Fulfillment & Third Party Logistics Blog

3 Trends Changing the Logistics Industry

As things change, at some point in time there are trends that help us forecast how point A will lead to point B.  In football, critical head and neck injuries have led to a drastic change in how the game is played.  This major transition in the game didn’t happen overnight, or even over a handful of seasons.  As players’ began suffering these injuries, more tests were performed, followed by curtailing the plays that led to these injuries.  Over a span of 10 years, trends emerged that led to new ways of coaching and a shift in the style of play.  Much like the game of football, the fulfillment and distribution industry is adapting to a changing landscape based on trends that simply cannot be ignored.  

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3PL Partnerships: You Can't Do It All Alone

You cannot multi-task your way to success.

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The Value of a Proactive 3PL

Innovation, innovation, innovation.

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5 Online Shopping Facts: Leveraging 3PL for Support

It is undeniable that the way consumers are selecting and purchasing products is evolving.  In order to satisfy these new demands, keep your brand relevant and continue to advance your business, the way you operate needs to evolve as well.  Online shopping from home and mobile devices has drastically changed the expectations of consumers.  Not only are younger demographics fitting this trend, but your traditional buyers are moving in this direction also.  According to iacquire.com, the 45-64 demographic makes up 40.4% of online shoppers.  The importance of how your business handles these changes and embraces an omni-channel operation has never been higher.  As technology continues to expand in its capabilities, the conventional methods of fulfillment and logistics are proving increasingly out dated.  The specialization required to address these changes can be both expensive and difficult to implement within your organization.  Leveraging the services of an experienced, capable third party logistics provider (3PL) can allow you the resources to stay ahead of the curve.   Below are 5 facts about on-line shoppers that put this growing element of business into perspective.

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Using a 3PL to Enhance Your Customer Service

Between a growing array of storefronts and a countless number of website and e-commerce options, consumers have more destinations than ever to find their favorite products.  While some remain loyal to specific retailers, others are searching for the best deal, while others yet are seeking for that initial business to patronize.  In a market where competition seems to be driven by price, there is one major element that the general public feels is being overlooked, customer service.  A study by Defaqto Research shows that 55% of customers would pay more for a product if it meant they received a better experience. 

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Fulfillment and Distribution Pain Points: Improve by Outsourcing

Every industry has certain elements that create problems in their operations.  They can originate from a variety of market factors.  A major cause of pain for many companies today is order fulfillment and distribution.  With the rise of online ordering and omni-channel distribution, the opportunity to grow market share has never been greater or more competitive.  The Ivey Business Journal reports that customers who shop online spend more on repeat visits than they do on their initial purchase.  This means the companies that are receiving multiple return visits from loyal customers are experiencing higher margins and long term profitability. 

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3PL Data Security: How Safe is Your Information?

Utilizing new technologies is undoubtedly a great way to increase the efficiencies that today's competitive market demands.  Wireless implementations and cloud computing are allowing companies to trim costs, increase productivity and offer new service channels.  A study in the North American 3PL Market Report showed that 92% of United States third party logistics providers felt that providing better IT solutions was the key to new growth opportunities.  However with the influx of new technologies and electronic capabilities, unfortunately, comes the threat of data compromise and information loss.

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How Mobile is Your 3PL?

There is an undeniable pressure on supply chains across all industries to increase efficiencies and lower costs.  The onslaught of new technologies providing consumers with more capabilities and higher demands has made it nearly impossible to abide by the manual processes of yesterday and survive.  The 2013 Third Party Logistics Study done by Penn State University shows that 47% percent of shippers believe that their 3PL can’t offer innovative solutions.  Nearly half of the outsourced fulfillment providers surveyed are having a difficult time creating opportunities to streamline their operations in response to these new demands.  A key place to begin is through mobile, or wireless, technologies within the supply chain.

Implementing new technologies within the distribution center is a vital element to maintain accuracy, effectiveness and to stay ahead of the curve of customer and client needs.  Wireless initiatives also respond to the mounting burden of improving efficiency and lowering distribution costs.  These challenges are offset by enhanced transparency.  Being able to track fuel consumption, labor costs and distribution center activity allows for adjustments to be made and costs to be precisely managed.  Wireless products and applications designed specifically for the logistics and fulfillment industry are the tools that make these improvements possible.

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The Impact of Social Media in the 3PL Industry

As technology continues to grow and impact the way the logistics industry operates, it also continues to expand the opportunities that we have to reach, educate and interact with our clients and the public.  Just as consumers have become more savvy and specific with how they want orders to be processed and delivered, their opinions, concerns, questions and insights are also more available than ever. 

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Improved 3PL Performance: 4 Trends To Watch

The landscape of the logistics industry continued to evolve in 2013. The growing demands from consumers and the expansion of platforms available to place and receive orders posed new challenges for distribution centers everywhere.  With these changes and expansions in the industry, fulfillment centers are developing more efficient methods to get product from point A to point B.  Being a third party logistics company, Barrett Distribution has been able to devise our own processes to provide accurate, quality distribution services for our clients and their customers.   

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2013 Holiday Deliveries: A Perfect Storm for the Logistics Industry

Some Christmas presents were not under the tree this year due to a perfect storm within the logistics industry.  Delays at major delivery companies, UPS and Fed-Ex, were blamed on a mix of bad weather, overloaded systems, and a shortened shopping season.

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Increasing Order Accuracy in Your Fulfillment Center

A fundamental pillar of a strong fulfillment center is accuracy.  Order accuracy is the one tangible, logistical element that ties your company to your consumer.  As soon as a customer places an order for your product, whether your fulfillment provider recognizes it or not (and they should), a bond is formed.  You’ve spent too much time, money, and effort enticing customers to purchase, just to have the ball dropped when they actually open their wallets.  Breaking this trust with your consumer can be absolutely detrimental to your business and your brand.  Besides damaging your company’s reputation, it has a significant impact to your margins and bottom line.  A study by MHI shows that 39% of retail companies face a key challenge with inaccurate order delivery dates.

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