3PLs: The Doctors of Warehouse and Fulfillment Services

When considering two different medical procedures, patients ask a physician to identify the pros and cons of each option. 3PLs (Third Party Logistics) are expert “doctors” in warehouse and fulfillment services. 3PLs are living the pros and cons of fulfillment services every day for online and omnichannel customers. 3PL executives are specialists and experts who provide mission-critical performance metrics.

A warehouse worker picks items to fulfill an ecommerce order in a warehouse.Many 3PLs now utilize WarehouseOS® technology. The technology provides the ability to quantify the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) with 24/7 real-time data on the quality, accuracy, and service levels which impacts customers’ volumes, timeline, and budget.

More data is not always better for 3PLs. Too many data metrics distract 3PLs from the actual execution of fulfillment tasks. WarehouseOS® enjoys wide adoption in 3PLs as it is deemed best-of-breed, which focuses on a handful of strategic fulfillment metrics that matter most to customers.

WarehouseOS® allows 3PLs to consider receiving efficiency (dock to stock time) while recognizing that products on a DC (Distribution Center) receiving area (instead of racks or bins) is unavailable to be picked, packed, and shipped. The results are bottlenecks down the production line. The result is poor delivery time and compromised customer satisfaction.

Any inaccuracy of inventory data is simply unacceptable. Variance suggests problems with receiving accuracy to order fulfillment accuracy. The results are excess costs in reshipping and unhappy customers.

Shipping accuracy means customers get a perfect delivery every time. 3PLs must be proficient in eliminating deliveries to the wrong address, damaged deliveries, or incorrect items or counts.

No percentage of unhappy customers is worth the cost in the 3PL space. Customer acquisition is an expensive online and omnichannel experience. The value proposition is customer retention and reorders justify those acquisition costs.

A red parcel bin moves along an automated conveyor belt at a warehouse distribution center.

Only with on-time shipping can customers, who have increasing demands for rapid order fulfillment, be satisfied. WarehouseOS® helps 3PL logistics companies increase accuracy in picking as well as fulfillment rates. Perfect shipping by 3PLs is vital as manufacturers expect thousands of orders fulfilled every day depend on accurate, delivered on time, and transparency throughout the process.

Beyond an increase in accuracy and fulfillment rates, 3PLs experience reduced training time. Training becomes easier and increased throughput drives improved productivity (worker hours per order). Newer warehouse staff that was slow prior to WarehouseOS® implementation dramatically improves.

Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) have been around for a long time with too many companies still using the RF gun to conduct inventory management, scan in new items, and pick orders. The RF gun solutions typically cost double what modern solutions offer. WarehouseOS® and associated apps have been developed to make everything about warehouse fulfillment easier and better. Apps allow small or large companies to receive products, manage inventory, perform cycle counting, conduct single picks or do batch picking, verify items picked, and pack them into boxes.

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