Although the third-party logistics industry is experiencing increased demand levels, that demand also comes with new expectations. Long before the pandemic, customers had developed a penchant for improved customer experiences. Today, 3PLs are faced with an ongoing challenge to keep up with customer expectations and provide the experiences they expect but demand. Here we look at how these rising customer expectations impact 3PLs.
The New Expectations
The evolution of e-Commerce has taken online shopping experiences to the next level. The demand for same or next-day delivery puts pressure on third-party logistics to improve their turnover times. This calls for advanced technology to maintain the level of service expected. Your warehouse must become more agile to accommodate expanding inventories while also turning over orders in record time.
Other trends include specialty kitting of product orders to represent niche brands, customized labels, and detailed package presentations for each brand. But it often goes beyond traditional third-party logistics roles with expectations that expand to not just customized packing slips but personalized communication and email offers. All of these details must be streamlined and delivered flawlessly.
Integration with e-Commerce Engines
Today’s 3PL customer is often selling from several marketplaces to accommodate preferred methods of online purchases. With more e-Commerce engines available than ever, your e-Commerce fulfillment service needs to improve accuracy to both receive and fulfill orders. This calls for real-time inventory tracking and counts, access to detailed pick-up and delivery information, and improved return processing.
With software integrations that streamline the process throughout the entire supply chain, your customers will be able to meet the needs of their own customers. Not accommodating a growing number of e-Commerce marketplaces and their respective platforms will cost you valuable customers.
Fulfillment Best Practices
Your customers must trust you to manage not only their assets but their entire brand image. If you fail to deliver high-quality customer experiences, you will lose customers. Adopting fulfillment best practices for speedy, error-free delivery avoids risking proper brand representation with every package you deliver.
Your role has changed from a 3PL to a partner that ensures you deliver on your customer’s brand promises. In hand with your fulfillment best practices, you now have to ensure your team is the best of the best to produce flawless custom kitting and assembly services effectively. You are no longer sending mass shipments on palettes but instead focused on small parcel shipping solutions customized for each customer. In 3PL fulfillment, you also need to go the extra mile to manage problems, troubleshoot, and ensure issues such as lost or damaged deliveries are handled as they occur.
Improved Reporting and Data
Your customers also depend on data, reporting, and predictive analytics delivered in real time. E-tailers expect not only real-time product availability but also reporting capability. Using technology to collect data and provide reports facilitates predictive analysis to improve efficiency and customer experience. Data also provide proof of your efficiency to help you retain customers. Today everything has to be backed up by data, requiring sophisticated, fully integrated third-party logistics warehouse software.
Complete Warehouse Automation
Warehouse automation provides the necessary tools to increase picking, packing, and shipping efficiency. As mentioned above, the best 3PL software integrates with shopping carts and marketplace technology, so you meet your customer’s demands. Automation in logistics 3PL addresses efficiency, productivity, and accuracy. Your warehouse software allows you to increase order volume and improve customer experience as well as:
- Improve performance: You can gain efficiency to become more accurate and collect real-time data to make smarter decisions. You also create a fully transparent process to take full accountability throughout the fulfillment process.
- Integration: You can improve productivity and accuracy even further by integrating an order management system (OMS), EPS, and other customized solutions to improve how you track sales, orders, and inventory to create a streamlined process.
- Agility: Warehouse automation keeps your team agile to respond to issues quickly, whether it is lost or damaged products, returns, missed items, etc. When you can respond in real time, or as close to real-time as possible, you help maintain your partner’s brand integrity and, in turn, your own.
- Drop shipping: 3PL for drop shipping allows you to receive customer orders and shipment details directly. As a result, you can meet the needs of wholesalers or manufacturers, accommodating the inventory expansion needs of retailers.
In other words, automation allows you to meet demand, expand your service offering and exceed customer expectations.
3PL warehouses must become strategic partners offering expanded services and an automated process that improves efficiency and accuracy. The evolution of online shopping has expanded the services you can offer, allowing you to grow your business.
VeraCore Smart 3PL Fulfillment
For more than 40 years, 3PLs and fulfillment companies have placed VeraCore’s warehouse management software at the ‘core’ of their business to get the job done right. Ready to take your business to new heights? To learn how smart 3PL fulfillment software can help grow your business, check out our solutions.
VeraCore is SaaS order and warehouse management software trusted by top fulfillment companies and 3PLs. Affordable, flexible, easy to use; VeraCore is everything you need to keep clients happy and run a lean operation.
With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. Rules-based automation enables you to control all aspects of your warehouse operation and satisfy each of your clients’ unique requirements.
Hundreds of fulfillment service providers and 10,000+ fulfillment clients place VeraCore at the “core” of their business to get the job done right, for over 40 years.