Tag Archives: retail

3 Reasons to Use a 3PL For Retail Supply Chain

With increasing competition in the retail market, it has become very challenging for retailers to efficiently manage their supply chains. Essentially, a smooth retail supply chain strategy is a fundamental part of a positive customer experience, and retail companies strive to reach the golden standard of order fulfillment and fast delivery.

The thing is, most of the retail companies are not experts at logistics and supply chain management, and they don’t have dedicated departments for this branch of business. So, to make their online and omnichannel strategy work, retailers turn to 3PL’s for help. According to Pinsent Masons study, 88% of retail companies that outsourced any type of operation to a 3PL were satisfied with the results.

When is the right time to use a 3PL for a retail supply chain?

Outsourcing logistics to a 3PL is a great step that can take a lot of responsibility off of your plate and let you focus on the main business goals. Apart from time and money savings, third-party logistics providers can offer many substantial benefits to your retail business.

Cost-efficiency

Many companies assume that outsourcing to a third party by default means spending more on service fees. However, all the efforts of a 3PL will eventually cost you less than an in-house supply chain management. Retail companies don’t have the negotiating power of a 3PL. Experienced providers work with thousands of carriers on special terms, and can offer you a much lower shipping price than the market average.

Additionally, a 3PL is a one-stop-shop for most of your supply chain needs. That means you don’t have to invest in warehousing, technology, and a logistics team. Ultimately, it’s cheaper to delegate logistics to the industry experts instead of learning every process from scratch and experiment on your own business.

Streamlined processes

Retailers have numerous distribution channels. Managing outbound shipments and consistently storing all of the data can be extremely challenging. 3PL’s take this burden away. Good logistics providers have special technology, like a transportation management system, where you can navigate any information on a certain shipment. In a dynamic world of retail, the ability to streamline transportation processes and track shipments is critical for a smooth business flow.

Flexibility

Another reason to outsource to a 3PL is their ability to adjust to your business needs. In most cases, 3PL’s provide an extremely wide span of services. You can outsource a single link, or an entire supply chain, and still be confident about the results. From transportation to inventory and returns management, you can always add up or take off operations from an outsourcing list.

Final thoughts

At the end of the day, customer demands set the bar of performance level for retail companies. Those who strive to succeed in the competition constantly look for ways to improve their business flow and efficiency. Eventually, more and more retailers turn to 3PL’s to take care of their supply chains and get excellent results while focusing on their core competence.

PLS Solutions for Retail Logistics

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5 Ways a TMS Supports Omni-Channel Commerce

Having a powerful, scalable transportation management system (TMS) is necessary for effective transportation operations. Omni-channel commerce is much more difficult to handle than everyday operations from a transportation perspective, and visibility into the supply chain is the key to success. A TMS can provide detailed reports to improve omni-channel functionstms for omnichannel ecommerce

A TMS with advanced reporting features will be able to:

Send alerts regarding disruptions

A TMS provides automated alerts when a shipment is delayed, damaged or unable to be delivered. Because of this alert, a customer can be notified of a delay or a new product source can be identified and dispatched immediately.

Track total transportation spend

TMS software has to ability to aggregate and finds the total cost of transportation for a company, which typically exceed the expectations. This information will allow a company to begin making improvements and track progress.

Provide on-time delivery metrics

A TMS provides on-time performance results to a DC, store or supplier. This information helps to determine where inefficiencies arise in logistics processes. It can also help uncover the most efficient routes and what combination of DCs and stores will enhance service such as the buy online, pick up in store model.

Create inbound shipment visibility

TMS software offers real-time information on inbound shipments. This allows a company to prepare for unloading/loading to keep operations moving smoothly and to plan appropriately for labor needs.

Reduce shipping costs

A TMS creates cost-saving opportunities, first through visibility, which allows identification of the problem, and then through tracking the progress of the solution. A TMS helps find the most operative lanes, consolidates shipments, picks out the most productive carriers, and even helps keep inventory moving smoothly through warehouses.

Omni-channel logistics is extremely difficult to manage and will only get more difficult as e-commerce grows in popularity. The reports a TMS provides are invaluable for transportation optimization, and in turn, customer satisfaction.

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