During my career as a third-party logistics (3PL) executive, my days were too often filled with suppliers making mistakes, employees cutting corners, and customers complaining because of software systems that were causing more problems than they were solving. I was on the phone with many people, none of whom could adequately answer my questions and some who were quick to blame anyone but themselves. Does this sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be this way.
Extensiv is creating the future of omnichannel fulfillment. We’re doing this by providing 3PLs with industry leading software solutions coupled with professional support services that drive profitability, growth, and connectivity, while delivering customer satisfaction and efficient operations. This article dives into the common challenges many 3PLs grapple with, and more importantly, what can be done to solve them.
Mistakes Compounded by More Mistakes
The Extensiv sales team often hear things from 3PL prospects like: “Our order accuracy isn’t where it needs to be” or “My inventory is never in sync, and I can’t figure out why” or “I just don’t know what else I can do to be more efficient.” These frustrations are sometimes the root of other problems, while other times they are symptomatic of something embedded deeper in the operation. In either case, they can make for some very long days for 3PL warehouse operators.
Orders are inaccurate because somebody changed a setting in the software that is messing things up, nobody knows about the change and the team is grumbling about “bad technology.” But that doesn’t stop your team from picking, packing, and shipping. Everyone is working hard to get orders out the door despite tech problems, but they need to cut a couple of corners and bypass your normal processes to “get it done!” Of course, unreliable technology and breaking processes that were put into place for good reason leads to more problems.
Now, even more orders are incorrect, and you don’t have any kind of system tracking or audit trail to fall back on. Your team is starting to point fingers at one another instead of coming together and helping each other, your customers are calling because they’re hearing from their customers about late or incorrect orders, and they need answers now. You know the incorrect orders will start being returned, and that’s going to cost you a lot of money to correct and reship. You feel like throwing your hands in the air and giving up, but you know that’s not an option. Who do you turn to for solutions?
It is times like those described above that remind us of the value a true partner and trusted advisor provides. Extensiv is that knowledgeable partner for its clients. We excel at providing the value and support every 3PL deserves through the marriage of simple, effective warehouse management system (WMS) software solutions and experts available to help you maximize the return on investment of our software and services.
While our software suite can simplify your technology stack from shopping cart to shipping, our professional services team has expertise ranging from training your team on how best to utilize our software solutions to helping craft sophisticated solutions to complex challenges you may be facing.
We’ve been experts in the 3PL software business for 15+ years, but we’re less recognized for the professional services we provide our clients. Coupling best-in-class software with a team of experts committed to your success is a good recipe for efficient, effective operations that further your success.
The Extensiv Consulting Team is comprised of industry experts and thought leaders with more than 100 years of combined software, warehouse, logistics, and ecommerce experience. This experience can help you:
- Deepen your understanding of the benefits of using Extensiv software solutions and how those benefits improve your business
- Gain insight and implement industry best practices that will advance your success
- Connect to our vast network of partners and cultivate valuable industry relationships
The Extensiv Consulting Team is committed to designing and delivering personalized solutions that deliver results. We offer a range of services that can help your warehouse implement best practices, increase operational efficiency, or get started in the fourth-party logistics industry.
Premium Account Services
3PL operators are always looking for ways to maximize their people, systems, processes, and partners. Our consultants can help you configure your Extensiv WMS software to maximize its benefit, drive adoption with your team, align with your existing processes and connect you with industry partners, and we can do this at the pace that makes sense for you.
Ask the Expert
Sometimes an hour or two is all that is needed to keep things moving forward. New employee training, getting clarification on specific use cases, or exploring new functionality can keep your operation on track.
Best Practices Consult
Many of our customers are “almost there” but wonder what they are missing or how they can get just a little bit better. Gaining insight into industry best practices for things like warehouse layout, system utilization, process improvement, flow line design, inventory analysis, bin mapping, and SKU management can help you improve your workflows.
Add A Customer
Onboarding new customers and meeting ever-changing client needs can be a daunting challenge for any 3PL. Extensiv can help 3PLs set up new customers and consult on how to manage unique requirements they may have, including seasonality, rapid SKU growth, omni-channel selling, high return rate, and other nuances in their business. Additionally, for 3PLs looking for more brands/merchants to fill their warehouse space, Extensiv's Fulfillment Marketplace helps 3PLs form partnerships with brands/merchants, or operate as a 4PL.
Switching software systems is scary, especially when the system is core to your success. Extensiv understands this and will travel to your location and work closely with your team before, during, and after the go live to ensure a smooth implementation from start to finish.
Extensiv Professional Services is here for you. Our industry-leading software combined with support from industry experts will amplify your growth and enable you to deliver a premium experience to your customers.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.