Third-party logistics companies are finding new ways to meet what often feels like unreasonable consumer expectations. Digital innovations help improve last-mile logistics capabilities to overcome common customer service and operational challenges. However, you can only maximize operational efficiency and profitability with well-planned integration to realize the full potential of your technology investments. Here, we explore optimizing tech investments for your 3PL warehouse to improve your overall ROI.
Identify Opportunities for Operational Efficiency
Adopting digital technologies for your 3PL warehouse offers several opportunities to realize operational efficiency. It starts with increased responsiveness and speed using automation and scanning technology to reduce touchpoints and errors. You can include objectives such as creating a warehouse with practically contactless handling, leveraging the latest devices.
Integration and improved data analysis allow you to become better at demand forecasting to enhance capacity and operations planning. Sharing data and reports with clients further reduces poorly planned space allotment, while dynamic routing plots real-time routes to get products to customers as quickly as possible.
Proactive Business Models for Profitability
Tech helps you develop a more proactive business model to build resilience and agility. As a result, you remain scalable and can consider advanced customer service options. For example, offering alternative drop-off locations such as proximity stations or electronic mailboxes provides cost-effective pickup options for customers. You might also consider using bikes or electric vehicles for efficient delivery in traffic-dense or restricted traffic areas, reducing dependency on carriers and shipping delays.
Leverage 3PL Warehouse Automation
The rise of automation technology, such as conveyor systems, robotic pickers, and automated guided vehicles (AGVs), makes processing and fulfilling orders faster. Automation reduces time-consuming, error-prone tasks to improve completion times and accuracy to meet customer demand quickly. You can also improve client supply chain management using cost-effective automation technology to reduce labor costs, increase efficiency and improve profitability for yourself and your clients. Warehouse automation keeps you scalable so you can continue to grow along with your clients.
Improve Transparency with Cloud Computing Technology
Cloud computing technology enables managers to access data from anywhere, providing increased flexibility and improving visibility throughout the supply chain. Not only can 3PL warehouse managers access data and tracking remotely, but they can also share that information with clients in real-time.
This improves collaboration and transparency, so clients always feel in control, involved in their inventory, and invested in their customer journey. It also provides enhanced security, so clients feel confident that their customers’ information is protected. With access to data, warehouse managers can take a more proactive approach to management and predict customer demands to respond without delays.
Make Smart Internal Integration Decisions
Integration with other systems allows your 3PL warehouse to streamline operations by reducing manual data entry and eliminating duplicate processes. Instead of choosing a WMS siloed off from other operational functions, it is essential to consider all aspects of your tech stack, including your accounting, e-commerce, order/CRM, and inventory management systems. This ensures you create a unified tech stack with all the functionalities you need to improve efficiencies across your enterprise and the supply chain.
- What platforms or apps will improve efficiency?
- How can you use integration to reduce errors?
- What integrations provide the most visibility?
- How can integration make you faster?
- How can you improve inventory control?
- What integrations improve customer service?
Smart decisions enable integration to improve functionality across your entire operation and supply chain.
Make Smart External Integration Decisions
Integration with leading carriers improves flexibility, ensuring fast, cost-effective solutions for your clients. Rate shopping is critical to ensure you provide the best possible delivery options, allowing your team to automatically assess order weights, enter dimensions and provide the destination to find the most cost-effective carrier. Discounted shipping services allow your clients to pass on savings to their customers, improving profitability.
Consider Criteria and Rule-Based Tech
Technology that allows you to trigger automatic steps based on criteria and rules improves efficiency and reduces errors. For example, scanning technology programmed with inventory level triggers automates replenishment so you never run out of top sellers. Criteria can also be set based on client SLAs to ensure you remain compliant and avoid inadvertently breaking your agreement. This can include printing a label for possible returns, special packaging requirements like a branded gift bag, or return shipping charges being applied to your costs for a team-picking error. Your team is alerted when mistakes are made so they can quickly pivot to correct the issue before the order is shipped.
Tech is intended to improve operational efficiency, yet it can only be effective with a smart strategy in place. You can optimize tech investments and operational efficiencies when you plan your technology integrations to address common operational issues.
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.