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3PL

Time to find a new 3PL provider?

By Prolog Fulfilment

The UK may be gradually resuming normal service, post pandemic, but for many retail companies life will never be the same again. Emarketer reports a massive 46.5% growth in ecommerce sales in 2020, with an increase of 20.5% growth in 2021. Due to lockdown, many retail businesses switched to ecommerce, and rapidly found themselves in need of a 3PL order fulfilment partner.

In normal circumstances, choosing a fulfilment partner takes time – after all, they’re your proxy at the critical moment customers receive their goods. If you had to find a provider fast, whether due to high demand or an increasingly complex supply chain, you may want to review the service you’re receiving. Logistics providers are evolving rapidly in response to ecommerce requirements, so switching can be hugely beneficial.

If this is your first logistics partnership, how do you know whether you’re getting a good deal? There’s 5 warning signs you shouldn’t ignore:

  1. Customers are Let Down. Big alarm bells! This is the primary function of a fulfilment provider, so if customers are regularly let down there’s a big problem.
  2. They’re Not Innovators. A good fulfilment partner doesn’t just do the basics well, they spot the opportunities for enhancement of your process and work with you to improve it.
  3. Can’t Get Hold of Them. If it’s difficult to communicate with your providers – by email, or phone – then they’re not working with you to build a professional relationship.
  4. They Have Trouble With Their Software. If your providers’ tech isn’t up to the job, look elsewhere. Tech is currently a major driver for innovation in the logistics sector.
  5. They Can’t Help You Grow. If your provider is telling you that you’ve hit the limit of their storage capacity, tech capacity, or market capacity – it’s time to move.

If you think it’s time to switch to a fulfilment partner, but you’re not sure how to take the next step, contact Prolog Fulfilment for support and guidance. We provide B2C, B2B, FBA & FBM fulfilment, subscription services, kit building, print and mailing solutions, and returns processing.

All our value-added services are designed to exceed your customers’ expectations whilst offering end-to-end visibility.

  1. Order traceability. Orders are tracked from order receipt to the customer’s door.
  2. Continuous Improvement. Cost savings for customers are created through innovation, with the additional value of an enhanced customer experience.
  3. Dedicated Customer Support Team. Help and support is on hand whenever you need it. Alternatively, clients can access their account portal to review orders.
  4. Onsite IT Team. Our IT team is available to help with any queries. The backup and emergency process is regularly tested to ensure we don’t have any ‘real-time’ faults.
  5. Growth strategy. Prolog Fulfilment is on a journey of growth, in partnership with our customers. We work in alignment with customer growth strategies to ensure we always have the capacity required to allow for their growth and fluctuations in order patterns.

Good luck from all the team at Prolog Fulfilment https://www.prolog.co.uk/en/ for the remainder of 2021 and we hope to speak with you soon!

Pandemic, tech and environment dominating global supply chain thinking

NTT Data’s Third-Party Logistics Study  has highlighted intense pressures and new demands on the supply chain.

The study, carried out in conjunction with Pennsylvania State University’s Dr. C. John Langley, clinical professor, supply chain information systems and director of development, Center for Supply Chain Research at Smeal College of Business focuses on several areas: the current state of the Third Party Logistics (3PL) market; Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); the intelligent supply chain; the cold chain; and revisiting effects of COVID-19.

The 2022 3PL Study findings include:

