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June 9, 2023

Streamlining Retail Order Fulfillment: The Power of 3PL Software

retail order fulfillment

In the fiercely competitive world of eCommerce, businesses need to operate at peak efficiency. Warehouse operations stand as the backbone of retail, demanding the artful balance of inventory management, staff productivity, order fulfillment, and predictive forecasting. When eCommerce businesses aim to scale or expand to conquer new market horizons, their best ally often turns out to be a third-party logistics (3PL) partner.

But how does a 3PL transform the intricate web of your expanding supply chain into a seamlessly efficient and unified system? The magic ingredient is an ideal blend of deep-seated industry expertise and tech-enhanced enablement. Most 3PLs employ a Warehouse Management System (WMS), a type of 3PL software to ensure smooth operations behind the scenes. Armed with a powerful WMS, your 3PL gains real-time visibility into:

  • Inventory and storage status
  • Vendor performance
  • Staff productivity
  • Demand forecasting
  • Fulfillment workflows

But the value of 3PL’s software extends beyond merely keeping their operations in order. It harmonizes your business across various channels, introduces you to fresh data-driven insights, and fortifies your preparation for upcoming business endeavors.

Let’s delve into four ways in which a robust WMS, managed by the right 3PL partner, can empower your  eCommerce operations and pave the way to enduring success.

Supercharging Efficiency with 3pl software

With retail order fulfillment processes lacking automation or tech enablement, your staff’s precious time is consumed by manually processing orders, swapping between disjointed retailer portals, cart integrations, data systems, and traditional paper spreadsheets. The slightest keyboard slip, like an accidental switch from W to S, could trigger a domino effect of errors, requiring hours of meticulous scrutiny to ensure each item matches and successfully transitions to the subsequent system.

Traditional, manual methods like hunting down inventory through reading tags or shelf labels and ensuring each shipment contains correct items, using proper packaging and labeling, are not only time-consuming but prone to errors as well.

Such practices might suffice for home-based small businesses, but they’re neither sustainable nor cost-effective for full-fledged eCommerce brands. 

Enter Materialogic — the 3PL provider with their WMS, Infoplus, and cutting-edge 3PL software to automate these processes and provide clear guidance for staff-led parts of retail order fulfillment. Materialogic harnesses the power of this proprietary software to deliver streamlined operations and better efficiencies for their clients.

Augmenting Accuracy through automation

Manual processes introduce an element of human error that may result in costly rework or disgruntled customers. However, a WMS aggregates and stores all critical data, such as product SKUs, packing manifests, retailer documentation, and more, in an automated system. In turn, this dramatically reduces the risk of manual errors. It also ensures that no orders fall through the cracks as they move from your customer’s shopping carts to their doorsteps.

The impact of order accuracy extends beyond customer satisfaction. If you’re working with retail partners, order accuracy can affect your scorecards and your ability to explore or develop new sales channels. 3PL software, like Infoplus, effectively eliminates these hassles by automatically keeping orders on track, monitoring inventory, and deploying QA capabilities to spot and resolve inaccuracies before orders depart the warehouse floor.

Enhance Visibility with Comprehensive Data 

In the modern business landscape, data is the primary driver of improvements. The more insight you have about inventory usage, customer demands, and team productivity, the better positioned you are to make strategic decisions. Tech-enabled 3PL software dismantles internal barriers and organizes every facet of your fulfillment data in one unified location. 

You gain easy access to metrics associated with the following

  • Staff productivity
  • Average order volume
  • Number of errors or critical alerts
  • Consumer buying trends
  • Material costs vs. usage
  • Packing efficiency
  • And more

A 3PL like Materialogic, armed with the Infoplus WMS, can transform volumes of system data into clear, easy-to-digest reports presented in configurable dashboards. These dashboards can be shared across teams for better collaborative decision-making. Regular performance reviews with your leadership teams help to evaluate these reports and discuss any business development opportunities that may arise.

The availability of an updated, easily accessible source of truth, accounting for every step in the fulfillment process, empowers you to unearth hidden errors, optimize inefficient processes, and craft data-driven strategies for growth and enhancement.

future-proofing your operations with Scalability

All of the aforementioned benefits help you save time, optimize your investments, and ensure accurate, timely order deliveries. However, the real value of having 3PL software builds over time.

A reputable 3PL partner is committed to presenting data-informed growth strategies, WMS integrations, and adaptable service models, all designed to support your eCommerce operations at every turn. 

Whether you’re launching a new brand, juggling a surge in demand, or managing a well-established global enterprise, the right 3PL software is scalable to fit your needs. With a revamped, streamlined fulfillment process, you’ll not only maintain a strong rapport with retailers, but also potentially expand your relationships to accommodate larger order volumes or new retail locations. 

An efficient and reliable service model will also attract new business opportunities, giving you the confidence to meet growing demands knowing your partner is equipped to support and adapt as your needs evolve.

the SECret to WMs success: A powerful 3pl software

The power of a well-run Warehouse Management System in driving efficiency and supporting your eCommerce fulfillment needs as you grow cannot be overstated. However, it’s essential to remember that the effectiveness of your 3PL software depends heavily on the 3PL provider operating it.

At Materialogic, we draw on our years of logistics experience, eCommerce expertise, and the Infoplus WMS, our in-house 3PL software, to simplify complex fulfillment workflows and deliver long-term measurable results. Infoplus was built to provide unparalleled flexibility to our clients without adding extra costs or compromising efficiencies.

If you’re wondering whether your fulfillment operations could benefit from an outsourced 3PL partnership, we invite you to download our whitepaper, “Are Your Fulfillment Operations Getting in the Way of Growth?” You may find that your logistics ‘growing pains’ are indeed signs that you’re ready to outsource. 

Ready to grow? Reach out to our team at Materialogic — we’re excited to guide you toward streamlined, efficient operations and growth.

Fulfillment Operations

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