If you’re thinking about outsourcing your order fulfillment to a third-party logistics partner, don’t underestimate the importance of location. An ideal distribution network needs to be able to reach your key markets cost-efficiently first before it’s able to produce the quick deliveries that will maximize your service levels.
Without strategically placed facilities, shippers risk running longer transit times and providing slower service that will result in unhappy customers down the line. One solution that’s becoming an increasingly popular option for many shippers is adopting a bicoastal distribution strategy. When you have the ability to use both coasts, you can not only close the gaps between your products and your end customers but also experience huge costs savings.
Many companies, however, can’t afford to build their own facilities from coast to coast right now. For those looking to outsource, here are some of the major advantages of working with a 3rd party logistics partner that already has an established bicoastal distribution strategy in place.
Increase speed to market
Getting your product to market as fast as possible is crucial for the success of any shipper. If your competition is constantly providing better delivery times, it will affect customers’ perceptions of your brand. To overcome geographical barriers and gain an edge over your competition, consider the advantages of distributing your products from points closer to their end destination.
With bicoastal distribution centers, you can quickly service customers on either side of the country with relative ease and better meet the delivery expectations of your customers. Not to mention the fact that when you’re competing against industry giants like Amazon, the ability to cover more ground is always a plus.
Reduce shipping costs
The added costs that come with longer transits are another reason you should look into bicoastal distribution. It’s important to work with a logistics partner that has fulfillment warehouses conveniently located near your buyer otherwise you’re facing the reality of crossing multiple zones, incurring higher shipping costs, and disappointing leaving customers waiting.
Mitigate potential risks
Whether it’s an unexpected natural disaster or national emergency, no business is completely safe from risk, which is why having a backup plan can be crucial for long-term survival. Planning for the unplanned is where having facilities on both coasts can especially come in handy.
By using a decentralized, multi-facility strategy in comparison to a single, centralized facility, shippers can mitigate their chances of experiencing huge delays or being forced to shut down altogether. Logistically it just makes more sense to split your inventory across multiple locations, but if you need further proof, just take a look at what’s currently happening with COVID-19.
Improve the returns process
Returns typically involve overcomplicated processes that take too much time and effort if they’re not properly streamlined. Bicoastal distribution centers help simplify returns and exchanges because of their ideal placement, allowing shippers to respond more quickly to customers with actionable solutions.
At the end of the day, logistics partners that offer bicoastal distribution centers can give any shipper the speed and service they need to operate at maximum efficiency, cut out the waste, and keep their customers happy.