How A Strategic Logistics Partner Helps You Expand Your Distribution

Growing your distribution operation is no small task. Many fashion brands focus on following a detailed growth plan that must also work to minimize logistics costs.

You need a strategic logistics partner that knows the business. Not only should it have a solid understanding of warehouse operations, but it must also be familiar with the markets you’re expanding into.

You need a strategic logistics partner that knows the business. Not only should it have a solid understanding of warehouse operations, but it must also be familiar with the markets you’re expanding into.

For example, a logistics partner should be familiar with customs regulations and the safest way to ship product to your destinations. This allows you to focus on commercial and demand planning strategies while entrusting logistics operations to your distribution partner.

 

 

Information To Share With Your Distribution Partner

Before you work with a new logistics provider to help you expand your distribution operation, you should share your middle- to long-term expansion plan. What is your final sales projection and in what time frame do you hope to accomplish this goal?

Giving this information to your 3PL (third-party logistics) provider helps it determine how much space and personnel it will need to help you expand.

You should also communicate to your partner whether you’re looking to expand into new markets with different requirements. When you’re both on the same page, you and your provider can work together on a strategic plan.

 

Your Logistics Partner Must Be Open To Change

You should work with a logistics partner that’s willing and able to make investments in your brand’s growth. An expansion plan may require a wide range of enhancements that fall to your 3PL provider, including:

  • Warehouse footprint – Your provider may need to redo its current layout or make other adjustments to increase capacity.
  • Automatization – Depending on the expansion plan, your provider may need to implement new automatization processes to fill your requirements efficiently.

 

Distribution Expansion Problems To Avoid

Ensure the success of your expansion plan by avoiding common pitfalls, such as:

  • Over distribution – You don’t want to sell too much merchandise to a market that’s being developed or give too much to a distributor that doesn’t have the capacity to rotate inventory as quickly as it should.
  • Inventory growth without control – Avoid buying too much inventory too fast because it will quickly become a fixed cost.
  • Expanding without a leading role – It’s vital to have a strategic director with a vast knowledge on the markets you’re expanding into so you grow quickly in a controlled way.

 

Your 3PL Provider’s Role

It can be difficult to find balance between expanding your distribution quickly and making sure all of the correct pieces are in place. You and your distribution partner should work together and plan properly for:

  • The increase in product volume
  • Your given time frame
  • New logistics processes that may be needed

 

Your 3PL provider’s role is to determine all operational and logistics aspects required for an expansion. It will need as much information from you as possible to calculate operations costs.

Once major decisions like these are made, your partner’s role is to ensure the regular flow of operations and quickly take care of any logistics issues that come up. As long as you and your distribution partner work closely together and follow a sound strategy, your expansion should be a positive move forward for your brand.

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