Today’s 3PLs are taking value-added services to the next level. In the latest issue of Inbound Logistics, Saddle Creek’s senior vice president of marketing and business development and other industry experts explore how third-party providers now offer more complex and technologically sophisticated solutions to help their customers achieve strategic goals.
Following is an excerpt from the article. . .
“3PLs Up the Ante”
To provide the services their clients are requesting, many 3PLs have had to up the ante, especially in technology. Many now offer solutions that enable supply chain visibility or warehouse management.
This can be essential when 3PLs engage in kitting projects, as they’re taking finished goods—say, a bottle of shampoo and a bottle of conditioner—and moving them back into work-in-process as they’re assembled into kits. Then, they return to finished goods as a new item—all being served from one inventory. “You have to conceptualize the process, then manage it through your warehouse management system,” says Duane Sizemore, senior vice president, marketing and business development with Saddle Creek Logistics Services, Lakeland, Fla. “Use technology to drive efficiency and visibility.”
Shippers have taken note. Three-quarters of those responding to Capgemini Consulting, Penn State University, and Penske Logistics’ 2017 Global State of Outsourcing study say their use of 3PL services contributes to overall logistics cost reductions.
Moreover, while the most frequently outsourced activities continue to be transactional, operational, and repetitive, a growing number of shippers are turning to 3PLs for strategic, IT-intensive, or customer-facing functions, the study finds. For instance, 17 percent of respondents use IT services from their 3PLs, versus 11 percent in the previous year’s study.
To learn more about trends in value-added services, read the article.