I recently had a customer satisfaction meeting with the director of IT services at one of our 3PL customers; a top 100 third-party logistics provider in the United States. I was impressed by his mission statement as it relates to his contract and public warehousing activities.
1) 3PLs need to provide savings to their customers.
2) 3PLs require visibility on all the goods in transit and in storage in order to provide a seamless information conduit between its customer and its customers’ suppliers and clients.
Traditionally, receiving goods, managing orders and providing visibility on whether the goods have arrived or left the warehouse required a dedicated team of customer service representatives (CSRs) who kept the customer abreast of all these activities. For sites with considerable volume (20 appointments per day or more), CSRs end up spending a disproportionate amount of time managing appointment requests, be they for inbound or outbound shipments. This is understandable given that, when a company decides to outsource its warehousing activities, information becomes a life line to ensure that the operation is running smoothly.
The customer explained how, by simply providing better visibility and streamlined communication, he had transformed his operation. With a web-based dock scheduling portal all parties had access to the information that was most relevant to them. Now his customer has instant visibility on appointment bookings, pick-up times, and duration as well as instant email notifications for appointment confirmations and completed pick-ups. In addition, reporting tools allow the warehouse managers to have visibility on incoming volumes relative to capacity and labor availability, and the customer can now evaluate the carriers’ and suppliers’ performance - at the press of a button.
Regarding savings, due the growing acceptance of cloud based software applications, tools such as these are so cost efficient that they usually pay for themselves in 6 months or less. Phone calls and emails, usually in the thousands, are reduced by up to 90% when the web portals are used. Not only is the public warehouse operator reducing his costs but also he is providing more and better information to his customers.
That’s putting the cloud to great use; by providing visibility and savings to the 3PL industry!
For more information about C3 Solutions’ Dock Appointment Scheduling Software, request a free demo.