calability is a huge part of it,” says Laura Ramsay, Director of Marketing at Purolator. “There’s a fear of expanding too quickly, that maybe your infrastructure won’t be able to keep up with your growth. That’s where having scalable solutions and outsourcing some pieces of it so that you are always paying just for what you need really makes sense. You avoid having to invest large sums of money making bets on the future.”

The right experts for the job

For a small business with warehousing needs, for example, it can be difficult to predict future volume. The warehouse that’s the right size this season could be either too small or too large next season. Likewise, when business needs change and grow, it’s important to be able to add new capabilities like returns management, inventory management, and e-commerce in an agile way. For a small business owner focused on growing their business, managing these needs internally can eat heavily into time better spent on what they know best — their business. “Small business owners have to be a Jack of all trades, but they are not masters of everything,” says Ramsay. “They simply don’t have the expertise in things that fall outside of their core business, like managing their supply chain and transportation needs.”

“Having scalable solutions and outsourcing some pieces of it so that you are always paying just for what you need really makes sense.”

Joseph R. Pagana, CEO of Midwest Motorcycle Supply Canada in Strathroy, Ontario, has found that outsourcing this aspect of his business to an all-in-one logistics provider has been a massive boon. “Simply put, we find by working with an all-in-one service our productivity has increased. We are able to ship more per day — a huge benefit for all our customer requirements. At the end of the day we are finding we are saving valuable time and money, allowing us to continue to grow stronger and make steps to advance our business.”

Further, when businesses use a single provider to manage the entirety of their logistics operations, unforeseen efficiencies can arise. Everything is connected in the world of business, and integration has become a mantra when it comes to cost savings. “Things have changed over the last couple of years,” says Ramsay. “Where transportation and courier services were once just a cost line, now companies large and small are looking at the supply chain holistically in a more strategic fashion to maximize efficiency and reduce cost.”
Small business, large impact

For small and medium businesses, this holistic approach means an opportunity to punch above their weight and compete with larger companies that may have entire internal logistics departments. “Midwest Motorcycle Supply Canada may not yet have the shipping contracts and volume that a larger company would have,” says Pagana. “But, our customers remain satisfied and loyal, and this is maintained by these services which allow our shipping numbers to grow.”

Small businesses, after all, grow into larger businesses. By taking advantage of a full-featured logistics service when your company is starting out, you avoid the costs that come with trying to transition from an ad-hoc system that may have worked at one size but cannot scale up with your business. Ramsay puts it succinctly, “If you start right when you are small, it’s a lot easier to grow on the correct foundation.”