Date: May 15, 2018
From your Warehouse Management Software (WMS) to your EDI connections to your integrations with eCommerce engines, Transportation Management System (TMS) and more, your 3PL warehouse now produces more data than ever before. At one time, and not that long ago, this information wasn’t considered viable to day-to-day business decisions and operations for many warehouses. Today, however, this information could hold the key to happier customers, stronger partnerships, and higher profitability for many in the supply chain and logistics industry.
In our 2018 State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry, we recently discussed how 3PL warehouses can embrace Big Data to help provide a superior customer experience. But in order to do so, 3PLs must first understand what Big Data actually is, how it can be analyzed, and how warehouses can use it for their benefit. Let’s start with a definition.
According to Gartner, Big Data is defined as follows:
"Big data is high-volume, high-velocity and/or high-variety information assets that demand cost-effective, innovative forms of information processing that enable enhanced insight, decision making, and process automation."1
Recently, veracity has made its way into this definition as well2.
Simply put, big data is data that contains the four Vs that can help address business challenges that in turn help drive growth and market opportunities.
It should come as no surprise that some of the leading companies in the logistics industry have been using Big Data to increase their sales, boost their profits and provide a superior customer experience for years. This includes:
Amazon – leverages user information to optimize their supply chain3, make fashion recommendations4– and even anticipate what products they are going to ship to certain customers – before those customers even know they’re going to order them.5
Wal*Mart – uses Big Data to make their pharmacies more efficient, improve the speed of their check-out lines, and even optimize their product assortment6.
UPS – uses location data to create software that has increased delivery speed, reduced accidents, boosted profits and saved more than 10 million gallons of fuel by simply eliminating almost all of their drivers’ left turns 7.
There’s no question that your 3PL’s data can help you address a host of business problems you’ve never been able to tackle before, as well. Once gathered, it will enable your warehouse to perform the following three critical operations:
The data your 3PL produces can provide a host of tremendous benefits. In order to capitalize, your 3PL will need to implement a formal system that will enable your warehouse to capture, identify, and then analyze the precise data you need. To get started, we recommend the following:
To learn more about the many new opportunities approaching 3PLs today, we invite you to read our 2018 State of the Third-Party Logistics Industry Report.
Want more? Opt for the downloadable version for bonus strategies and tactics you can implement right away to use these trends to your advantage.
3PL Central provides cloud-based WMS solutions for 3PLs so they can transform paper-based, error-prone businesses into service leaders focused on customer satisfaction, efficient operations, and growth.