3PL Technology

3PL Technology

The Role of 3PL Technology and What You Should Expect

The role of innovation and technology continues to strengthen and impact the world in every way, and 3PL is no exception. Amazingly, some 3PLs still run a very manual operation with little sophistication or technology in place. Avoid these operations! Any modern 3PL committed to continuous improvement should be technology-focused and always improving in this area.

Many technology vendors provide 3PL solutions and some operations have developed in-house systems. The features and functions of these systems vary, but they can be categorized into the following areas:

  • Warehouse Operations – Picking, packing, product flow and inventory management systems
  • Freight Management – Carrier integrations, rate shopping and freight management systems
  • Client Portal – Reporting, analytics, inventory insight, billing and order management systems
  • Client Integration – Connectivity to your ecommerce, EDI, Amazon and drop ship systems

Another factor of success is a 3PL’s ability to integrate using an API, simply a common way to share data between systems. This is a good sign that a 3PL is technology-savvy. Another thing to to find out is whether a 3PL has an in-house IT team, and is that team available to help with your integration work and other IT support that may be required as your relationship evolves?

With these systems and support in place, your business will be fully integrated and automated with your 3PL partner and your customers, both consumers and retailers. The resulting transparency and insight into every element of your order fulfillment operations means you can make informed decisions based on accurate data that have a meaningful impact on your business and your customers.

How 3PL Reports Pave the Way for Better Decisions

A 3PL is a critical partner that plays an integral role in your business receiving and storing inventory, fulfilling orders, and shipping and processing returns for your consumer and retail customers.

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The Benefits of Using a Technology-Focused 3PL

Not all 3PLs are the same. This is particularly true when it comes to the use, or lack thereof, of technology.

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