Third-party logistics providers serve a wide variety of clients, each with different requirements. That means their 3PL software must be robust and flexible enough to sustain retail and e-commerce fulfillment operations.
Warehouse management system is the backbone of the third party logistics operations, ensuring clients' products are in the right place at the right time. 3PLs rely on warehouse management software to track inventory, manage order picking and handle shipping and replenishment in a multi-client and multi-warehouse environment.
A 3PL company’s most indicative growth factor is launching new warehouses and acquiring new clients. WMS systems help managing multi-warehouse and multi-client operations centrally with consolidated reporting. Your system should provide integrated and standard services to multiple clients across multiple warehouses.
Many third party logistics companies are expanding their clients' e-commerce stores and looking for solutions that provide an omnichannel view of inventory and fulfillment. Many existing distribution centers were not designed with high-volume e-commerce in mind. Instead, they were built to manager pallet-load shipments inbound for inventory, and outbound movements to brick and mortar retail locations. Now, many distribution centers are tasked with managing direct-to-consumer orders. Of course, customers expect fast shipping and real-time order status updates. In some cases, companies operated two separate systems, one for wholesale orders and store fulfillment, and another for e-commerce orders. Many legacy 3PL software solutions can't handle the transition.
Today, a 3PL needs a solution that can handle the entire mix of shipment volumes, from 100 orders with 10,000 pieces to 10,000 direct-to-consumer orders. Your 3PL software should be able to handle wave picking for bulk orders as well as order-based picking for individual shipments.
Your WMS should be built on an omnichannel approach that removes barriers between retail and e-commerce logistics, reducing inventory costs and improving the customer experience. Improving order accuracy enhances customer service and lowers return costs by getting the order right the first time. Of course, customers expect full visibility into the location and predicted delivery window for their orders.
In order to experience the true 3PL WMS with the right supply chain structure and meet the expectations of your clients, a WMS should provide a powerful & integrated fulfillment backbone.
Ideally, you will fulfill client orders from your multiple warehouses. However, if you don't have the full view of inventory, you run the risk of overstock or stock-out situations. A rush of online/offline orders could leave locations empty, for example. Your 3PL software should have real-information flow rather than waiting for batch updates like many older platforms.
Look for a logistics management solution that integrates with your existing marketplaces, shopping carts, shipping, and accounting platforms. Logiwa integrates with more than 50 popular providers so the dashboard can reflect the current state of your business. These integrations automate and streamline your operations for improved accuracy and timeliness. Manage invoicing and billing with the accounting integrations and provide the best customer experience from order placement to delivery. Managing purchase orders through the system will help bring discipline to your operation.
Rule-based Directed Put-away
Order fulfillment starts with putting the right product to the right location. Every warehouse is unique, there is no 1 put-away algorithm that fits all the warehouses. A best-of-breed WMS organizes your warehouse with rule-based put-away algorithms.
Automated Workflow Management
Advanced warehouse management systems provide ready to go workflows for 3PL warehouses to gain picking productivity.
Dynamic picking algorithms unique to “New Age” fulfillment
Sure, most 3PL software provides essential functions – inventory tracking, order picking management, shipping, and replenishment. Do you need a system that supports direct-to-consumer e-commerce and the higher level of returns that are a part of that channel? Does your system support an omnichannel view of your inventory regardless of the sales channel? If you can't answer "Yes" to these questions, it may be time to look for a new 3PL software solution.
To find out more about how Logiwa can supercharge your inventory management functions, contact us for a demo today.