Years ago, when brands outsourced fulfillment operations to a third-party-logistic provider (3PL) there was a lot of ambiguity when it came to supply chain management. Many of these 3PLs claimed they provided visibility into what was happening in their fulfillment centers, but the reality was many of them were using complicated spreadsheets to share data with clients rather than proving access to a real-time data management platform.
While some 3PLs still utilize this outdated way to share information with clients, more modern 3PLs have done their due diligence to enhance visibility into fulfillment operations. In recent years, advanced 3PLs have significantly invested in technology and tools that help them fill and ship orders quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively to provide the best service possible to clients.
At OceanX, we believe technology is the cornerstone of an efficient fulfillment operation. It’s through technology that guesswork is eliminated from the fulfillment process, human error is reduced, and products go to market faster and at a lower cost.
Below are three benefits of 3PL technology in fulfillment centers:
Boost Operational Efficiency
Through collaborative data, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and other such advanced IT capabilities; 3PLs have the ability to predict and quickly adapt to peak events. Monitoring seasonal trends, YOY growth through data platforms allow 3PLs and brands to calculate and plan for inventory needs accurately, working capital, and more.
This type of visibility and preparedness provides cost savings, increased reliability, and operational efficiency for fulfilment operations, ultimately leading to consistent delivery timelines and accurate orders.
Improve Your Customers’ Experience
The visibility gained from a tech-infused fulfillment center ultimately benefits your relationship with your customers. Through real-time visibility, you can quickly identify any issues with fulfillment operations by monitoring alerts to promptly adjust to changes, and update customers on the shipment status, product availability, recalls, or any other errors that may occur.
This improved communication will go a long way in boosting recurring customers.
Manage Complexity and Personalization
As eCommerce orders begin to increase, it’s evident that brands need tech-savvy fulfillment operations to keep up with demand. This includes the ability to receive a high volume of orders from various online shops (this includes brand websites and third-party sellers like Amazon) to intelligently route orders to fulfillment centers with the appropriate inventory and best route to customers.
In addition to utilizing technology to capture orders at scale, technology-assisted packaging in fulfillment centers ensures that the right product goes to the right customer. This type of technology streamlines operations and removes ‘human error’ for high volumes or personalized orders.
3PLs are not a ‘one size fits all’ partner. If your brand is currently struggling to get your logistics technology up to speed, it might be time to look for a new fulfillment partner to can help you scale.
Download our Guide to Finding The Right 3PL to help start your journey.