What to Consider When Choosing 3PL Software

Did you know there were more than 17,300 warehouses in the United States as of 2017?

If you’re a third-party logistics (3PL) provider, you know that your clients depend on you to fulfill customer orders accurately and quickly. It’s an integral part of your business operations to keep your clients and their customers happy. But to stand out from the rest, you’ve got to do it well.

Fulfilling orders is a multistage process. It starts when the customer places an order, then the ordered items are selected and packed, and finally, the package is processed for shipping. While the process may sound simple, you know that it isn’t — with every customer of every one of your clients depending on you, there’s a lot of data to manage.

That’s where 3PL software can be a lifesaver.

When you hire a third-party logistics service to manage your inventory and order fulfillment, you get access to 3PL software that can streamline and automate these processes. Besides saving you time and trouble, it can also save your company money. How do you choose the right 3PL software for your company? Read on to find out.

Different Types of Logistics Management Software

Before the internet, businesses had to manage inventory and fulfillment processes manually. Third-party logistics was available even then, but with each part of the supply chain operating independently, there was a lot of room for error.

Thanks to modern technology, it’s possible to not only streamline logistics processes, but to also automate and integrate them using software. This reduces errors, as well as saving everyone headache.

There are three major types of 3PL software used to do this:

  1. Integrated CSM suites
  2. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems
  3. Stand-alone warehouse management systems

Integrated SCM Suites

The supply chain is a process that begins with product development and ends with shipping the finished product to the customer. Supply chain activities include production, warehousing, and inventory management, as well as product development and shipping. To help make sense of this process, a supply chain management (SCM) system is a collection of software that oversees the entire process. It’s used to keep track of data, financial assets, and physical goods as they flow through the supply chain.

ERP Systems

Enterprise resource planning (or ERP) systems integrate every single process that’s essential for running a business. Everything from inventory to accounting to customer service is included.

An ERP system works through a shared database that employees in different divisions of a company can all access. The shared information allows each employee, whether stationed in accounting or sales, to do their job well. This system also makes synchronized reporting and automation possible. Instead of merging different information from mismatched sources to generate reports, employees can simply pull data from the integrated system.

Stand-Alone Warehouse Management Systems

Stand-alone warehouse management systems (or WMS) increase the efficiency and productivity of warehouse operations by streamlining the fulfillment process. The software tracks everything from when goods are received to when orders are fulfilled and shipped. WMS software may also help with labor management and reporting, depending on the kind of WMS used.

What to Look for in 3PL Software

The following are some things you should try to find in a great 3PL software system:

  • Scalable functionality. Because you want your company to be able to keep growing, it’s very important that the 3PL software you choose provides room for this growth. You don’t want it to be capped at the level you’re already sustaining.
  • The latest technology. When you’re trusting your logistics processes to a software program or 3PL provider, you want to be certain they have the best technology at their disposal.
  • Labeling compliance. As with everything else, there are regulatory requirements involved with product packaging and labeling. Any 3PL provider should know what these requirements are and have the functionality to fulfill these requirements.
  • Billing functionality. This will ensure that invoices aren’t ever misplaced or unpaid. It also helps with automating putaway, storage, receiving, and shipping so that service charges are accurate and on-time. Billing functions are a common feature in the majority of 3PL solutions, but you’ll want to make sure the software you invest in offers this.

If you can find 3PL software with these features, you should be in good hands. Contact Royal 4 Systems for more information today!

How Wise WMS Can Improve Inventory Management

A key part of running any business is the ability to quickly and accurately keep track of inventory. Mistakes in inventory can lead to various complications throughout the supply chain, while delays in inventory can slow down business. Knowing what is in stock and where it’s located is an important part of providing great service to your customers. However, only 33% of retailers have access to the right tech that allows them to show customers their available inventory online.

With the right supply chain management software, your business can stay ahead of the inventory game and create smooth, trustworthy transactions with customers. Wise WMS (warehouse management system) is an inventory management software system that can make tracking and updating inventory easier than ever. It offers a wide range of features that utilize real-time information when it comes to areas such as location tracking, inventory, and cross-docking.

Real-Time Inventory

Knowing what inventory is available the moment it becomes available can be the difference between an order that gets out the door on time and one that is shipped out late. Wise WMS provides real-time inventory updates so that you always know what is available and when. This includes a cross-docking feature that will alert you if an item has just entered the available inventory that is needed for an outbound order. This supply chain management software allows for easier picking and packing as well as faster order shipping.

Order Tracking

Part of a strong inventory management system is the ability to track orders. Inventory can change when orders are canceled or when a wave of new orders comes in. Being able to follow orders through their entire process helps your business to provide accurate counts of available items. It also helps to keep customers properly informed and will allow workers to predict any delays so that customers can be notified.

