Third-party logistics (3PL) providers have a longstanding history of providing services to manage the supply chain better. Modern 3PLs have evolved their services and incorporated technology to keep up with consumer demand. Likewise, shippers are turning to technology-enabled 3PLs to increase overall efficiency and boost performance. The overlap of technology and logistics provides an end-to-end supply chain solution.
Why Should You Use A Technology-Enabled Third-Party Logistics Provider?
Increase in Supply Chain Visibility
Shippers are under pressure to reduce supply chain costs as part of more significant company cost-saving initiatives. Shippers want more services and better transparency from their supply chain managers, ideally without increasing the budget. To evolve with the ever-changing technology landscape, several 3PLs and supply chain managers have shifted to wireless technologies and cloud computing to automate systems and improve accuracy for their customers. Technology, like radio-frequency identification (RFID), is a popular method of automatic identification and data capture. RFID tags can be attached to an entire pallet, inventory, or almost any item, the tracing possibilities are extensive and applicable to numerous aspects of the supply chain. Shippers want to be able to answer the question, “When exactly will my delivery arrive?” Integrating new technologies will make answering that question much easier.
Integration of Multiple Platforms
Integration between 3PLs and their customers’ software systems creates efficiencies and improves response times. Service concerns can be handled immediately and escalated to the proper solutions team. Obstacles will occur, so quick response times are critical. Providers can integrate their TMS/WMS with client systems to form a single management system that renders customizable reporting and solutions. A successful provider will use EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to share information with customers and other associated parties. EDI eliminates accidental data entry and increases efficiency and allows the provider to offer real-time updates to customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
This revolutionary technology allows devices to communicate with each other within an existing internet infrastructure without human intervention—devices of all sorts such as tablet computers, sensors monitoring machinery or vehicles, or even wearables. In warehousing, it allows planners to know exactly what’s on hand and precisely where it’s located in the warehouse. In IoT enabled trucks, sensors can report everything from remaining fuel levels, tire quality, and conditions inside a container. The use of connected devices, other technologies, and supply chain planning is moving ahead full steam, allowing for massive cost saving.
Talk With Taylor
Technology enables logistics. To keep up, you must embrace and evolve with the current technology climate. A tech-enabled 3PL can save you time, money, and headaches while improving customer service. Partner with technology-driven Taylor today.