Warehousing, distribution, and logistics (3PL) — including haulage, storage and transportation — is a highly competitive market, where winners can nevertheless rapidly expand and create valuable and profitable businesses. Systems and digital have become integral to this sector, and ambitious companies use technology to drive their strategies and increase their competitive position. Mergers and acquisitions further swing the balance in favor of those companies who get this right.
Effective businesses in this sector require streamlined and integrated people, processes and systems, automated tracking, visibility of data and cost control and flexibility.
These rely on well-implemented finance, back-office and warehouse management systems and devices and sensors on products, packaging, in vehicles, on machines and the shop floor. Good organization requires clear and effective processes and staff who are motivated and trained.
Systems and data must be integrated up and down the supply chain as cost and reliable service is only possible if every link in the chain performs well. Good data and reporting allows staff to make informed decisions, managers to get ahead of issues, and directors to drive the business forwards.
Many companies in this sector are subject to demanding contracts specifying performance and reliability so business continuity planning and risk management are critical. Cybersecurity must be properly managed as outages can be hugely costly and the reputational damage can be extremely serious for the company and the management as well.