Is your 3PL a capable partner for Industry 4.0 transition?
Improving delivery time, reducing delivery cost, automation to handle a large number of orders and emerging e-commerce companies are the clear indicators that supply chains of tomorrow are going to be significantly different from supply chains of today. Unlike traditional reactive supply chains, where responses among all the supply chain stakeholders are communicated post incident. This delays the response as well as requires additional time, cost and a lot of efforts. To convert this reactive approach to proactive, established 3PL partners have introduced industry 4.0 concept. In Industry 4.0 concept, supply chains are connected to the ecosystem while using the internet as a medium and digitizing the processes to have faster, more responsive and high visibility supply chains. The manufacturing industry is already embracing the change and has benefited from it. Over the next few years, organizations will start adopting these technologies to make their supply chains leaner and more efficient.
If you rely on 3PL to manage your operations or planning to align, it is very important to know whether your 3PL partner is a competitive alliance for the next industrial revolution or what are the major points to access its capabilities? This blog will help you to evaluate your 3PL on clearly defined criteria to check if they are capable partners for your digital journey.
1. Tech team with supply chain knowledge – Your requirements and challenges are different to that of your competitors and so are the solutions. There are many solutions available in the market. It is important to ensure that your 3PL can customize the solutions as per your requirements as well as swiftly integrates the systems with your existing IT systems. Automatic sorters, self-learning WMS, big data, augmented reality, robotics are latest technologies and if your 3PL does not have a tech team with the strong understanding of supply chain processes, the implementation is going to be a nightmare for you.
2. Engaged in Tech ecosystem – It is important that your 3PL provider is engaged in the tech ecosystem and is abreast with the most recent technologies. As they know inside out of your logistics, they are in the best position to suggest what digital technologies can really enhance the efficiency of your supply chain and reduce overheads. 3PL who have shown good track record in adapting new technologies and have been the front runners in adapting new technologies will be the right partners for your Industry 4.0 transition.
3. Collaborations with right partners – Industry 4.0 will change the data and information would flow between various stakeholders. The quantum and changes and benefits it would bring would be significant and would require collaboration with multiple tech organizations who have developed the expertise in specific solutions. Smart 3PL players are the ones who quickly collaborate with develop the solutions in advance and collaborate wherever it is required. You not only benefit from the services of a 3PL but also with the ecosystem of 3PL which includes their tech partners. If your logistics partner has already partnered with companies offering niche solutions, your journey of next industrial revolution is surely going to be smooth.
4. Understanding of your processes –Last but not the least, you should see if your 3PL has good understanding of your processes or not.Many 3PL limit themselves to the transactional level and hence miss on the opportunity of introducing to you the innovative solutions which can keep you ahead of the competition. If your 3PL is not thorough with your processes, he will not be able to do the due diligence required before you invest in the digital technology. Infact, deep understanding of processes is a pre- requisite for any technology transition plan.
Sooner or later technology will take over manual processes and operations. This is the right time when you should start finding and collaborating with Tech driven 3PL partner to get the maximum market ***********. Undoubtedly, in this digital evaluation, your dependence on 3pl providers will be very high. Therefore, It is very important that your 3PL partner is very well versed the developments in the supply chain technology ecosystem and also has a strong tech team to assist you throughout the journey.
Holisol is a leading supply chain organization providing solutions in retail (end-to-end fulfillment), Auto & Engineering (packaging & supply chain) and Consulting. Holisol works on the value proposition of Design-Implement-Manage to offer customers an experience of working like their own extended team, with affordable strategic and operational expertise.
Holisol has a workforce of +300 supply chain enthusiasts who are continuously building value through leadership, innovation and relationships. For more information visits us at www.holisollogistics.com