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LEARN | In-house Vs. Outsourced Logistics

With logistics being the spearhead element within any complex business operation, the choice between in-house vs. outsourced logistics should be taken into careful consideration. As is often the case, both options come with their individual sets of perks and disadvantages. For this reason, it is important to thoroughly evaluate and map out your unique business needs, objectives, and growth rate; from here, you’ll be able to move forward with the most suitable option for you. We know that this process might seem intimidating, and that guidance is often needed in order to find a solution that works long term. Lucky for you, Prime Penguin has you covered. We have created a comprehensive breakdown of in-house vs. outsourced logistics and all of their respective pros and cons. Our goal is that through transparency and guidance, the intricacies of E-commercial logistics can be demystified once and for all.

In-house Logistics

In-house logistics pretty much does what it says on the package; you, the owner of an E-commerce business, handle all materials and products while simultaneously orchestrating the fulfillment process within your own organization – without the help of a third-party expert. Though this strategy might be ideal for a smaller start-up business just entering the industry, it is seldom the best option long-term. As soon as your company starts to scale, you’ll be the first to find that the in-house solution only gets you so far.

Pros:

– Typically cost-efficient if you are a very small, start-up business

– You have full control over each and every aspect of your business

– Easier to organically and personally connect with new customers or ‘early adopters’ of your company

– Can change and tweak shipping methods and procedures smoothly, without having to go through separate parties

Cons:

– Since it tends to be extremely time-consuming, the management of your logistics quickly becomes overbearing and negatively affects other aspects of your business

– May require hiring more employees to keep up with uncertainty and rising demands

– Oftentimes stressful and complicated without the expertise of a third party

– Takes away focus from other critical and core business needs

– Much more expensive bottom line

Outsourced Logistics

The alternative to managing your logistics in-house is outsourcing them. But exactly what does this entail? Outsourced logistics is when a business or organization hands over their entire fulfillment process to a reliable external partner, commonly known as a 3PL (third-party logistics). The 3PL supplier is from thereon left in charge of all logistical proceedings, allowing the business to focus on more urgent matters relating to expansion, customer satisfaction, and more. While outsourcing is generally the best option for just about any company, keep in mind that involving external parties comes with the price of additional budgeting and a good amount of trust.

Pros:

– Saves time for you to focus on the core values and proceedings of your business

– Scaling employee labor becomes much more productive and effective

– Increased likelihood of customer satisfaction due to faster delivery and expert fulfillment management

– No additional space needed for inventory

Cons:

– Depending on your workflow and resources, it can be more costly than keeping everything in-house

– Relying on another resource to handle your entire fulfillment process can feel intimidating

– Less flexibility due to contractual agreements

– The risk of managerial friction between business partners

So, Which is Better?

Whether you are a newly formed business or an industry native, there is no denying that logistics play a fundamental role in your overall success. As has been made evident, both in-house and outsourced logistical solutions have their individual sets of pros and cons, and the simple (yet heavy) truth is that the best option for your business boils down to personal preference, budget, and the level of control you wish to uphold within your company. If you prefer to keep everything in-house, that is perfectly fine. Still, it is important to know that there are reputable and valuable resources that can help alleviate, facilitate, and improve upon your fulfillment process. And while the logistics are being taken care of by an experienced third party, you are left to focus on what matters most – growing and developing your business.

In summary, the choice is yours – and it doesn’t have to be final. If you choose to start out in-house, know that you still have the option to outsource your logistics as your business expands. Whenever you’re ready to take the next step, Prime Penguin will be ready to assist you in the process of finding a solution that best suits you. Our digital platform scans and connects you with certified and well-vetted 3PL partners worldwide. Together with our clients and many business partners, we work to optimize your business, rise above the competition, while remaining in full control every step along the way.

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Are you looking to expand your E-commerce business with external 3PL suppliers? Prime Penguin helps you locate and connect with trusted experts in the industry, streamlining your fulfillment process from start to finish. Read more about our unique technology and contact us at hello@primepenguin.com for a free consultation!

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