Last year, E-commerce revenue broke records, showing the need for 3PLs to focus on innovation to meet changing customer demands from storing inventory, picking, packing, to sending orders placed on websites that are linked to shopping carts.
As retailers seek new distribution models and address the increased interest in next day shipping, or move into E-commerce, 3PLs have to stand out and offer exceptional service, and the first area to address is new technology. Unlike additional employees, technology boosts your production with lower costs. It makes operation faster and more efficient.
If you are one of the many 3PLs looking for new strategies to meet revenue goals and remain competitive, you may be interested in integrated technology and expanding to use an Order Management System (OMS) as well as a WMS. So, let’s go back to basics on the benefits of integrations and get a handle on how the right integrated technology can reduce your operational costs.
A simple recap of 3PL integration
Integration in computer tech language refers to APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which communicate with each other through software code to transfer data from the source API to its destination API through extraction and input.
An API is required to integrate any software tech stack. This might already be in place with your WMS (warehouse management system), TMS (transport management system) and other operational software for your customers, such as shopping carts.
Integrations can streamline workflows, increases the speed of fulfilment, count stock, and reduce errors and investing in the right technology now will ultimately drive down costs for you in the long term.
How the right integrations reduce operational costs
If you are able to offer a cloud-based and mobile optimised area for your clients with real-time data sharing and 24/7 access from anywhere on any device, this level of support can be priced into a retainer, and sold at a premium.
It’s a trend your competitors are already looking at.
In a study of 400 logistics professionals, 62% of third-party logistics warehouses placed an emphasis on data and analytics.
You may already have dashboards for real-time visualisation to track daily productivity—but taking a deeper overview with historic data and offering the ability to analyse and even predict on behalf of your clients can help you become invaluable.
Whereas you might initially pay a little bit extra for a well-integrated API systems, it is minuscule to the returns you will get back in customer satisfaction.
3PL companies that automate their [data] systems will stand a far better chance of forging stable and sustainable relationships with their customers, while allowing them to operate at peak efficiency.”Redbird Logistics Services
Revenue will organically increase when greater fulfilment capacities are realised due to more efficient, accurate data flow, and you will be able to leverage your new super-charged technology as a selling point for your new and existing clients.
There are also the savings to be made from reducing or eliminating errors. These are typically made during manual data entry and the use of spreadsheets, and changing to an integrated system means that reporting, data collection, and analysis software isn’t reliant on operators alone.
How to choose your integrations
There are two main options for 3PLs, either to create a bespoke solution to integrate your software stack seamlessly, or to choose a middleware solution. Simply, middleware is defined as software that acts as a bridge between an operating system or database and applications.
With a pre-built network of industry connections from shipping and courier service providers, Mintsoft can host all your integrations. In fact, we have over 175 pre-built integrations – to all major E-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and couriers.
The bespoke solution can be expensive and needs to be maintained, and for any customisation, you will need to hire a web developer with the latest knowledge in logistics technology.
This is why many 3PLs opt for the support of a provider who already has the set up ready to go for your operation. However, not all software is equal to the task, so a little research can go a long way to helping you choose which one is right for your 3PL.
Using the right software solution, specifically designed for 3PLs will make your warehouse and logistics offerings diverse, versatile and agile, with additional capabilities and cost savings that can’t be achieved simply by adding more team members to the business.
How it works with Mintsoft and how can we help
Mintsoft E-commerce and fulfilment software is a cloud-based OMS, that can help grow your business and decrease your overhead costs by increasing efficiency, speed, and revenue.
Some of the ways we help you achieve your success:
- Over 175 pre-built integrations – to all major E-commerce platforms, shopping carts, and couriers
- Real-time data, inventory, order, and shipping updates for your customers
- The ability to offer responsive and consistent delivery for a great customer experience every time.
Our solutions include:
- 3PL management
- Warehouse management
- Order management
- Shipping management
- E-commerce management, and more.
We also make integrating with us easy and fast, avoiding disruptions in your work cycle.
Why not book your free demo to learn more about Mintsoft as you move to the stage of business?