A 3PL with a warehouse not yet fully in production is a 3PL losing money. In this QAD Precision Report we look at how cloud-based solutions improve speed to deployment for logistics providers.
Third party logistics providers deliver critical services — including transportation, freight forwarding and warehousing — to customers across a variety of industries. Many of their biggest customers critically rely on 3PLs not only for warehousing and shipping capacity, but also to help them manage the complex regulatory requirements associated with their supply chains, as well as reverse logistics and value-added services such as repairs.
The last few years have been characterized by increasing customer expectations, particularly around shipping speed. This in turn, means that shippers have greater expectations of their partners, including their 3PLs. E-commerce has made all of us less patient when it comes to delivery. As a result, parcels volumes have spiked. In some industries, pallets or bulk freight orders were long the norm. But as customer demands have grown, expedited parcel shipments have grown concurrently.
Logistics companies cannot simply offer access to assets such as warehouses. In order to meet the demands of their customers — and their customers’ customers — technology is key.
The 2019 23rd Annual Third-Party Logistics Study found that shippers are increasingly aware of the importance of technological capabilities and that they should partner with 3PLs who offer these services. Shippers and their logistics partners are investing in technology that allows them to analyze shippers’ operations. This includes access to real-time or near real-time data and the ability to make tactical decisions in light of this information.
Almost all shippers — 93 percent — agree that IT capabilities are a necessary element of a logistic providers’ expertise. However, when asked, only 55 percent of shippers say that they are satisfied with their 3PL’s IT capabilities.
Should a 3PL wish to scale, speed to deployment is a major concern. A new asset — such as a warehouse — is losing money until that asset is fully operational. Therefore, bringing assets online quickly is critical.
For a logistics provider success depends on finding ways to lower the risk of scaling up capacity by increasing speed to deployment. One way to do this is by employing cloud-based solutions, including multi-carrier shipping, real time analytics, global trade management and trade compliance.
Cloud-based multi-carrier shipping solutions allow a 3PL to quickly and easily manage multi-carrier and multi-modal shipments. This should also include transitions and consolidations of shipments moving to the same ship-to location or geographic region. The solution should offer connectivity to a global parcel network. With multi-carrier shipping solutions, logistics providers can use automated business rules and workflows to control costs across multiple carriers and shipping modes. As a result, it is easy to calculate the true landed cost of each shipment including surcharges, fees and duties. A comprehensive solution should ensure that all documents and labels are automatically included, and that all international paperwork complies with the latest regulations.
Automated trade compliance solutions mitigate the risk of compliance violations and the associated penalties, fines and delayed shipments these cause. 3PLs can screen trading partners to ensure they’re not doing business with individuals and organizations that appear on denied party lists.
A comprehensive trade compliance software will also identify and manage license requirements by date, quantity or value, and help manage and maintain the integrity of trade compliance data and perform product-related compliance checks. The system should track the outcome of each compliance check and create a permanent audit trail for each transaction.
Logistics providers shipping high volume, high value and time sensitive products need visibility across their transportation operations. Real-time operational insights allow you to see what is happening across all your shipments, monitor KPIs and proactively respond when need be.
In addition, when you process hundreds, or even thousands, of shipments each day, real-time trade compliance data ensures that logistics providers can deal with alerts and system holds quickly and efficiently. On demand, real time insights allows 3PLs to prevent bottlenecks and unnecessary delays.
Global shipping requires a ton of paperwork — and paperwork is time- and labor-intensive. Global trade management software allows logistics providers to reduce the cost and risk of delayed international shipments by integrating data from customs authorities around the globe to generate always-current electronic export declarations. 3PLs can produce all required documents and support non-electronic filings as well.
This will allow you to validate and create automated export systems filings for any customs authority, while complying with industry regulations. Best of all you can automate documentation and reporting from a centralized, user-friendly system so you can reduce risk and cost of each export.
QAD Precision’s cloud-based solutions, including multi-carrier shipping, real time analytics, global trade management and trade compliance, can help 3PLs with their plans to expand, offering deployment with minimal downtime, infrastructure and resource investment.
Offering a truly global carrier network, QAD Precision’s cloud-based solutions help 3PLs meet their customers’ needs to support increasingly complex shipping requirements, across carriers, modes of transport and borders. It’s a solution that allows 3PLs to position their shipping services as a value-added service that enhances the assets and services they already offer.
By leveraging these solutions in one easy cloud deployment, 3PLs can lower the cost and risk of each shipment, regardless of the carrier, mode of transport or country to which it is being shipped. It creates a safety net for 3PLs and their customers that ensures every shipment arrives on time, at the lowest possible cost and with the least risk of loss, delays or fines. 3PLs can then scale with demand quickly, all while maintaining margin and profitability.
QAD Precision (Precision Software), a division of QAD Inc., provides industry-leading global trade management, transportation execution and multi carrier shipping software solutions from a single, integrated platform. Preeminent industry leaders in every region of the world rely on QAD Precision’s global support centers to leverage thousands of carriers and manage millions of shipping transactions every day. Our open architecture easily integrates with Enterprise Resource Planning, Warehouse Management Systems and legacy solutions. An ISO-certified company, QAD Precision assists companies to minimize shipping costs, optimize first mile and last mile deliveries, automate free trade agreement compliance, avoid customs delays and mitigate the risks associated with dynamic trading environments to maximize their competitive advantage. QAD Precision’s customers span multiple industries including banking and finance, life sciences, high technology, retail, industrial, automotive, higher education and public sector as well as logistics providers. For more information about QAD Precision, visit www.qadprecision.com.
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