Why Outsource to a Supply Chain Consulting Firm?

Published on Jun 26, 2024

Many business owners are hesitant about outsourcing, especially in today’s unpredictable market landscape. For small business owners and entrepreneurs, their brand is their passion and often their livelihood. Business management tycoons have long preached about keeping what is core to the business in-house and outsourcing other operations, but many leaders are anxious to let go of the reins.

Companies have increasingly turned to third-party logistics providers (3PLs) and supply chain consultants to manage their logistics and fulfillment needs. They achieved great success- and so can you! This strategic move is driven by the need to adapt quickly to demand fluctuations and economic pressures, reported Supply Chain Dive[1] in a recent article regarding how business leaders weigh the cost and control of their operations. This blog will focus on two key benefits: flexible cash flow and cutting-edge efficiency.

Flexibility and Cost Savings Drive Outsourcing to a Supply Chain Consulting Firm

One of the primary benefits of outsourcing is the significant cost savings that can be achieved. For many emerging and fast-growing companies, insourcing fulfillment operations presents substantial financial challenges. The choice is often between buying a larger warehouse than needed initially and growing into the wasted space or juggling short-term leases as ongoing operational costs of maintaining these facilities strain resources.

In contrast, a supply chain consulting firm can provide scalable solutions that align with a company’s growth trajectory. By leveraging the firm’s existing infrastructure and guidance, businesses can avoid the hefty initial investments and pay for services as needed. This pay-as-you-go model reduces financial risk and ensures that companies only pay for the capacity they use, thereby minimizing wasted resources. We utilize a Just-In-Time delivery system that is customized to our customer’s production schedule.

For nearly 40 years, ForeFront has supported the packaging supply chain operations of Chicago’s largest commercial bakeries. We source their packaging, manage their inventory, plan the usage demand, and partner in their operations to help them scale from one manufacturing facility to several across the US. We are proud to continue to serve as a trusted partner in their growth.

Expertise and Efficiency Through a Supply Chain Consulting Firm

Another compelling reason to outsource to a supply chain consulting firm is the access to industry expertise and advanced technology. A great supply chain consulting firm brings specialized knowledge and experience in managing logistics and fulfillment operations effectively- and has the data to prove it.

These firms utilize cutting-edge, often expensive tools to optimize supply chain processes, including advanced analytics, automation, and real-time tracking systems. Leveraging these tools can streamline operations, reduce errors, and enhance overall efficiency. Due to time and cost, this technological edge is often beyond the reach of individual companies, especially small to medium-sized enterprises. For example, according to the Supply Chain Dive, the Natural Dog Company reported significant cost savings and improved delivery speeds after switching to a 3PL provider. The company can now reach 90% of US addresses within three days or less, a feat that would have been challenging to achieve in-house. This level of service is critical for maintaining customer satisfaction and competitiveness in the market.

Business owners are often so busy managing everything that they don’t have time in the day to worry about their packaging. Fortunately, we’re keeping track of their usage habits to help them make informed purchasing decisions. ForeFront’s inventory management dashboards put this data at their fingertips so that business leaders can scale operations up or down based on demand. This agility is particularly crucial in managing seasonal peaks and unexpected surges in orders. Customers can quickly adjust their fulfillment needs, and this dynamic scalability ensures that businesses can meet customer demands promptly, enhancing overall customer satisfaction.

In Summary
Outsourcing to a supply chain consulting firm offers numerous advantages, including cost savings, flexibility, specialized expertise, and risk mitigation. By partnering with a supply chain consulting firm, companies can navigate the complexities of modern supply chains more effectively and position themselves for long-term success.

ForeFront offers a comprehensive solution for purchasing managers by integrating demand planning, art design, inventory management and logistics. Contact us today!