A Third-Party Logistics (3PL) provider needs more than just a standard warehouse management system (WMS). A WMS, after all, is designed to manage inventory within internal warehouses for a single company, whereas a 3PL provider handles all logistics for thousands of customer-owned products, as well as value added services around those products. And all of these customers have different requirements about how their products are to be packed, shipped, invoiced and even manufactured. 3PL’s also have the added complexity of tracking each activity for both tracking costs and creating billing to their customers for those activities.
There are 9 requirements of a good 3PL system, it must have:
- 3PL Invoicing
- Item Ownership at the Warehouse Location level
- Self-serve customer access to their data
- Multiple communication channels
- Flexible billing
- Industry standard flexibility (for integrating with shopping & ERP systems)
You as a 3PL provider can offer considerable added value to your customers; but you need the right tools – you need a system with extensive 3PL functionality. For example, it must be versatile enough to support a range of different industry standards, as well as different methods of billing, packing and shipping. It must also offer the highest degree of self-service by your customers, preferably via a web interface.
Are you on the point of purchasing a WMS with 3PL functionality? Or are you not happy with your current system?
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