E-Commerce and the 3PL – The Benefits of Teaming Up

March 13, 2018

3PL Warehouse

E-commerce is the driving force for warehouse and shipping industries, so a focus on efficiency of distribution is paramount to gain competitive advantage. Demand is an ever-growing constant, and the movement to appease that demand can produce a strain on an entity wanting to thrive within the E-Commerce world. Multiple factors can either make or break those that want to dive into these waters, but what is an inexperienced company to do? Enter the 3PL, and what it can bring to E-Commerce.

Third-party logistics service providers (3PLs) design their distribution facilities to be flexible and scalable to serve a wide range of clients—capabilities that align well with the needs of growing
E-Commerce ventures. But the advantages don’t stop there. Here’s a look at some of the potential benefits of teaming up with an experienced 3PL:

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To Move Your 3PL Forward, Harness the Power of Data

January 11, 2018

warehouse manager in a pallet rack aisle

3PLs frequently serve as the central communication conduit between shippers, carriers, regulatory agencies and other supply chain participants as cargo moves in-bond and from port-to-port. As a result of this pivotal role in the marketplace, they are uniquely positioned to view scenarios that address the best methods to move goods as well as data. Innovative 3PLs are demonstrating that moving information better—re-purposing data, improving accessibility, enhancing visibility and supporting the latest data standards—helps move freight better.

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The Best 3PLs are Invisible to Customers

October 6, 2017

warehouse manager making notes

Logistics pros are a lot like the offensive line on a football team: at their best, you know they are doing a great job, but their numbers never get called by television announcers. When they do talk line, it’s usually because someone committed a penalty or allowed a blitzing safety in for a sack. When the quarterback isn’t pressured and there are great running lanes, the line rarely gets mentioned. It’s kind of the same for 3PLs.

The goal of your 3PL should be to avoid those issues and remain unseen and unremarked on by end users.

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Peak Season Preparation for 3PLs

August 24, 2017

3PL order fulfillment

Winter is always coming.

While you might not be battling an army of zombie warriors, the seasonal surge in orders and fulfillment poised to engulf your 3PL warehouse can feel like a never-ending battle. Preparing for this fulfillment onslaught should be the goal for any efficient 3PL, so you can be ready for the inevitable increase in all facets of your business. By efficiently handling the high volumes of orders that flow through your warehouse during peak season, you’ll enjoy the spoils of higher production, correct shipments and overall customer/client satisfaction.

To enhance the preparation, you need to analyze each segment of your process and pick those that seem to be the biggest torment.

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3PL Reverse Logistics: Going Reverse to Move Ahead

July 20, 2017

Make Reverse Logistics a priority

E-commerce customers are increasingly comfortable with a buying experience that includes easy, free and frequent returns. Returns—and the issues involved with them—are nothing new for retail and e-commerce distribution, but the “new normal” of frequent returns offers 3PLs that can leverage their reverse logistics capacity a significant competitive advantage over competitors who can’t adapt to the new reality.

While some companies consider reverse logistics a necessary evil, those with well-managed returns programs can increase overall efficiency and profitability  while satisfying customers and increasing loyalty. They find ways to resell more returned products, and are able to dispose of or restock what they can’t resell more efficiently and with less environmental impact.

What are some ways to increase your returns capacity?

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How your 3PL Can Meet Customer Demands

May 12, 2017

conveyor order picking line

It’s a good time to be in the third party logistics business. 3PLs are in demand with no end in sight as the warehousing industry copes with higher volumes, increasing e-commerce demands and challenging customer expectations.

This gives 3PL operators with a unique opportunity to build lasting relationships with key customers, suppliers, and retailers of their choice. However, this can also lead to an increased demand for quality service from warehouses and fulfillment centers. In order for 3PLs to succeed in this new environment, they must be ready to face increasing levels of customer and prospect expectations.

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Harnessing Automation to Improve 3PL Performance

April 27, 2017

Warehouse conveyor in 3PL

As your 3PL grows and attracts more clients, products, and infrastructure, your product movement and storage capacity won’t be able to keep up with the increased volume. Growth is a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem.

Intelligent warehouse automation is an effective way to create better flow, enhance efficiency, ramp up throughput, reduce errors and improve your processes.  Introducing automated systems into your current warehouse environment can produce drastic reductions in time spent on certain day-to-day activities.

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Customer Retention and Your 3PL

March 14, 2017

picking warehouse 3PL

The biggest measure of success for a 3PL company – really, for any business – is the ability to retain existing customers while attracting new clients.  We all know it’s harder to attract new customers than it is to keep existing clients from being enticed to try another 3PL competitor, so it’s smart to strive for ways to provide more value. By targeting increased attention to providing on-time information, improving customer service, and utilizing user-friendly technology, your 3PL can help prevent existing customers from moving towards the competition.
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Laying the Groundwork for Using a 3PL Service

February 14, 2017

warehouse order picking area

Companies are utilizing 3PL services for their warehousing and shipping needs more often than ever. Many of the companies who choose to shift their operations to third parties are e-commerce entities that specialize in producing and selling a product and don’t want to run a storage and shipping facility. Others are traditional distributors, retailers, and others who believe that they should focus on core competencies.

If your company is considering a 3PL for its warehousing, shipping and logistics needs, what information do you need to have ready?

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Lean 3PL Warehousing—How to Create a Perfect Flow

January 31, 2017

Lean 3PL warehouse
Creating a lean warehouse or DC is not something a 3PL can accomplish overnight, but it’s something that can improve your efficiency, flexibility and ability to take on new business without expanding into new facilities or massively revamping existing ones.

It takes vision, planning, strategy, tools, foresight, patience and intelligent tactics. When your warehouse is lean, it will be easier to hold, inventory, and pull the most important goods. This helps you eliminate errors, increase throughput, and satisfy customers more comprehensively.

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