Quick Alerts

Wise WMS also helps keep you up to date promptly. It’s crucial to know about changes in inventory and order status right away so that the right information is being conveyed to customers. Quick and accurate notifications allow you to stay informed as the day goes on and assures that you won’t be out of the loop when changes occur.

A Dynamic Software

Making inventory management easier isn’t the only thing that this supply chain management software can do. It can also assist with picking and packing, quality assurance, assembly, and more. With the help of Wise WMS, your business can run smoothly and be consistently updated on the most important information.

3 Ways that Prove the Right Software Improves Retail Business Performance

Living in the golden age of software and technology makes it easier than ever to effectively manage various aspects of a business’s operation. There are numerous system options that can be provided by a supply chain management software vendor to heighten the productivity of your company. If you’re interested in this type of management software, read on to learn about its many benefits.

Managing Everything From Factory to Store

Companies that primarily use third party logistics (3PL) software, or supply chain management software (SCMS), know that this is a vital tool for controlling and monitoring orders. From processing supply orders, tracking shipments and inventory, and organizing the transportation of goods and supplies to warehouse locations, 3PL software keeps all your important information in one easily accessible location.

Supply chain management software vendors also utilize a transportation management system (TMS). This offers a correspondence between an enterprise resource planning system for order processing and warehouse modules. This enables the system to evaluate inbound and outbound orders in order to offer the most efficient shipping solutions. These solutions are then analyzed by the transportation provider analysis module, which leads to the generation of electronic load tendering and order tracking for the selected carrier.

Vendors might also use supply chain management software to provide them with an estimate of upcoming demands and procure security for their systems against data theft.

Software Resources for Human Resources

Labor management systems are available in two formats to better assist the overseeing of warehouse operations. A predictive system provides estimates of how long it might take for employees to complete certain tasks or procedures. Likewise, a reactive system produces a detailed daily report which tracks employee productivity. This report can improve management’s gauge of how long it tends to take for tasks to be completed.

Combatting Shoplifting

For the average retail store, about 1.33% of all sales are lost due to instances of shoplifting or employee theft. One of the most efficient ways to combat shrink is through the use of radio frequency identification, or RFID. This system automatically identifies specially tagged items via radio waves. Most commonly, RFID assists with loss prevention but is also particularly useful in tracking an item’s production and transportation status.

Using third party logistics software provides supply chain management software vendors the ability to utilize many different tech systems to amplify productivity. When you want to witness the ease of universal communication through your company and its partnerships, rely on Royal 4 Systems today.

What is Supply Chain Management Software?

The process of stocking, mailing, and delivering goods is a long one. This isn’t surprising given that there are many different aspects that come into play. The starting warehouse alone has many different processes it has to go through before items ship. This flow of goods and services is called supply chain management and the more than 17,300 warehouses that exist in the U.S. all use it.

Supply chain management starts the moment an item is made and ends once it reaches the final consumer. There is a long list of steps that take place in between those two points. Two of the biggest areas of focus in this process are warehouse management and freight management. These areas are where most supply chain management software is used because they require so much monitoring and communication.

What is Supply Chain Management Software?

Supply chain management software is anything that makes supply chain management easier. It helps with communication between businesses to strengthen B2B relationships and makes organizing warehouses simpler. It can be a tool that provides shipping updates, processes orders, tracks inventory, or even automates bidding and spending to procure goods. Some programs include multiple tools in one and can be used by warehouses in a variety of ways. Others are more specialized for jobs that require more direct focus.

This software helps businesses by automating many systems that would be too time-consuming to track manually. It makes processes easier and faster while also reducing errors. Often times humans can make small errors that might seem harmless, but when so many systems are in place those little errors can cause a lot of problems. Automated systems help to avoid these problems and make them easier to sort out when they do occur.

Supply Chain Management Software Vendors

In order to buy these kinds of software for your company, you need to go through your choice of supply chain management software vendors. It’s wise to choose a vendor who offers various types of software so that you can get everything you need in one place. Some even sell software that condenses multiple tasks into one. Speaking with your choice of vendor can help you to determine which software you can benefit from and make the appropriate changes to your business.

For more information, don’t hesitate to reach out to Royal 4 Systems today.

What is an ERPS?

Approximately 33% of retailers have the mobile tech to show their consumers available inventory online. This number can be drastically increased with an ERPS.

What is an ERPS? An enterprise resource planning software (ERPS) is a business process management software. It allows organizations to use a system of applications to manage their business as well as to automate most of the back office functions that are related to technology and human resources. ERPS’s typically integrate most, if not all facets of an operation. This includes: supply chain management, labor management, freight management, etc. on top of all the other important logistics like marketing, sales, manufacturing, and so on. All of these are organized in a single database. This allows for ease of access and consistent company-wide organization as well as increased success with enterprise resource planning.

What can an ERPS do for You?

