Companies’ supply chains are the key to their operational success, but without proper management, they can be a major source of risk.
3PL (3rd Party Logistics) carriers help acquire, store, and transport resources across the supply chain and may include delivery of goods. For example, states and counties are currently leveraging 3PL to ship COVID-19 vaccines, which have complicated requirements that need to be followed. Moving down the line, delivery status is knowing where your resources are at any given time and not only if they have been delivered, but if they were delivered at the right time, in the right place, and on budget.
Our recent webinar in partnership with IndustryWeek, “How to Track Delivery Status and 3PL Compliance in Real-Time,” delved into how to solve these issues with delivery status while remaining 3PL compliant.
Importance of remaining 3PL compliant
Risk management becomes a larger focus with more 3PL usage. The more your organization relies on 3PL, the less control you have. The need for visibility into 3PL is especially critical for industries who are highly regulated such as pharmaceuticals, where one misstep can cause numerous issues down the line. A poll of webinar attendees showed that 65% of their supply chains were somewhat to completely reliant on 3PL providers for their transportation or warehousing mix. Modern customer preferences often require on time delivery as a baseline to a relationship which means multiple late deliveries could negatively impact your bottom line. In addition to this, delays can affect deliveries that are time sensitive, which could cause damage or spoilage to the product and poor quality for the customer.
Both delivery status and 3PL play a significant role in the efficiency of middle and last mile logistics, and consequently bottom-line customer relationships. To identify risks before they become a burden, it’s important to clearly define key metrics, track real-time data, and gain visibility into your logistics operations.
Visibility and compliance at scale
Across the board, supply chain leaders are closely monitoring their relationships with customers and carriers but tracking and visibility into complex processes becomes more challenging at scale. Therefore, many companies have heavily leaned on tech to take the weight off their shoulders.
Ensuring 3PL compliance is too often not measured due to siloed data. With real-time communication between organizations and suppliers, enabled by increased organizational agility, organizations can mitigate issues such as unforeseen delays or incorrect locations in a timely and cost-effective manner. Gaining visibility into 3PL compliance and performance is critical to adapt to the speed of business today.
For example, some projects are reliant on knowing whether or not a specific product was delivered, like PPE equipment to comply with COVID-19 regulations. Delays due to lack of equipment can be costly for the bottom line and for employee safety. Low-code platforms allow automated reporting and visibility into sites where a product was delivered, which keeps projects on track and maintains reputation and completion schedule. Another way these platforms are used is real-time collaboration with suppliers for quickly determining sites for delivery when a backup site is needed. The global pandemic has highlighted the need for operational agility and supply chain visibility, whether remote or beginning to return to the office.
Taking a modern approach
Leveraging low code and no code technology allows you to unify data and track metrics like total deliveries, damaged goods, vendor compliance, trailer utilization, and billing accuracy. For example, Quickbase’s no code platform allows you to generate an auto score card based on compliance standards that you create. This makes issues easy to spot and gives insight into poor performing carriers.
Many companies that do track 3PL performance track it in their ERPs, SaaS point solutions, or Excel. These are great tools but can limit complete end to end supply chain visibility by making it difficult to retrieve and activate data you need. Connecting disparate systems with hand-coded applications traditionally takes a lot of time and resources and with the pace of business today, may not cover your companies changing priorities. What separates no-code is speed to implementation and customization, helping your supply chain gain the insights you need, when you need them, and all without knowing a single line of code.
Your supply chain is the lifeblood of your organization. Ensuring a seamless flow and finding small issues before they become a burden is essential to your health and profitability.