3PL Solutions Fulfillment
October 11th, 2022

The Path to 3PL Improvement Webinar: Our Main Takeaways

The supply chain is always transforming, which requires modern logistics businesses to innovate their profitability goals. Now, more than ever, third-party logistics centers must automate their processes and incorporate new software to remain competitive. 

To discuss the next trends in supply chain technology, we hosted a webinar with Elastic Solutions called “Automation and Visibility: The Path to 3PL Improvement.” We based this conversation on a survey we conducted with 3PLs that operate more than one facility, generate more than ten million in revenue, and operate facilities larger than 35,000 square feet. An insightful conversation took place between Jason Stegent founder and president of Elastic Solutions and Verte’s CPO and co-founder Padhu Raman. These were the key takeaways from the webinar:

Automation Outside the Warehouse is the Future

In the past two years, SKU profile has drastically changed, meaning that 3PL’s required labor training has also shifted. Additionally, because of COVID-19, a huge labor shortage has driven organizations to maximize productivity. From a marketing perspective, brands and retailers are trying to figure out innovative ways to sell off-season or overstock products through bundling and kitting. To streamline all of these processes and optimize operations, 3PLs must implement automated technology. Moreover, even if 3PLs already utilize automated warehouse technology, the new frontier will be utilizing automation outside the warehouse, in order management and transportation management. Essentially, 3PLs must provide automation software from order processing to last-mile delivery.

3PLs Need to Connect to Multiple Demand Channels

Since the boom of e-commerce this past decade, brands and retailers have been selling on more sales channels than ever before. What used to be a custom integrated solution has to be a quicker, broader, and easier automation process. Thus, more 3PLs should be looking to migrate to an integration manager, which can connect to all sales platforms, last-mile delivery providers, and order management systems. These connections provide an end-to-end, real-time, and seamless flow of information.

3PL Customers Want One Centralized Place to Look at All Orders

3PLs need to add tools to improve visibility or customers will find another provider. In the past, operational visibility was always reactive, not proactive; but now, 3PLs must consider customer needs in real-time from a product personalization perspective, which requires back-end integrations. To stay competitive, 3PLs must invest in a platform that supports a single source of truth and transparent product cataloging, from manufacturers to e-commerce stores. 

Essentially, brands and retailers expect more than just a fulfillment service from their 3PL provider. They want access to similar technology that big retailers like Walmart use on a day-to-day basis, such as software that provides easy onboarding, a bird’s eye view of all demand channels and orders, and the ability to look at their inventory in every 3PL facility to optimize transportation cost and returns. 

All in all, 3PLs must value functionality, automation, and visibility to stay ahead of the curve in this highly disruptive and ever-changing e-commerce environment. Staying agile and proactive is key. For more information and insights, check out the entire webinar

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Flora Collins

Written by Flora Collins

Flora Collins is a prize-winning writer and published author. As content manager, she is responsible for the development and creation of content for Verte blogs, case studies, ebooks, social media, and more. Flora aligns her strong communication and organizational skills to help deliver meaningful content and thought leadership to Verte prospects and customers.