Partnering up with a 3PL can be a daunting task. There are so many benefits to reap, but also many challenges to overcome. How do you know which 3PL is best for your business? And once you’ve partnered up, how do you go about integrating with their systems? Here, we will discuss the ABCs of 3PL integration: the benefits, challenges, and solutions.
The Benefits of Third-Party Logistics (3PL)
There are many reasons why you would want to partner up with a 3PL. Perhaps you don’t have the resources to manage your logistics in-house, or maybe you’re looking for ways to cut costs. Whatever the reason, partnering with a 3PL can provide many benefits for your business, including:
- Improved efficiency: 3PLs are experts in logistics. By partnering with one, you can benefit from their years of experience and knowledge. This can lead to improved efficiency in your supply chain, which can save you time and money.
- Increased flexibility: 3PLs typically have a network of warehouses and transportation resources that they can tap into. This can give you more flexibility in meeting your customers’ needs.
- Cost savings: 3PLs can often provide economies of scale that can lead to cost savings for your business. They can also help you optimize your supply chain to further reduce costs.
Integrating With a 3PL: Common Challenges
While partnering with a 3PL can provide many benefits for your business, there are also challenges that you will need to overcome. The most common challenges in integrating with a 3PL include:
- Lack of control: When you partner with a 3PL, you are giving up some control over your supply chain. This can be difficult for businesses that are used to managing their logistics in-house.
- Lack of visibility: One of the biggest challenges can be a lack of visibility into your supply chain. This can make it difficult to track your shipments and manage your inventory.
- Inaccurate data: Another challenge is inaccurate data. This can lead to problems with billing, tracking, and reporting.
How to Integrate With a 3PL Provider
There are several ways that you can integrate with a 3PL provider. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to choose the one that best suits your needs. The most common methods of integrating with a 3PL include:
- Direct integration: This is the simplest and most common method of integrating with a 3PL. With direct integration, you simply connect your systems to the 3PL’s system. This can be done using EDI or API.
- E-commerce integration: E-commerce integration is a bit more complex than direct integration. With e-commerce integration, you’ll need to integrate your shopping cart and payment gateway with the 3PL’s system. This can be done using an API or a 3rd-party platform.
- ERP integration: ERP integration is the most complex and costly method of integrating with a 3PL. With ERP integration, you’ll need to connect your ERP system to the 3PL’s system. This can be done using an API or a 3rd-party platform.
- EDI integration: EDI integration is the most complex method of integrating with a 3PL. With EDI integration, you’ll need to connect your systems to the 3PL’s system using EDI. This can be a bit tricky, but it’s the best way to ensure accuracy and efficiency.
- API integration: API integration is a newer method of integrating with a 3PL. With API integration, you’ll connect your systems to the 3PL’s system using an API. This can be done using a 3rd-party platform.
Infor ION Software Integration With Sequoia
Infor Intelligent Open Network (ION) is a powerful integration platform that can be used to integrate your 3PL and connect all of your software. Opt for Infor ION from Sequoia, and you will:
- Have more control over your operations
- Get real-time visibility into your supply chain, so you can avoid problems with inaccurate data
Sequoia Group’s 3PL solutions are some of the best in the industry. Partner with us, and you will enhance your 3PL through actionable insights and flexible solutions. Our team of experienced professionals can help you overcome any and all challenges within your fulfillment operations and rise to the top of your market. Contact us today to learn more about our 3PL solutions and other innovative distribution services.
Integrating with a 3PL can be a great way to improve your supply chain and save money. However, it’s important to choose the right 3PL and to understand the process of integration. Whether you’re just starting out on your 3PL journey or you’re looking for ways to improve your current system, Sequoia has something for you.