Glen Andrews, Regional Director Asia Pacific, shares his thoughts on the opportunity that 3PL integration presents to improve efficiencies and increase customer service.
Agribusinesses have intensified focus on efficiency in recent years. Action on supply chain efficiency was needed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it is more necessary than ever. Businesses have had to absorb revenue hits, withstand closure for periods of time, become more competitive in a market experiencing continuous merger and acquisition activity, and react to the customer’s growing need for speed and visibility.
Customer expectations of the service level offered by manufacturers have also increased. These expectations can largely be met by achieving greater efficiency. 3rd party logistics (3PL) integration, which involves outsourcing some or all your logistics operations to another organisation, is valuable if you are to drive efficiency, increase visibility, meet customer expectations, and compete on a greater scale.
Automation and integration within the 3PL sector in Australia still fall behind other areas; while many processes have excelled and continue to lead the way across global markets, there remains a lack of visibility and efficiency. Manufacturers can – and should – integrate 3PL processes to reduce inefficiency and, ultimately, create a better experience for the customer.
Greater efficiency brings lower costs and a promise of growth
Integration with 3PL providers is an opportunity for manufacturers to improve efficiency across the supply chain. By working closely with a 3PL provider, you can integrate 3PL processes into your existing practices to improve accuracy. Through automating manual processes, you can reduce the risk of errors, boost data accuracy, and streamline your business operations, driving greater efficiency.
Greater efficiency can lower costs for your business, as it enables you to do more while maintaining the same staffing levels and meet demand for higher order volumes during a peak season without having to hire more staff. A more efficient business operation will make it easier to get the most from your existing staff and resources, reducing margin squeeze, and enhance your ability to scale operations, supporting growth.
3PL integration’s power to automate processes and drive supply chain efficiency will not be lost on your customers. Fewer errors, improved data accuracy, faster communication, more reliable delivery dates and more accurate product availability details are just some of the benefits of 3PL integration that can contribute to higher customer satisfaction.
The many benefits of better visibility, for you and your customers
Customer service demands are always evolving. This, compounded by diverse challenges within logistics, can make it difficult to meet customer expectations. Alongside greater efficiency, providing customers with more transparency and visibility is key to improving your service offering.
Visibility in the supply chain is important for managing the movement of goods effectively, making sure inventories are accurate and up to date, and facilitating the task of checking and confirming inventory levels and locations. Without end-to-end visibility, it is more challenging to manage customer orders and adapt to seasonal demands. But by integrating with 3PL providers, the visibility you gain makes it easier to plan and deliver customer orders, trace and recall products, and identify in advance where and when demand is higher and lower, and for which products.
Being able to manage stock and inventory levels, both inside and outside the warehouse, and deliver a speedy and more efficient service to customers is possible with better visibility. It will also limit the potential for inventory write-off, which can prove costly for your business and severely impact your bottom line, especially if your projected profit margins are tight or even tighter than usual.
Supply chain visibility is essential for better customer satisfaction outcomes and meeting the changing expectations of your customers. But it is also necessary to enable you to run your business operations more smoothly.
Step towards supply chain efficiency
Applying technology to processes to create more value is nothing new, but in an increasingly complex agriculture supply chain, optimisation is necessary to gain competitive advantage and provide the service standards expected by customers. And it all starts with being more efficient.
For more information on how Proagrica’s 3PL integration could benefit your business, contact us.