Managing inventories for multiple customers often at multiple warehouse facilities with multiple users creates a highly complex business model, one fraught with potential error. Add to this that each customer is unique with their own specific billing criteria, contracts, business processes and requirements and daily operations become more complicated.
Selecting a warehouse management software that was developed for third party logistics providers to be highly flexible will ensure that the system will meet critical business needs. Because 3PLs have their own customers, data used in one operation is often transferred to the next level. With multiple customers, vendors, suppliers, business processes and rules, it is essential to use a software that can handle multi-tenant architecture with diverse business process configuration.
Multiple ownership of the same item type occurs frequently and must be supported by the WMS software. Billing for each 3PL customer, based upon their own contracts and specifications adds an extra layer of complexity. In addition, each customer handles the payment of 3PL services in their own way and on a different schedule.
Here are some of the key WMS features for 3PLs.
The ability to capture and bill for all services the 3PL provides. Many warehouse management systems were developed for private warehouses, and cannot handle charging for services typically accomplished by 3PL providers. WMS systems that were not built for third party logistics providers do not have this ability. Without billing for all services provided, third party logistics providers lose out on revenue critical to their business.
A web portal to provide 24/7/365 visibility to 3PL customers. Providing a web portal for 3PL customers to view inventory, invoices, reports and other information gives 3PLclients greater control over their business and provides them with the tools and real time information to make essential business decisions whenever and wherever they need it. Studies show that customer satisfaction rates soar and errors decrease when web portals are provided to 3PL customers.
System flexibility. 3PLs must have the ability to adapt to the diverse needs of their customers so the warehouse management system must be very flexible. Using a WMS with workflow ensures that a 3PL can onboard customers more quickly and meet changing customer requirements.
Ability to customize documents and labels. 3PLs must be able to brand documents, labels, invoices, reports and other business essentials with their customers’ logos.
Ability to track billing and revenue by customer. Every 3PL must be able to determine whether the billing strategy for each customer is effective. Having this information enables 3PLs to adjust accessorial and storage charges as well as other fees for each customer. The software should help the 3PL determine the cost of each customer as well.
Ability to onboard customers quickly. In the third party logistics industry, the faster customers can be onboarded, the sooner the 3PL can begin to make money. Using WMS software that relies on workflow rather than hard coding enables the 3PL to onboard new customers faster and more accurately than with other systems. And that is money in the bank!
How can Datex FootPrint® 3PL WMS help your third party logistics operation? The Datex warehouse management system is one your business can grow into not out of. Designed to be flexible and scalable, our software is easily adaptable to meet even the most complex business needs from multi-client, multi-warehouse to multiple kinds of inventory across the street or across the world.
Please contact us today to learn how Datex can help your business.