Real-Time Performance Metrics: Enhancing Transparency for 3PL Customers

  • Feb 6, 2024
  • 6 Min Read

No exaggeration: eCommerce reciprocates positively to excellent order fulfillment process!
A miss is a miss of trust and a business opportunity!

eCommerce is a phenomenon, which is entirely ruled and dominated by customers. To put it succinctly, it is a customer-driven business formula, which can bring success or be a cause of doom for a retailer. And all, because of the way an order has been executed and handled from start to finish. To clarify, suppose there is a retailer X, offering a product at a cheat price. It is obvious there would be a surge in orders. If the retailer is not prepared and does not have a proper logistics system in place, a good opportunity would be left to nothing but a futile experience. A customer appreciates quality product, at a low price, on-time delivery with no hidden cost and an easy return policy if need arises.

What is 3PL and how it can Benefit?

Logistics is the backbone of eCommerce, and an online retailer has only that much reach and success as far as it can deliver. 3PL or third-party logistics company, is an extension of a business, as they are experts in logistics services and exactly know how to complete an order cost-effectively and efficiently. As an outsourcing company, they provide end-to-end logistics services inclusive of warehouse management system (WMS), storing of pallets, transportation and successful order fulfillment along with return or reverse logistics.

The integrated service offered by 3PL companies gives real-time inventory insights and allows businesses to deploy resources on core competencies and improve their product line as well as customer service.

3PL builds trust & transparency with real-time performance metrics

The question is how a 3PL can change business dynamics for retailers or eCommerce businesses? How supply chain management performance is enhanced by sharing the work load of order management system? 3PL service providers have automated operations with experience in handling similar kind of businesses. Let’s evaluate how with real-time performance metrics, 3PL customers experience complete transparency in work and connect better during an order fulfillment process.

• Inventory Management: 3PLs track and manage inventory levels for retailers to boldly face challenges of multi-channel order management. An automated inventory management system allows access of information through a single dashboard, it shows available stocks, location, coordinates with logistics and make the movement cost-effective.

• Accuracy in time: Since, tracking and tracing of inventory becomes easy, accuracy of time is ensured for order fulfillment.

• Warehouse Management: With a boom in e-retailing post-pandemic, coupled with opening of offline purchasing power, retailers struggle with finite warehouse space to meet surmounting demands. 3PL offers warehousing loaded with intelligent warehouse management system (WMS), for exchange of data about inventory in real-time. This allows equal distribution of inventories; help save time and smoothen on-time delivery of orders.

• Cross-docking: 3PLs expedites an order fulfillment process, as sometimes inbound inventories are directly loaded on outbound trucks which is called cross-docking. This is done for speedy order fulfillment as real-time inventory insight are exchanged continuously.

• Shipping and Logistics: 3PLs develop cordial relation with carrier and shipping companies. The TMS or transport management system, connect 3PLs to carriers and real-time information on transport and carriers of waterways, railways, airways or roadways are updated regularly. This facilitates cross-docking and shipment can be released at cost-effective rate at the shortest time.

• Adding Value: 3PLs optimizes supply chain management experience for a retailer irrespective of online or offline or both. With real-time performance metrics, 3PLs can track a retailer’s customers behavior, choices, interests and accordingly prompt suggestions or send floating feeds. Not only this, 3PLs provide picking, packing, storing, kitting as per a client’s business targets.

Definitely a 3PL customer would be required to review and communicate with 3PL providers for scaling up the business, but with real-time performance metrics, 3PLs bring transparency in working methodology. 3PLs customers are connected with an integrated system for visibility and transparency. This real-time interaction and exchange of data help retailers to focus on core competencies and scale up the business.

Real-time Tracking and Reporting Empower 3PLs Providers to Deliver Exceptional Services

When 3PLs providers have real-time knowledge about yard storage, carriers, routing, about containerization, these companies can better facilitate their customers. Take for instance, there is an online retailer with a brick-n-mortar store. A customer visits the store and likes a product which is not available in the right size. When there is coordination between retailers and 3PL provider, availability of SKU can be confirmed and the customer can be assured of the delivery at the earliest. So, instead of losing a business, the retailer is able to win the trust of the customer and ensured contentment. While the 3PL provider can immediately locate the next carrier with space to carry the shipment at the desired location. This not only saves money as 3PLs might have multiple orders for the same location. To bring down costs and ensure early or on-time delivery, orders are clubbed even though belong to other retailers. This clubbing brings down cost and builds trust. These are a few benefits of real-time tracking and reporting.

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