Enterprise resource planning software is a type of enterprise application. This is a software designed to be used by larger businesses. This is due to the fact that they often require a dedicated team or teams to customize as well as analyze data and to address updates and implementation. However, that is not to say that an enterprise resource planning software is just for big business. There are small business ERPS’s that are enterprise resource planning solutions, lightweight business management tools that are often customized for a specific business or industry. Some of the benefits include: visibility, improved planning, more detailed reports, improved efficiency and so much more!

ERP Systems Today

There are ERPS’s for pretty much all types of businesses. Today most organizations implement an ERPS as a replacement for a legacy software or just to incorporate ERP applications since they may not have an existing system. In fact, a 2016 study by Panorama Consulting Solutions, LLC., indicates that organizations implement ERP for the following reasons:

  • To replace out-of-date ERP software (49%)
  • To replace homegrown systems (16%)
  • To replace accounting software (15%)
  • To replace other non-ERP systems / had no system (20%)

What this data tells you is that an ERP system might be A) one of the best ways to stay up to date in technology and B) exactly what your business needs to take it to the next level.

warehouse management system

4 Characteristics of Good Warehouse Management Systems

The old days of using a paper and pen to manage inventory records in warehouses are long gone. Currently, warehouses use WMS which has made inventory management easier. These warehouse management systems are different. Therefore, you need to look for the best warehouse management system which will save you money, time and ultimately promote customer satisfaction. This article will help you choose the right one for your business.
Below are the four main qualities of a good WMS.

 

  1. Easy to use: A good WMS should be easy to handle. This reduces the time you require to train your employees. It also reduces the time spent when setting it up and monitoring everyday operations. This applies to all employees including senior managers so that they can adapt fast to new requirements.
    Clear navigation guarantees you full utilization of the WMS by all employees which promotes productivity.
    Look for WMS with menus that are easy to follow, simplified data entry, allows you to create templates and charts. It should be able to update automatically in real time and employees can access their data easily on the dashboard.
  2. Maximum Functionality: The most important thing for you to do when looking for a Warehouse Management System is to ask yourself what the system can do or solve for you. If you have fewer resources can it help you achieve more? A good WMS should reduce the workload on your end and maximize the work it can help you do. If the system can offer more warehouse management solutions with less input then it might be good for you.
  3. Detailed Management: A good WMS should allow you to manage and track every step of every transaction done in the warehouse. You need yard management software that can give you full information on employees, products and other entities involved. Some of the basic steps the inventory management software should track include: shipping, movement of goods, inventory audits, storage of received items, picking of orders, and receiving. Good WMS should offer proper inventory management solutions.
  4. Compatible with your Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software: For your business to keep running, you need a WMS that is compatible with your ERP Software. That means a good WMS should work with common ERP systems well. It should be compatible with JD Edwards, Infor, Activant and MS Dynamics.
    Also, look for a supply chain management software vendor who can develop other ERP integrations.

 

Customers want their order to be supplied as soon as possible. This calls for effective warehouse management solutions; therefore every retailer should look for a way to optimize operations.

Inventory shrink costs retailers 1.33% of their total sales. This is a call to all retailers to think of the importance of employing warehouse management software in their businesses. This will boost customer satisfaction and services which translates to more profit.

What Are the Benefits of RFID Technology in Retail?

More and more retailers are beginning to incorporate RFID technology into their management software strategies, but few know how important this technology truly is for their business. RFID, which stands for radio frequency identification, is a versatile technology that’s been used in a variety of applications. When it comes to retail and inventory management, this technology has become an unstoppable force. In fact, it’s estimated that 96% of retailers use RFID technology in order to tag and track apparel.

Whether you’re running a large-scale operation or a mom-and-pop shop, here’s how RFID technology can help improve your freight management.

It offers data in real time

Every retailer knows the struggle of searching for inventory online only to find that their product is already sold out. Instead of struggling to navigate these steps in your supply chain, RFID technology can track and upload changes in your company’s stock at a moment’s notice, no manual input required. This will enable your company to offer the best in up-to-date information for your customers and employees alike, thereby streamlining efficiency.

It’s more efficient

But RFID technology is even more efficient than you realized. Instead of scanning each individual barcode over and over again, RFID tags can enable a company to monitor inventory in one simple scan. This vital asset to your labor management system puts less strain on your employees while offering the best data for your customers.

RFID technology also enables a business to track busy times in their store. This can help streamline future inventory planning through these trends.

It helps reduce inventory shrink

Inventory shrink is one of the most frustrating parts of running your own business. It’s estimated that inventory shrink can cost a retailer 1.33% of their total sales on average. Through the use of RFID tags, however, employers are better able to track and identify missing items from their stock.

The implementation of RFID scanners can also deter dishonest employees from swiping your goods in the stock room. Even though we trust our employees, you never know when a potential threat could arise.

When you want to protect your inventory, the best thing you can do is invest in warehouse management systems that utilize RFID technology. For more information on labor management systems that work for you, contact Royal 4 Systems to streamline your warehouse operations.