3PLs and shippers work closely to form collaborative relationships, so they produce better customer experiences for the end-consumer. The relationship between shippers, suppliers, carriers and logistics experts is important, however, it’s complex. In a 3PL-shipper relationship, 3PLs deliver shippers a competitive advantage through integrated 3PL technology.
What is the 3PL technology?
3PLs use a transportation management system (TMS) to support supply chain procedures and transportation choices. Also, TMS software provides visibility into the shipper’s supply chain performance through data and reports. Moreover, TMS software enables real-time, tangible information that can be analyzed to identify problems and solutions within the supply chain. Creating solutions with insight gained from TMS data often results in better customer satisfaction.
Why does customer experience matter?
Improving customer satisfaction is the key to growth. What’s more, it is predicted that by 2020, customer experience will be more important than price, so the product or brand choice as a differentiator in purchasing decisions. Having insight into TMS-produced data might be the difference between a happy or unhappy customer.
Now, nearly half of Americans pay more attention to shipping as part of the overall shopping experience, compared to three years ago. On-time, quick deliveries are a necessity for positive customer experience. Undoubtfully failed or mistimed delivery will result in poor customer experience.
The data generated from a TMS allows shippers and their logistics provider to better plan for limited capacity, changing demand, fuel costs and/or shipment size. Also, with big data, more metrics are available to recognize customer expectations. Ultimately, the goal is to meet all expectations (from the shipper to the end-consumer). As well, TMS technology reveals the successes and failures of a supply chain.
TMS is a 3PL technology, which typically documents data for:
- Delivery tracking
- Status update notifications
- Lane analysis
- On-time performance metrics
- Volume trends
Shippers benefit from 3PLs who are able to generate and analyze this big data, so they find opportunities that drive success and improve the customer experience. According to an SDL survey and Econsultancy, as many as 80% of companies plan to increase their customer experience spending in 2015. Also, companies see more value and importance in delivering superior customer experience than ever before.
Trucking companies, 3PLs, and shippers face a huge challenge in creating great customer experiences due to customer demands and an increasing number of retail channels. To grow and achieve positive customer associations, companies should integrate transportation management technology to enhance its supply chain.