Only a scant five years ago, research found that 46 percent of US Fortune 500 companies partnered with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider for supply chain services and outsourced logistics. That sounds pretty promising for 3PL providers. The growth since then has been even more astounding: As of the 2017 reported research, now ninety percent of domestic Fortune 500 companies rely on 3PL providers. Ninety percent.
Clearly, partnerships with 3PLs are here to stay.
Using Integration to its Full Potential
With statistics like that, it’s probable that if your organization isn’t using a 3PL to fulfill its ecommerce logistics now, chances are high that you will be in the very near future. Whether you’re already using 3PL, or not, there are things you can do now to ensure the best integration between your data and the 3PL software. Integration won’t just save you time and money. Down the line, it could even save your company’s reputation.
The biggest benefit you’ll be afforded is control over inventory and processes. Here are some of the benefits you can expect once you integrate your accounting and management information systems with your 3PL’s warehouse management systems:
- Visibility to Inventory: With integrated systems, you’ll have access to more timely updates to your inventory levels. Real-time understanding of your product levels protects you both from overstocking and from running out of top sellers. The result? Better customer service and a cash flow under control.
- Error Reduction: Research indicates that an error occurs on average of once every 300 keystrokes. When entering SKUs manually, mistakes could be as frequent as every seven to eight orders. Mistakes mean money, not only in return shipping costs, but also possible customer loss.
- Better Reputation: Customer satisfaction should always be top priority, but with the prevalence of online reviews, it’s even more vital to keep customers happy. One bad experience could result in a review that turns away hundreds of customers from your site. Lost sales, out of stock items, or pricing issues are simply not worth the risk when integration can easily prevent it.
- Improved Efficiency: Moving to direct integration and information flow keeps fulfillment and shipping processes more consistent which means happier customers, return shoppers, and more money for your bottom line.
Connect All of Your Systems with IN-SYNCH
It’s clear that you’re going to want to take full advantage of your 3PL’s value by integrating systems. If it seems like a daunting task, you’re not alone. ROI Consulting has more than 20 years’ experience with software integration solutions, with a focused specialization on ecommerce. Our exclusive integration software, IN-SYNCH, provides bi-directional, lighting fast integration between systems and not just your Sage 100 ERP and the 3PL warehouse management system. IN-SYNCH also integrates with ecommerce platforms and third-party shopping carts. So, whether sales come from your website, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, or any number of other sites, you can be confident that the order information will process on time and arrive instantly to your 3PL’s system for timely processing and shipment.
Make sure you’re taking full advantage of system integration between your ERP, ecommerce platforms, shopping carts and your 3PL warehouse management system. And, if you’re in that small percent of companies who aren’t using 3PL yet, there’s no time like the present to prepare your integration for that future reality. Find out more about ROI Consulting’s IN-SYNCH integration today!