JLA

    Hi I’m a new member here too.

    My Wife suggested this thread and others similar in regards to 3PL.

    We set up a company here in Perth that focuses on exactly eCommerce businesses who are not getting the kind of service that they need along with the IT level required.

    I like how your wanting a translucency approach in not just pricing but also setting up.

    I would be interested to know what you think of our site in how we have approached the topic.
    http://www.keepspace.com.au

    Cheers
    Jesse

    #1205443
    Jesseemia
    Member
    • Total posts: 11
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    ShipIT, post: 244622, member: 78560 wrote:
    Hello

    I think technology is key if you can provide and automated process for merchants where they can auto send through their order information, carry out address validation and then you provide tracking information back to them along with branded notifications via sms and email to their customers it will make you stand out form the rest.

    StarShipIT works with many 3pls in Australia to provide this technology and the 3pl’s we work with are growing at a great rate all with very happy merchants.

    Thanks
    Rebecca

    Hi Rebecca

    I know that Shippit and others are mainly 4PL providers and do not actually provide the physical service and just place in their platform links and API integrations.

    http://www.keepspace.com.au

    We are working to make it so that our integration with our API’s work well together. We have currently Shoppify and WooCommerce with us on KeepSpace and made the actual ability to have inventory counts done from our stock that would be integrated with the service while still using Australia Post eParcel for distribution.

    I’m really keen to build our business as well with soloist who want to outsource their distribution operations while they focus on sales and marketing

    Cheers
    Jesse

    #1205444
    Jesseemia
    Member
    • Total posts: 11
    Up
    0
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    aaron.miller, post: 244329, member: 55775 wrote:
    I have investigated using a 3pl several times but never went thru with it.
    Issues I faced:
    No one was upfront with the pricing, you had to fill out forms and then wait for someone to email or call you, some companies took weeks to respond.
    Really early order cut off times like 11am. Surely you would be smart enough to locate the 3pl right beside Australia post and or startracks depot and be big enough to negotiate with the courier a late pickup of around 6-6:30pm.
    Issues integrating the 3pl systems with the website.

    Hi Ryan

    Your right. The prices is something that I never understood what the big secret is all about. We have our prices on our website which are pretty obvious.

    Then creating an account is pretty straight forward as well.

    Plus our office is like 2 minutes from Australia Post. We planned that.

    We have been in operations for just a year now but starting to hit the points that the old school guys are not focusing on.

    Love the points tho.

    Would be keen to help mate 0400823912 or http://www.keepspace.com.au

    #1205445
    JLA
    Member
    • Total posts: 5
    Up
    0
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    Jesseemia, post: 244871, member: 92613 wrote:
    Hi Ryan

    Your right. The prices is something that I never understood what the big secret is all about. We have our prices on our website which are pretty obvious.

    Then creating an account is pretty straight forward as well.

    Plus our office is like 2 minutes from Australia Post. We planned that.

    We have been in operations for just a year now but starting to hit the points that the old school guys are not focusing on.

    Love the points tho.

    Would be keen to help mate 0400823912 or http://www.keepspace.com.au

    Hey mate,

    Really like your website simple and easier to navigate. Wish you luck with finding new clients. Can i ask do you use EParcel and or Startrack?

    Thanks

    JLA

    #1205446
    Jesseemia
    Member
    • Total posts: 11
    Up
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    JLA, post: 244881, member: 91358 wrote:
    Hey mate,

    Really like your website simple and easier to navigate. Wish you luck with finding new clients. Can i ask do you use EParcel and or Startrack?

    Thanks

    JLA

    We use EParcel mainly as the post office is right around the corner. We don’t get a postie to come to us we just go to them.

    How about yourself? What do you use?

    #1205447
    Fredy Namdin
    Member
    • Total posts: 45
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    0
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    Hi guys,

    Very interesting discussions here. In my other business (industrial supplies) we have our own warehouse in Welshpool (Perth). We never used 3PL service, although we outsource all delivery services to different courier companies.

    A couple of things came to my mind when I was comparing 3PL vs own warehouse:

    1. Delivery cost: In our warehouse, we use multiple courier services (we even strap some goods together to reduce delivery costs) depending on volume, distance, size, etc to minimise cost. If we use 3PL it seems like we are bound to pay a fixed cost?
    2. Substitute product: Because we are operating our own warehouse if a product is out of stock we can quickly organise with the customer to send substitute product. I am sure it is also possible with 3PL, but I imagine there would be an extra day to organise substitute products?
    3. Speed and Flexibility: Operating our own warehouse, if a customer requires product to be delivered within the hour we can call our courier (that can deliver within the hour), is it possible with 3PL?
    4. WIWO: If required, customers can just come in to pick up their order pretty much anytime of the day. Can they do the same if we use 3PL?

    These are some thoughts that came to my mind. Please bear in mind that we are operating in industrial supplies (mainly consumables) where customers need their goods yesterday and hence speed and flexibility is of the essence here, not to mention most the goods are bulky and heavy, with certain DG to add to the complexity.

    Hopefully they can serve as an extra information to your business.

    All the best!

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