Over the past years, there’s been a significant increase in online businesses. The popularity of eCommerce has resulted in increased online shopping. This has disrupted warehouse providers as well as logistics services. Also, even though online shopping may seem convenient, the challenge comes when your customers expect superfast deliveries.
To meet these demands, you need to use an approach that facilitates smooth collaboration between warehouse and logistics service providers. Online shops rely on warehouse providers for storage and packing and on logistics services for timely deliveries. Therefore, the efficiency of logistics service providers partly relies on warehouse providers.
Working alone may not help you meet the said demands. At this point, you may consider bringing in a third party. The third party or 3PL WMS will help you scale your fulfillment network. If you want to learn how 3PL WMS can help with your warehouse and logistics needs, continue reading. This post defines 3PL WMS and explains how it can scale your fulfillment network.
What Is 3PL WMS?
3PL WMS stands for ‘third-party logistics warehouse management software.’ It involves outsourcing resources for warehousing, managing supply chain operations, and logistics. On the other hand, a fulfillment network involves storing, managing inventory, picking up clients’ orders, packing, and shipping.
Benefits Of Using 3PL WMS In Your Fulfillment Network
Below are some ways that 3PL WMS helps in improving your fulfillment network
1. Getting Real-Time Stock Data
3PL WMS allows you to integrate your enterprise resource planning with the service provider’s warehouse management module. With this integration, you get access to stock data as well as shipping services. Subsequently, you can do various things, such as checking shipment status, verifying documents, and many more.
Such access improves your fulfillment network, as you can update your customers on when to expect their products and ensure the submission of the right documents. Also, you can prevent inconveniences like running out of stock because you can add more when you see your stock is low. As a result, customers won’t have to wait for long before getting the products they want.
2. Generating Accurate Bills
How you run or manage your finances affects your business’s success. The more accurate your process is, the higher the chances of being successful. This accuracy is determined by the type of approach you use. If you use manual processing, the process is prone to human errors, leading to inaccurate bills. Additionally, manual processing is time-consuming.
However, you don’t have to worry about such errors when using 3PL WMS. Many 3PL companies help in automatically generating accurate invoices through their software modules.
3. Increasing Operations Visibility
How various operations are run affects the services you offer. To offer good services, you can look into your operations and identify the areas that need improvement or other changes. Luckily, with 3PL WMS, you can use a cloud-based system to have better visibility. This system allows you to have in-depth analytics, monthly and year-end reports, as well as on-demand reports. After that, you can use the information from these reports to assess your service and make the necessary changes.
4. Increasing Flexibility
Demand is always fluctuating. At times, you may have too many or too few orders. It’s good to be flexible so that you can easily manage the orders you receive. Inflexibility can negatively impact your fulfillment network.
For instance, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 45% of businesses in the United States were affected by the disruptions in supply chains due to the Covid-19 pandemic. These businesses didn’t handle the change in demand level well.
The good thing about working with 3PL WMS is that you get solutions relating to packaging, managing inventory, and shipping that you probably can’t manage working alone. You can use these solutions to deal with the demand fluctuations you face.
5. Saving Time And Money
As mentioned earlier, working with 3PL WMS means you let them take care of your shipping responsibilities. Outsourcing fulfillment resources allows you to hand over warehouse management responsibilities and costs to the service provider, and you can use the saved time to focus on getting more sales.
Also, allowing a third party to handle your inventory and stocks helps deliver your orders on time. However, timely delivery depends on the company you work with. Some companies have your best interests in mind and handle your stock with care, while others are after the money. Therefore, when looking for a 3PL WPS service provider, conduct in-depth research to find one you can rely on.
Further, 3PL WMS service providers negotiate with major shipping companies so that you pay less for shipping. This allows you to provide free shipping to your customers.
Another way that 3PL WMS allows you to save money is through the fact you don’t need to deal with shipping and order selection issues. These problems occur when a wrong product is sent to a customer. In such situations, it’s the third-party logistics service provider that handles the costs.
6. Using a Paperless System
Digitalization has reduced the use of traditional paper. Working with 3PL WMS, you can use a cloud-based system that removes the need for paper. For instance, you can store your data digitally, which comes with a number of benefits. For one, you can access your data anytime and anywhere when you want to. This also avoids employing the extra workforce needed to generate reports, thanks to warehouse automation technology.
Moreover, digitalization allows you to get advanced shipping notifications. As a result, you get enough time to meet the picking and packing demands, promoting customer satisfaction. As much as customer satisfaction is for the benefit of customers, it also benefits your business. For instance, you get more customers through positive customer reviews, build a stronger and more reputable brand, and stand out from your competitors.
The rising popularity of online shopping has led to increased reliance on warehouse and logistics services. Fast delivery demands have increased as well. To meet these demands, consider leveraging the power of 3PL WMS to help scale your fulfillment network, and by extension, your business.