  • Pandemic puts supply chain center stage. The pandemic placed a spotlight on supply chains in a manner never seen before, as the downsides of just-in-time inventory, and the frustrations felt when raw materials and finished goods failed to arrive on time (or not even made available for purchase), were very much noticed by the consumer. The worsening effects of the truck driver shortage played a role as well. Recent supply chain challenges have accelerated the adoption of technology and further demonstrated the need for visibility. 3PL providers were able to pivot resources to those industries that surged, to offset manufacturing shutdowns. Contingency planning also received more attention.
  • Supply chains face intense pressure, planning needs, and ongoing labor challenges. The pandemic either exposed or strengthened contingency planning and risk mitigation strategies across the world, as consumers needed vital supplies and foods delivered to brick-and-mortar locations or to their homes. The areas companies (shippers) stated were most impacted by the pandemic included: International transportation and logistics (43%); sourcing and procurement (30%) and manufacturing (24%). The 3PLs listed their top areas: Labor and workforce management (33%); manufacturing (24%); and international transportation and logistics (23%). Interestingly, 68% of shippers believe that their supply chains have become too global and must be rebalanced towards more regional and local ecosystems within larger global enterprises. About 83% of these market-leading companies stated they plan to adjust sources of supply as a direct result.
  • ESG is a growing priority for supply chain leaders. The study indicated that among corporations 59% had a formal environmental, social and governance (ESG) program; of those, 51% of their supply chains utilized an ESG program. Among 3PLs, only 45% noted that their organizations featured an established ESG offering. Both shippers and 3PLs indicated that cost was a factor in establishing a program. Key reasons for creating or enhancing an ESG program included: Consumer trends and preferences; environment and climate impacts; diversity, equity and inclusion; social contribution and responsibility; and laws, policies and regulations.
  • Tech and robotics driving smarter, more agile supply chains. At the forefront is 5G, real-time data transmission, Internet of Things, and data analytics. More than half of shippers (52%) and 3PLs (63%) stated that 5G technology is either moderately or critically important. The majority of 3PLs (53%) reported that they can provide real-time data to clients in 50% or more of their supply chain services. About 63% of 3PLs stated they are investing in Internet of Things technology to improve workforce productivity; real-time decision making and create a competitive differentiator. Cloud technology gets most used in transportation management systems followed by warehouse management systems. The top technologies that 3PLs are investing in are in robotics: High-dense storage pickers and palletizers (38%), autonomous forklifts (35%) and wearables (35%). Shippers are centering efforts on intelligent data analytics (26%), robotics (20%) and autonomous forklifts (20%).
  • Need for cold chain strategies and support heat up. Companies are using a mix of in-house and outsourced programs within their cold chains. A comprehensive cold chain strategy is a contributor to the success of medicines and foods transportation, with 89% of shippers reporting they have a strong program. For 3PLs, the most important cold chain services are a range of temperatures (refrigeration to deep freeze), active temperature monitoring and product traceability. Shippers (62%) ranked proper handling as the greatest challenge to operating a cold chain, as compared to only 25% of 3PLs. Top cold chain challenges for shippers are: Proper handling; regulatory compliance; recruiting skilled labor; proper last-mile handling; and product packaging. For 3PLs this list is: Infrastructure investments; temperature monitoring; tech investment and maintenance; recruiting skilled labor; and proper truck transportation.

The full 2022 edition is accessible at www.3PLStudy.com and is part of an in-person session at the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) EDGE conference in Atlanta.

“We are delighted to be part of this long-running and significant study to provide a view of what is happening in today’s global marketplace,” said Sylvie Thompson, vice president, consulting and supply chain practice, NTT DATA Services. “As the world has rapidly shifted, investments in technology, infrastructure, transportation and recruiting are all key to the success of improving the supply chain of the future.”

Do you specialise in 3PL & 4PL? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics market – and in September we’ll be focussing on 3PL & 4PL.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a 3PL & 4PL specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Sept – 3PL & 4PL

Oct – Labelling & Packaging

Nov – Order Fulfilment

Dec – Transport Planning & Load Optimisation

Do you specialise in 3PL & 4PL? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics market – and in October we’ll be focussing on 3PL & 4PL.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a 3PL or 4PL specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here’s our features list in full:

Oct – 3PL & 4PL
Nov – Order Fulfilment
Dec – Transport Planning & Load Optimisation

Do you specialise in 3PL & 4PL? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics and distribution market – and in October we’ll be focussing on 3PL & 4PL.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a 3PL & 4PL specialist and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

Oct – 3PL & 4PL
Nov – Order Fulfilment
Dec – Transport Planning & Load Optimisation

For more information on any of the above, contact Nick Stannard on n.stannard@forumevents.co.uk.

Do you provide 3PL or 4PL solutions? We want to hear from you!

Each month on Supply Chain Briefing we’ll be shining the spotlight on a different part of the logistics and distribution market – and in July we’ll be focussing on 3PL and 4PL solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help supply chain industry buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of 3PL or 4PL solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.

Here are the areas we’ll be covering, month by month:

July – 3PL & 4PL 46
August – Labeling & Packaging
September – Barcoding
October – Home Delivery Solutions
November – Warehouse Management Software
December – Freight Forwarding

For more information on any of the above, contact Lisa Carter on lisa.carter@mimrammedia.com.