Managing 3PL Ecommerce Fulfillment: Purpose, Problems, and Profits
Typically, a 3PL ecommerce fulfilment agency takes an embedded, strategic approach to managing a client company's transportation and supply chain to the end retail customer, and - as with most things - technology and automation not only makes this easier, but saves everyone money, time, and errors for all parties.
How you manage your 3PL ecommerce fulfilment will affect not only our own customer retention, but that of your customers’ customers.
The major demands on the 3PL eCommerce warehouse process:
What do your customers need from your 3PL ecommerce warehouse?..
...and how can your management provide this?
1. Ecommerce Customers Need Expertise and Knowledge
Supply chain logistics can be complex; fulfillment, warehousing, and shipping all come with major challenges. When it comes to supply chain logistics, 3PL organisations should be experts and able to impart their experience and connections with clients to streamline processes, allowing them the freedom to concentrate energies on other elements of retail.
Your 3PL Warehouse... Responds by employing an integrated 3PL WMS will help to handle the administration with minimal error, in minimal time, and provide maximum data required.
2. Ecommerce Customers Want To Save Time and Money
Using your 3PL should eliminate the need for clients to invest in warehouse space, technology, transportation, and employees to carry out logistics processes, allowing for more focus on their business. Offering better solutions makes room for more entrepreneurs, especially in current economies across the world.
Your 3PL Warehouse... Should employ technology to identify and make organisations proactively aware of costly and risky supply chain mistakes with industry forecasting, additionally helping your ecommerce retailers to optimise inventory levels and save time by accessing expertise to carry out supply chain logistics efficiently.
3. Ecommerce Customers Need Stock Visibility and Tracking
With a 3PL ecommerce warehouse management software integrated with the enterprise resource planning, clients can get real-time data about anything related to stocks AND easily connect with their shipper, giving them total visibility into progress, inventory, and documents, virtually via cloud.
The added functionalities expected are:
- No extra labour required to generate customer report
- Secure login for the security-conscious client
- Data accessibility on anytime and anywhere
- Advance shipping notifications help meet picking and packing demand
Client interaction is the foundation of an ecommerce warehouse, and a good 3PL WMS must fulfil this purpose, especially in competitive economies such as Saudi, Dubai, and other GCC countries.
Your 3PL Warehouse... Must meet this with real-time location tracking of the goods shipped to give customers accurate ETAs. Streamlining tracking functionalities via SKU, batch, parts, or serial number is the most accurate way to get real-time data about goods in transit, and your WMS will also ensure you get inventory activity details inside or outside of the warehouse. If you wish to offer these benefits, your warehouse needs customised solutions and get added ERP features - all easily achievable with a successful WMS implementation.
4. Ecommerce Customers Need Scalable Operations For Flexibility
When a company uses your 3PL, they want to be able to scale space, labour, and transportation according to current inventory and retail demands, from South Africa to Saudi Arabia. Your 3PL should help to ease the transition between seasonal periods and industry fluctuation.
Warehouse management software can analyse and monitor supply chain procedures to eliminate inefficiencies. This means that ecommerce clients engaging your 3PL services will experience continuous improvements being made to their logistics processes, justifying their ROI and allowing them to expand with your 3PL solution.
Your 3PL Warehouse... Can aid growth into new markets such as GCC, providing retailers with adjustable solutions with a solid but elastic WMS. 3PLs must always look for ways to improve supply chains but this requires tools, technologies, and automation capable of making adjustments.
Managing a 3PL eCommerce Warehouse
To manage your 3PL ecommerce warehouse effectively you need to leverage technology to maximise hours and labour to accommodate retail customers by:
- Resolving your ratio of on-time versus delayed deliveries
- Show problem solving capabilities
- Communicate clearly and rapidly with clients
- Choosing a WPS that can work seamlessly with clients’ business operations
- Show real-time tracking
- Having timeous, accessible, and relevant data for you and the client
- Employing automation
- Maximising your warehouse layout
- Improving billing accuracy
- Offer in-built flexibility for long term partnerships
10 Tips to create an efficient 3PL ecommerce warehouse:
- Only offer same-day fulfillment if you can achieve it.
- Optimise your user experience with integrated ERP, WMS and OMS interfaces.
- Drive down abandonment rates by re-evaluating cart conversion KPIs with data analytics.
- Big items require big solutions, specialised storage, and customised delivery options.
- Use data to tabulate your wins and losses.
- Cut costs through labour management.
- Keep auditing freight bills to lower transport costs.
- Look beyond today's technology to future-proof for tomorrow’s customer.
- React to the consumer, respond to the competition.
- Don't overlook the details to maintain SKU-level profitability.
For insights into how you can further your improvement and optimisation of your 3PL eCommerce operation, download the 3PL toolkit now: