By integrating key applications in your fulfillment operation, you can create more streamlined workflows, saving you time and money. Through 3PL integration, you can automate shipping processes with instant rate shopping with seamless sharing of order information to reduce transportation cost per order (TCP).
Customers access real-time tracking information for their orders shared by 3PL’s transportation services, and you can gain valuable insight on critical data and KPIs to identify cost savings opportunities in your shipping process. Here we look at how you can unleash cost savings through 3PL integration for lower shipping rates.
Standardization is the primary integration challenge. Because off-the-shelf software used for integration is too standardized, integration is error-prone because individual processes are not considered. However, this isn’t the case if you find an end-to-end shipping solution that runs right in your WMS. In this case, you get the best of both worlds by eliminating the need for costly integrations with other products yet having the feel of a customized software solution that takes your specific applications and providers into consideration.
As a result, you create a customized solution encompassing all aspects of warehouse management, from inventory to receiving customer orders and fulfillment through to shipping and returns without the pricey SaaS price tag. None of the stakeholders are forced to undergo time-consuming training or adapt to new functionality, so your team can quickly start providing error-free, discounted delivery to your customers. You avoid additional fees for supplementary products, so you have a cost-effective solution.
There are several examples of 3PL integration, including:
- Direct Integration: Direct integration leverages your current carrier relationships while offering the opportunity to see cost savings with new carriers.
- E-Commerce Integration: E-commerce companies can automate manual processes by integrating shopping cart, order management, inventory management, shipping and delivery methods, carrier integration, and parcel delivery tracking systems and data.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Integration between your ERP software and 3PL infrastructure provides complete data visibility and streamlines essential business processes.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Integration: Integration with an EDI provides additional control when orders are received with real-time transmission of online requests for quicker transaction completion and delivery.
- Application Programming Interface (API): API provides instant communication so that integrated platforms can communicate with each other immediately. There is no need for additional certification, reducing costs.
- Accounting: You can also integrate accounting software such as QuickBooks.
Through integration, you improve visibility to track critical data and KPIs because your data is formatted so it is compatible with your system. For example, TCP, also known as shipping cost per order, allows you to gain insights into the costs to deliver each package, allowing you to target lowering costs to increase profitability.
You can also measure cycle times to understand how long it takes between receiving products to reaching the shipping process. You can leverage comprehensive data reporting to shorten average times and create an end-to-end order process that saves shipping costs while increasing customer satisfaction.
Through integration, you improve functionality at all touch points of the shipping process, including:
- Rapid label production: Quickly produce discounted shipping labels for all your online orders, whether it is individual labels or batches.
- Optimized shipping rates: Instantly identify the optimal rate for every shipment using automated rate shopping with the easy collection and sharing of order data, including weight, dimensions, and destination, to find the best carrier for every order.
- Inventory management: Inventory is accounted for in real-time with complete, accurate data.
- Centralized freight accounts: Shipping is consolidated to manage freight accounts across multiple carriers and sales channels to simplify the shipping process. You also improve accuracy using the correct account for each order by applying automation rules based on specific criteria you set.
- Automated billing: Bill the appropriate freight account without worrying about manual processes on the floor.
- Discounted shipping services: Access discounted shipping services like UPS Surepost, UPS Mail Innovations, FedEx OneRate, and USPS Flat Rate Pricing to save on every shipment.
- Address validation: Reduce returned packages and delivery delays with automatic address validation. You also reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions with a system that flags suspicious addresses.
While you might have stayed away from 3PL integration out of fear it will be too costly and take too much time to deploy, with the right provider, you can achieve shipping efficiency and cost savings with minimal disruption and investment.
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.