10 ways your WMS can help customers choose your 3PL Service
As a third-party logistics service provider, you are more than aware of the multifarious demands on your clients’ businesses and supply chains. You also know exactly how much volumes, scale, and requirements can vary on a month-to-month basis, and how they need to be supported while the business grows or changes.
The obvious benefits of your service to your potential market include cost-saving, an greater economy of scale for shipping, warehousing, and packaging, and the reduction of risk and responsibility that goes with building their own logistics infrastructure.
In short, you’re the reason many of your customers are able to do business, maintain a client base, and deliver the promise to their clients. No pressure.
What is expected of a 3PL, and why should you ensure you outrank your competition?
Not all 3PLs are created equal, so not only do you need to have your ducks in a row - they also need to be superb ducks.
Aside from the obvious – that you want to grow and maintain a customer base that makes you money, your clients will use your capability and performance to decide if you’re worth engaging.
In order for your customers to trust you with their distribution, you need to deliver on requirements that set you apart, and provide them with peace of mind; while your manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, or pharmaceutical prospects are evaluating a 3PL to partner with, they’re going through the list of benefits you should provide.
We look at the points that make you the preferred 3PL service provider, and how your Warehouse Management System, smart technology, and order streaming can give you the competitive edge.
What prospects expect from their 3PL of choice, and how a WMS delivers:
People talk, and what they say can make or break your bid for business. In the spirit of excellent word of mouth, you should aim to have the words be:
- Price – because of your efficient processes, you offer a very competitive service
- Reputation – you’re reliable, stable, and you tackle problems in real-time, with less space to disappoint the end-customer.
- Location and communication –your network is interlinked to streamline distribution throughout your regions?
- Scalability and flexibility – you’re agile enough to meet any demand in any industry, whether seasonal rush, event-based sales drives, or general month-end madness.
- Be financially stable – you don’t ever use the word “mismanagement”, and neither do your customers.
Here are the 10 ways in which your WMS makes this happen:
1. A WMS allows you to expand your range of offerings
The more you offer your customers, the more flexible and scalable your service, and, in turn, the more work they can run through your 3rd Party service. A seamless process that gives them security, real-time tracking, and reliable distribution channels is a fantastic selling point.
Your warehouse management system gives you the tools you need to offer short- and long-term storage, same-day delivery, end-to-end logistics, and omnichannel processes that can satisfy the requirements of customers in any industry.
2. A great WMS gives you cutting-edge technology that is robust, effective, and scalable.
Implementing a best-of-breed WMS from a vendor who has the resources to develop and roll-out new technologies and integrations on a regular basis can make or break your ability to deliver on changing distribution demands.
Warehouse Management Systems already give you improved data analytics, automation tools, MHE recommendations, omnichannel tools, and more, and as technology evolves, will allow you to stay on the forefront of these developments with tools developed by the experts.
3. Your ability to effectively manage your shared-space environment is boosted
Your clients are choosing a shared-space environment to save costs and reduce their liability, whether they are SMMEs or Enterprise level companies.
Your responsibility to them is to ensure that this environment isn’t their downfall. A dedicated warehouse is still a busy, process-driven place. By multiplying the demands on your receiving and shipping by adding more customers to the mix, you run the risk of loss, contamination, error, and confusion.
A WMS helps to keep a lid on the chaos: streamlining your processes, tracking shipments, locking down your receiving processes, and implementing cross-docking and other time-saving, touch-reducing measures mitigates the risk of the choreography going wrong.
4. Customisation options are plentiful and adaptable
You need to offer a range of customisation options within your service to cater to varying client needs and directives. While you may have a handle on the specifics, your processes and methods cannot change each time a new request is logged.
Your warehouse management system brings your processes and day-to-day activities under one easy-to-manage umbrella, so that you can customise your client offering, but still keep the seamless, integrated, productive processes rolling without obstacle.
5. It’s easier to create continuous improvement with regular, tech-driven updates
Your clients are aiming to grow their business, and so are you. Both parties will benefit from regular updates to the technology, with your 3PL making headway into more efficient processes and better handling, and your clients improving their turnaround times and delivery success. Win-win.
You should aim to partner with a WMS vendor who can handle the research, development, and upgrade processes while you focus on the important part: your business.
6. A WMS allows you to manage, process, and deliver omnichannel solutions
The warehouse and distribution landscape is changing, led by new developments in how the end-customer orders, shops, and receives their goods.
With a robust omnichannel system, you can accommodate the numerous channels that your customers run their orders through, and support them with their omnichannel inventory management, replenishment, deliveries, returns, and more.
7. Your network of locations is connected, integrated, and synchronised.
Should you be an established 3PL with multiple locations, your network of distribution centres and warehouses can be managed from a central location. This allows you to track and manage multiple movements for any client across all your sites.
Your WMS gives you this capability, as well as adding to your toolkit by allowing you to do customer-specific analytics and reporting within your business. This means the end-customer is nurtured and satisfied, and so is the company that they have bought from.
8. Your WMS revs up your data sharing capability
Following on from above: It’s absolutely critical in this instant-gratification culture to provide real-time updates to end-customers. If they’ve made an order, they want to know when it’s received, processed, ordered from supplier, ready to ship, on its way, and at their door. It’s a tall order, but technology has allowed us to deliver.
Your WMS allows you to create tools that share this data and more with your clients, so that they can give end-customers the low-down while maintaining their own peace of mind.
9. Your investment in for-purpose, best-in-class technologies gives your prospects the reassurance of stability and trustworthiness they need to sign up.
Manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and industrial companies want to know that they can trust you with their cargo, regardless of the value. If your 3PL has invested in the software that can give them this peace of mind, you’ll naturally rank higher.
Your WMS is tailored to your 3PL specifications, using best-of-breed software, implemented to support your business in your productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and profitability. Your customer requires you to be excelling in these areas to satisfy their customers, and your commitment to quality, for-purpose technology shows that you most definitely are.
10. Order management and omnichannel functionality
There are very few businesses who aren’t beholden to the omnichannel methods mentioned above, and what they all have in common is a need to ensure that their orders make it from warehouse to customer with as little hindrance as possible.
With OMS that integrates into your WMS, you can ensure that your warehouse can give them the streamlined, reduced-error, speedy and reliable service they need.
Find out more about the benefits of a WMS here, or contact us to discuss how Supply Chain Junction can help your 3PL stand out from the crowd with Manhattan Associates WMS.
If you aren’t sure if a new or replacement WMS is the best way forward, see how you can guarantee return on investment – and satisfied, loyal customers – by planning, implementing, and capitalising on your Warehouse Management System.
Download the ROI Study here: