The fifth 3PL Value Creation Summit in Chicago took place on October 24th-26th. The summit was an occasion for 3PL executives, technology innovators and investment leaders to discuss the future of the 3PL industry and explore new ways to improve logistical operations. The event was a huge success, featuring noteworthy panel discussions from high profile third-party logistics (3PL) providers, including HighJump’s Chief Operating Officer, Joe Couto.
If the best possible location is not available, you want to place it in the next best location and so on and so forth. In HighJump's Enterprise 3PL solution you tell the system the criteria that you wish it to use for the purpose of identifying the best and the next best locations.
You define your criteria by means of sequences. Each sequence contains a number of parameters for selecting a location. The following example shows five sequences that progressively define increasingly less desirable locations.
Voice-activated picking – or as it is sometimes called “hands-free, eyes free picking” – can offer significant improvements in accuracy and productivity that paper-based or RF-terminal-based picking can never match.
Here are some benefits of a voice-directed picking
- Increase picking accuracy, inventory accuracy and employee productivity
- Improve worker safety, by freeing a picker's eyes and hands
- Reduced new worker training time
- Increases job satisfaction for warehouse associates
- Eliminates cost of printing and distributing picking documents
- Increase customer satisfaction
So what should the 3PL operator look for when considering a voice-activated solution? First and foremost is flexibility. That is, the ability to define different sets of voice-activated picking rules for different customers, carriers, consignees, items, orders, locations and warehouses.
Are you a 3PL with multiple clients across multiple facilities, geographic locations and time zones?
Alternate sorts allow you to group inventory by product type and then generate consolidated reports showing all product assigned that type. For example, if you have a customer who deals in meat, dairy products and fish and you want to know how much meat this customer has in your warehouse, you would use alternative sorting codes to group all the meat items. Likewise, you can use alternate sorting logic to report on multiple customers with the same product. For example, you have seven meat customers and you want to run an inventory report for these seven customers showing how much beef, pork and chicken they have in your warehouse.
Alternate sorts also allow you to group items for billing purposes; for example, all items belonging to the same product line can be treated as a single entity for billing purposes. Because the quantities are larger, you can offer your customers a lower storage rate. In a good 3PL solution, alternate sorting should be fully configurable by the end-user. That is, he or she can create as many alternate sorts as are required for reporting purposes in the warehouse.
These are some critical areas that need to be considered by 3Pl service providers when evaluating 3PL software:
Implementation time - Is it going to take days or months?
Implementation cost - What are the true costs and what are the hidden costs?
Software maintenance fees -
Upgrades - Are they easy and convenient or complex and costly?
Time to on-board new customers - Hours and days or weeks and months?
What is concurrency as it relates to 3PLs - The ability to perform multiple functions and run multiple business processes, that vary from customer to customer in single or multiple facilities.
Distribution based WMS
- Single client - One inventory owner
- Single set of process flows and requirements
- Simple labeling
- Order Entry gets handed to the ERP solution. Order entry is integrated through the ERP solution
- Basic warehouse management system cannot accomodate different ERP version releases from different customers without extensive and costly custom fixes and workarounds
3PL Specific WMS
- Multiple Clients - multiple inventory owners
- Concurrent support for business processes of each inventory owner
- Complex labeling requirements
- Order Entry is self contained in the 3PL solution
- 3PL logistics software needs to accomodate different ERP version releases,distinguishing and accomodating the various versions automatically
Direct Store Delivery User Needs and Challenges
- Access to pricing, promotion and product availability data
- Accuracy of data
- Customizable retailer requirements
- Manage expanding SKUs and product lines
Topics: Direct Store Delivery & Mobility
A physical inventory unit is defined as all product belonging to the same customer, placed in the same warehouse and location with the same level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4 values and the same hold code. For example, if you placed two pallets of identical product in the same location and then placed one pallet on hold and left the other pallet with no hold, you would have two physical inventory units on your system for that location:
A purpose built 3PL solution provides a module for formal, physical inventories.
- You may configure a single or double count per location, with additional counts until discrepancies are processed.
- RF or paper based
- Blind count configurable
- Tools available to automatically process variances
- Variances can be reported via EDI if configured to do so