Using IT to Succeed in Third Party Logistics (3PL)
In an increasingly competitive market, the best 3rd party logistics (3PL) firms capture the lion’s share of the opportunities. IT is often a key aspect of their competitiveness and profitability.
How to ensure your business systems are well designed, properly configured, smoothly integrated and effectively used.
The Five Key Ways IT Is Integral to 3PL Success
- Keep costs down by assigning responsibility. Both in IT and across the business, every investment must have a director scrutinizing the costs and accountable for delivery. Similarly, because IT costs and process are directly linked, someone needs to have ownership of process efficiency.
- Automate tracking. Ensure accurate, effective, up-to-the-minute visibility and tracking of consignments — both internally and externally to customers. This may be complex and involve third parties, but ultimately it means meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
- Streamline processes. Strive for integration and standardization of processes and IT within the company and with external customers and partners. This is critical for cost reduction, minimizing errors, and maximizing efficiency.
- Aim for flexibility. Work towards being able to rapidly and efficiently take on new business and then deliver on your promises. At the same time, remember that contraction is an inevitable part of business logistics — plan for expansion and contraction to maintain profitability and stability.
- Strategize for points of difference. Ensure that your business strategy and your IT strategy are complementary. Streamlined and low-cost operations, automated tracking and flexibility are the pillars for finding points of difference which allow you to avoid competing purely on cost.
As well as the summary above, we have created a more detailed CEO’s briefing on using IT to succeed in 3PL. Click on the link to download the full CEO’s briefing.
Freeman Clarke is the largest and most experienced team of part-time, or fractional, IT leaders. We work exclusively with organizations looking to use IT to grow their business. For an informal conversation, contact us and we’ll be in touch.