As the supply chain continues to grow in complexity and consumers’ buying behavior evolves, a third-party logistics provider with the ability to deliver end-to-end solutions can give shippers the competitive edge in the market. A single-source provider that exceeds customer expectations and seamlessly collaborates across service offerings can give shippers a partner in business, growing and accommodating in an ever-changing market.
Prioritizing Service in the Supply Chain
The need for customer-focused service spans every stage of logistics from manufacturers to consumers. A 2017 Capgemini report showed 86 percent of shippers and 98 percent of 3PL providers said the use of 3PLs has contributed to improved customer service1. With a greater understanding of a shipper’s supply chain and needs through end-to-end services, a 3PL can elevate from a provider of services to a partner in business, delivering strategic guidance and direction.
Acquisitions and mergers continue to increase across the 3PL market as providers strive to expand their service offerings. A 2016 Supply Chain Management Review study on threats, disruptions, and opportunities revealed that the surveyed CEOs project acquisitions to generate a 10 percent growth in revenue over the next three years2. However, a bigger business does not always mean better. Divided business lines and a lack of synergy across services can result in a segmented supply chain, falling short in the collaboration needed to create a seamless process3. An experienced 3PL with end-to-end service offerings can provide the agility and knowledge to grow and adapt with a business and meet changing needs, looking at the bigger scope of the logistics process.
The Right Partner with the Right Technology
Technology continues to be one of the greatest evolving changes in the supply chain. A 2016 Capgemini survey found that 50 percent of shippers surveyed see digital transformation as “very important” yet only 5 percent were very satisfied with their progress towards it3. A 3PL with technology offerings, coupled with end-to-end solutions, can give shippers a greater advantage to visibility and flexibility in the supply chain. Visibility across the supply chain can positively impact sales, revenue, and customer service4.
3PLs with technology incorporated into their solutions, such as warehouse management systems and transportation management systems, can leverage these tools across operations, give shippers greater visibility throughout the freight journey, and improve warehousing and transportation efficiency. An agile provider can utilize its own technology or operate with already existing technology used by the shipper5.
As companies expand and their supply chains evolve, partnering with an end-to-end provider can deliver expertise and solutions to accommodate that growth. Whether operationally, technologically, or both, collaborating with a fully integrated 3PL can better assist shippers to accomplish their business and supply chain goals.