In an industry where customer service is key it is critical to focus on factors that affect your ability to service customers effectively. This is what the third party logistics industry has turned its focus to in recent years. While 69% of 3PLs think that their customers are satisfied with their current capabilities, there is a prevalent gap in what shippers expect and what their supply chain providers can offer. As automation has increased the IT gap has in relation. Although the IT gap between shippers and their 3PLs has stabilized in recent years it is still an area of concern.

This concern has driven many third party logistics businesses to focus on technology investment. Some of the top solutions 3PLs are evaluating and implementing to meet customer demand include: transportation management planning and execution systems, electronic data interchange (EDI), warehouse management software, customer web portals and much more. These solutions help 3PLs have a better understanding of their operation with improved access to comprehensive data that is critical for decision making. When warehouse staff are able to access real-time inventory data they are able to make more informed business decisions and better serve customers.

Some of the key features IT managers are looking for in their supply chain solutions are flexible workflow based systems that can adapt to changing business needs, custom reporting for agile data analysis, scalable solutions that can expand or contract with your business and functionally robust solutions that have all functionality in one workspace to improve workforce productivity. All of these features directly affect a 3PLs ability to serve their customers.

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