The third-party logistics business is not a particularly easy one for many different reasons. It used to be you could get away with some trucks and warehouse space. But not any more.
Today there always seems to be a new technology, trade regulation, or service. That you must adopt, comply with, or add to your offering if you want to remain competitive.
But there’s one part of doing business as a 3PL that’s may be most difficult. The third-party logistics market has grown steadily in the past decade with ever-increasing numbers of companies outsourcing, and fewer returning to insourcing. But, with the popularity comes two seemingly competing customer demands.
Almost regardless of how much value a third-party logistics adds, customers want costs reductions that make 3PL a no-brainer versus insourcing.
Understandably, each customer wants things done to their specifications. They want innovative solutions to their particular issues.
Why Do These Customer Demands Make Life Difficult for Third-Party Logistics?
The fastest and easiest way to lower costs to meet the first demand is to consolidate and commoditize services. This can include taking more advantage of LTL shipments and even picking and packing for multiple customers.
But consolidation makes it difficult to tailor services to each customer. How do you explain that a client’s widget shipment is taking a little longer because it’s on a truck with their competitor’s dohickeys and another’s thingamabobs?
Technology to the Rescue
Fortunately, ongoing technological advancements offer 3PLs a way to reduce costs while meeting customer demands for tailored services.
In addition to helping you meet many of the latest demands being placed on 3PLs by your clients, like e-commerce integration, AdvancePro Inventory Management allows for the consolidation of many 3PL customers into a single, real-time dashboard. All while keeping each customer’s logistics and reporting safe and secure. And your clients appreciate the customization that comes from being able to integrate their logistics data and reporting with their own QuickBooks, EDI or web sales portals. Contact us here at AdvancePro to learn more.