The 3PL warehousing field has changed immensely over the past few years. This has caused 3PL warehouses to now see Warehouse Management System solutions that are able to provide a whole new range of functionalities that will aid in the growth of business’ growth and profitability.
However, what goes into identifying what is needed when the marketplace is filled with so many options for 3PLs? This article will highlight the top 7 traits that characterize a modern WMS. Let’s get into what exactly they are and how they can provide efficiency.
The ability to provide custom branding
3PL warehouses play a crucial role in their customers’ success. 3PLs are awarded with the responsibility of protecting their customer’s most valuable asset – which is their brand image, as they’re the last to handle their products before they are shipped out. Therefore, customers always need to feel like their 3PL is an integral part of their company.
Efficient modern WMS solutions need to allow 3PLs the ground to integrate themselves with their customers’ business operations. On top of performing flawlessly in the background, these solutions need to enable 3PLs additional features such as adding their logo’s to clients WMS logins and portals. This immediately increases the 3PL’s visibility and earns customers’ trust.
Cloud-based access for customers
As technology allows nowadays, 3PL customers need and expect their WMS to provide them with secure, real-time and personalized access to their information any time required, from anywhere. A perfect modern WMS should grant this exact benefit.
A modern WMS should also afford 3PLs the ability to assign multiple levels of security to every account that they have available. Another attribute that’s necessary is being able to allow customers to perform a variety of routine tasks on their own as this will help save money and save the 3PL time.
The ability to produce customized communications
Customer expectations and demands are increasing by day and that’s why 3PLs should be able to provide communication that is frequent and customized to every customer on a 24/7 basis.
A modern WMS must automate such tasks in order to help ease the burden of the 3PL’s staff. Automated alerts also save customers money by letting them know about events as they happen.
Segmentation of data by individual customer
As mentioned, a modern WMS must allow customers secure, real-time access to their data and 3PLs must make certain it is their data alone. This must include the capacity to view everything from their individual SKUs and inventory levels to their shipping accounts with companies such as FedEx and more.
A current WMS must also handle EDI and integration with several service providers, formats, FTP locations as well as a wide range of e-commerce shopping carts.
Billing management by customer
3PLs must always make certain they are paid properly and accurately for all the tasks they carry out. A modern WMS should make this possible by providing a functionality that enables 3PLs to keep track of such data. In other words, the finest WMS automates the entire process and captures billing information, ensuring that no revenue opportunities are lost. On top of increasing the accuracy of a 3PL’s billing, the compilation of the actual billing reduces significantly from being put together in 3 days to just a couple of hours.
24/7 visibility worldwide
Other than allowing clients real-time access to their data 24 hours a day, a modern WMS should provide 3PLs with the ability to customize this access, based on their customers’ preferences and needs.
Some customers at times for example, wish to have access to their information on their own while others would prefer receiving it via emails. A lot also even want both options. A modern WMS must provide 3PLs with these options and more.
Seamless integration throughout the fulfillment chain
3PLs must have the capability to integrate every party involved from suppliers, customers, e-commerce shopping carts to delivery services and more. This is regardless of whether it was all handled via an FTP or a Web Service Call, support for many different connections still remains important.
Warehouses today require a modern WMS that supports multiple integration points for every customer a 3PL serves.