In today’s on-demand world, we see less in stores and more online. In order to cut costs companies are outsourcing product warehousing to third party providers. To be successful in this constantly changing landscape, robust Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) are setting Third Party Fulfillment (3PF) companies apart from competitors. The name of the game is Flexibility, Technology, and Service to keep business and earn new business.
Flexibility – It used to be that 3PF companies could dictate strict requirements to be met by clients to utilize their services. For example certain aspects, such as certain box types, limiting the client’s ability to present their brand in unique and different ways. More and more 3PF providers are moving toward a flexible approach because clients are demanding it. Clients no longer want to conform to strict business process they are looking for providers that can meet their needs and partner with them to promote their brand.
Technology – Clients are also looking for 3PF providers that have online portals for ordering, inventory reporting, and status reporting at their fingertips. WMS systems that provide a complete picture of job status from order, to pick, to pack and finally ship are a must. Systems that present real-time information such as: shipping details, tracking numbers and inventory are invaluable to clients as more transactions move away from point of sale and move to online ordering.
Service -Businesses are under tremendous pressure to control costs so that they can remain competitive and survive. Companies are placing great emphasis on the competitiveness of fulfillment pricing and exceptional service. They not only need someone that can perform the job well, but they also need the best service rates possible. Technology improvements have helped fulfillment houses decrease costs of processing orders. Warehouses that still operate with a high degree of manual systems will find it difficult to meet the demands of today’s fulfillment clients.