COVID-19 has taught us all that we really can do things differently. Many of our clients are rethinking their distribution channels and concentrating on an eCommerce mindset, rather than direct to store (DTS) as many stores are no longer operating as they once were. With the rapid turnaround required, the shift is truly challenging.
Changes to the supply chain
Businesses previously sending pallets of stock around the country to stores now sell direct to the public or provide drop-shipping type services for their retailers. Sales are usually via an eCommerce website, but the challenge lies in accommodating and implementing the logistics after the sale. Many business owners do not want to spend time working on this part of their enterprise. They want an experienced professional team to take care of it.
3PL services smooth the ride from order to parcel
This is where a third-party logistics (3PL) operator becomes a crucial and integral partner. Promtel has the technology to plug your eCommerce site into the vast functionality of our Warehouse Management System (WMS). The WMS manages your inventory, stock replenishments, expiry dates, batch codes, order picking, packing and shipping.
Your trusted 3PL picks, packs and sends your orders. The 3PL has established relationships with various carriers. They offer you their experience when choosing the best way to get your goods to your customers.
Identifying the danger zone
The process of turning a website order into a fully picked, packed, ready-to-ship parcel using the most cost-effective process has been the logistics and IT danger zone for many businesses.
IT professionals who understand the link to warehouse gap
Promtel began work with IT professionals to solve the integration of website-to-warehouse black hole well before COVID19 suddenly changed everything. We wanted to provide a professional WMS service that worked hand in hand with a top end retail eCommerce solution. We identified the gap in the logistics and IT cycle and have worked hard to close it.
Promtel's IT partners have developed API integration with eCommerce platforms (Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce) including initial set up and testing, live freight rates (Shopify only) and integrated tracking information. You have peace of mind. You don't have to worry about skills shortages, training and redundancy.
In simple terms this is how it works:
- Your stock resides in Promtel's warehouse
- Each product has a location, ready for picking. You can view your inventory online and download reports in real time
- You have an eCommerce website, eg Shopify
- Your customer places an order
- Order details are captured by our integrated software in the back end of your website
- Order details are pushed via the secure integrated software to the WMS
- Our staff, pick, pack and ship your order
- Our WMS pushes the completed consignment information securely back to your website
- Your customer receives your branded communication from your website with shipping, consignment number and tracking details
Adapting to the changes
Changes are happening quickly and universally.
Outsourcing this aspect of your supply chain is not only a good idea, but, according to KPMG, enterprises' operations strategy is increasingly at odds with reality - particularly balancing cost savings and strategic investment priorities.
In plain English - it is not always cheaper or better to do things in-house, especially when it involves people being taken away from their core tasks to do jobs that they didn't sign up for. The high cost of gaining and maintaining your own space and infrastructure to store your stock and process your orders can be out of reach financially.