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Closing the 3PL Technology Gap


3PL Omni-channel Retail

While market volatility and the rise of the omni-channel marketplace have created significant challenges for manufacturers and retailers, these trends are also creating huge opportunities for logistics partners who are able to bring the right technology to bear to help solve customers' most pressing issues. However, recent studies show there is a wide gap between customers' expectations for logistics partners' IT capabilities and what 3PLs are able to deliver today. Find out what is needed to close this gap.

As manufacturers and retailers continue to focus on controlling costs —while increasing their agility and responsiveness — third-party logistics (3PL) providers have become a critical resource. According to the 2014 18th Annual Third Party Logistics Study published by Dr. John Langley of Penn State and Capgemini, 72 percent of shippers are planning to increase their use of outsourced logistics services in the future. Those 3PL providers who can best help customers to adapt to volatility and omni-channel market requirements will win the lion’s share of this business.

However, that same study revealed an “IT gap” that vendors must close in order to add greater value for their customers. A full 98 percent of shippers believe that the continued success of their global supply chains depends on managing data, as well as leveraging it to make better decisions. Yet only 55 percent of shippers are satisfied with the information technology services delivered by their 3PL partners. This is very similar to the 2013 edition of this same study which likewise found that only 55 percent of shippers were satisfied with their 3PLs’ IT capabilities even though 94 percent said that these capabilities are very important. This suggests that 3PLs are not making significant inroads in meeting customer expectations even though tremendous opportunities exist.


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