4 Benefits of Being a Tech-Enabled 3PL Fulfilment Partner


Third-party logistics (3PL) providers have long been providing services to better manage the supply chain and assist online retailers in satisfying consumer demand. As the industry grows, traditional fulfilment practices cannot keep up with services such as same-day delivery and 2-day shipping that consumers have now come to expect, with retailers also wanting more real-time insights and on-demand package tracking.


Modern 3PLs that have become ‘tech-enabled’ have incorporated warehouse technologies and transformed their service offering to keep up with consumer demand and satisfy their client’s desires to compete with the big retailers.



What is a tech-enabled 3PL provider?


A tech-enabled 3PL is a fulfilment partner that incorporates technology and automation into its processes to streamline shipping and fulfilment solutions for ecommerce businesses. In addition to reducing time and costs in the order fulfilment process, the software integrates data from multiple sources to give complete visibility of the order lifecycle and provides valuable insights to optimise the supply chain. 



What software do tech-enabled 3PLs use?


3PL warehouse management software is a cloud-based platform that helps automate the order fulfilment process, from inventory management to picking, packing, shipping and tracking orders and sales channels for online retailers. Fulfilment software integrates with platforms such as online stores to streamline the flow of information and provide a seamless order fulfilment process.



The benefits of being a tech-enabled third-party logistics provider


The main benefit of being a tech-enabled 3PL partner is the ability to provide a streamlined and improved service for your clients, helping your 3PL business to thrive. 


By integrated the right technology, you’ll be able to provide the following benefits for your clients:


1. Help retailers save time by automating processes


Instead of having to manually send over orders before the shipping deadline each day, 3PL fulfilment software that’s fully integrated with the ecommerce store will alert warehouse staff as soon as an order is placed, eliminating the need for any manual intervention.


Once the warehouse has been notified, each step in the process is documented and updated in real-time, allowing the retailer to view the status of the order as it moves through the retail fulfilment process.


Tech-enabled 3PL software can be integrated with other steps in the fulfilment process, leading to an overall more efficient service. This can include automatically reordering inventory when product levels are low or processing returned items, saving time and money for the retailer and getting deliveries to customers quicker. 


2. Reduce fulfilment costs for clients through valuable insights


One of the most effective areas for saving money in fulfilment is in shipping costs. In addition to the reduced rates available to 3PL clients, reducing the distance packages travel will contribute to driving down shipping costs. 


To achieve this, inventory can be split across different fulfilment centres to ship orders out from warehouses that are closest to your customers. By using insights derived from software, retailers can understand where to strategically distribute their inventory to maximise shipping cost savings.


Being able to collect advanced analytics and distribution metrics will also allow ecommerce businesses to better optimise their supply chain. Metrics such as peak fulfilment times, sales by channel, revenue of orders shipped by day, sales and quantity of orders by region, and much more. 


Continuous data collection becomes more and more powerful as you build up order history and are able to derive greater insights.



3. Reduce errors and increase transparency for clients


Data errors are all too common with retailers manually sending orders to their 3PL provider, with the risk of typos and incorrect information. This in turn can lead to returns, exchanges, replacements, and expedited shipping, all of which are expensive, time-consuming and can lead to customer dissatisfaction. 


Tech-enabled 3PLs automate the fulfilment process, eliminating the risk of duplication and the possibility of human error.


It also allows retailers to have an extra level of transparency into the 3PLs performance. With all of the fulfilment process steps directly tied into one piece of software, retailers can quickly and easily view the 3PLs performance and accuracy in handling their orders.


4. Improve customer service 


With technology integrated into the whole fulfilment process, retailers have a complete overview of the order, from the moment it’s placed to when it’s delivered to the customer’s doorstep.


This allows the retailer to confidently and accurately answer any question a customer may have along the fulfilment process using the most up-to-date information. With greater precision, transparency and consistency in service, customer satisfaction should be significantly improved.


Given the efficiency achieved through automation, tech-enabled 3PLs are able to provide a service that matches the customer’s expectations of same-day or two-day delivery that have become the standard among the larger retailers. Optimising the fulfilment process through technology allows retailers to offer the quick turnaround that customers want.


Become a tech-enabled 3PL provider with Mintsoft


If you’re looking to modernise your 3PL and adopt a smart warehouse model to meet and exceed your customers’ expectations, investing in robust, adaptable warehouse automation technology is absolutely essential.


With 150+ integrations, including automated accounting and billing, Mintsoft’s 3PL management system allows you to fulfil orders, send and track invoices and simplify 3PL charging, monitor inventory levels and keep on top of your cash flow – all from a single platform.


Book your free demo to see how digital warehouse technologies can help you to better manage and expand your business. Or, if you’d like to learn more about automation and streamlined software, read our guide on warehouse management systems


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