3PL companies have a long history of assisting with the supply chain management. However, in today’s environment, when same-day deliveries and 2-day shipping, real-time insights, and on-demand package tracking are required, traditional warehouse management and transportation services are insufficient.
The demands of consumers have driven 3PL providers to improve their services and adopt technology in order to keep up. Online merchants, too, are turning to technology-enabled 3PLs in order to compete with major stores.
What is a technology-enabled 3PL?
A 3PL with a focus on e-commerce is a technology firm that offers time-saving shipping and fulfillment solutions for online retailers. They also provide software that links data from several sources to create comprehensive insight into the order’s lifecycle.
The 3PL’s software runs their ecommerce warehouses network and transmits vital information back to the merchant. This mixing of technology and logistics offers a complete supply chain fulfillment solution.
What is order fulfillment software from a 3PL?
It’s no secret that fulfillment software is a must-have tool for any ecommerce business. It helps automate inventory management, picking, packing, shipping, and tracking across orders and sales channels for online merchants. Fulfillment software connects with other ecommerce applications to reduce the amount of data passing between them.
Fulfillment software is linked to the 3PL’s warehouses and fulfillment processes for real-time insight into order tracking information, inventory levels, and much more.
Why should you use a technology-enabled third-party logistics provider?
Learn about the top advantages enjoyed by ecommerce companies that outsource fulfillment to a tech-first 3PL.
1. Save time and automate processes when it comes to order fulfillment
Rather of performing any manual sending before the shipping deadline each day, fulfillment software takes over. Because a 3PL’s technology is linked to your online shop, warehouse staff are informed as soon as an order is placed.
Then, each action is recorded and updated in real time so that you can follow the progress of every order from picking to packing, then shipping, and so on. You may also search for orders that fulfill particular requirements to obtain exactly what you want.
Fulfillment software is also connected to and integrated with the other phases of the retail fulfillment process. This automation leads to downstream savings, from reordering product when stock levels are low to dealing with returns. It not only saves you time but also helps your business by getting goods to clients faster.
2. Drive down fulfillment costs and gain intelligence
When it comes to fulfillment, one of the most significant money-saving possibilities is shipping expenses. Aside from receiving discounted freight rates as part of a 3PL’s negotiations with transportation providers, you can also save money on shipping by minimizing the distance items have to be transported.
To do so, you may distribute inventory across fulfillment centers to ship orders out of warehouses that are closer to your clients. The ability of fulfillment software to provide insights into how and where you should strategically distribute your inventory is based on past information.
Advanced analytics and distribution metrics can also help you eliminate uncertainty and create more effective supply chain improvements. Take advantage of built-in measurements such as peak fulfillment times, revenue from orders shipped each day, sales by channel, USPS zone sales and order quantities, and much more.
As your orders grow, so does the Power of Data. Over time, this continuous data gathering and reporting gets more effective.
3. Reduce errors and increase transparency
Mistakes in data entry are made by everyone. You run the risk of typos or providing incorrect information when you have to manually send orders to your 3PL. These mistakes – which can result in returns, exchanges, replacements, and expedited delivery – are time-consuming and might put a strain on your clients.
3PLs that are technology-enabled automate the shipping procedure by allowing systems to communicate directly with one another, eliminating any duplication of effort and the risk of human error.
Furthermore, linked technologies provide additional insight into the 3PL’s performance. Because the fulfillment stages of picking, packing, and shipping are directly integrated into the software, you may monitor the 3PL’s level of accuracy in handling your orders.
4. Improve customer service and meet expectations
You can use technology to improve ecommerce fulfillment, giving you a comprehensive picture of each purchase from the moment it is placed online to the time it is delivered to your customer’s home.
Customers can address their questions to you from anywhere because the most up-to-date information is always accessible. This improves service precision, transparency, and consistency.
Another benefit of utilizing a 3PL service is that it allows you to provide Prime-like delivery today. Same-day or two-day delivery is not possible without technology. To give your consumers with the quick turnaround they desire, you must optimize the storage and shipment of items.
Your 3PL can help you send items to your warehouses that are closest to your consumers. Then, as orders are placed, the program’s algorithms select the warehouse and carrier that can transport the goods to your client in the most cost-effective and efficient way possible.