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3PL industry trends: intelligent order management and unified logistics

This blog is co-authored by Raj Patel, Blue Yonder Senior Director Global Industry Strategy 3PL; Blue Yonder Terence Leung, Senior Product Marketing Director; and Nina Seth, Blue Yonder Product Marketing Director. To read the full blog post, click here.

Almost a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce continues to boom, according to the 2021 State of Supply Chain Execution Report. What the pandemic has done to accelerate new consumer buying behaviours is also changing the ways consumers order delivery and pickup items. This creates many challenges for retailers and manufacturers who either fulfil orders themselves or contract with third-party logistics (3PLs) partners to perform these services.

Traditionally, retailers have been good at forecasting demand and placing items in the distribution network based on where these consumers are most likely going to buy from. This helps put the product closer to the consumer so that they can get same-day or next-day delivery. The challenge is that the window for this process is getting smaller, from weekly to daily or even hourly.

With increasing focus on consumer-centricity and trends like direct-to-consumer (D2C), retailers and manufacturers are looking for ways to deal with additional complexity, order volume, consumer expectation, and the cost of doing business. Retailers and manufacturers now expect their 3PL partners to deliver better, faster and cheaper services while providing additional value-added services. Previously, 3PL companies were responsible for storing and moving items. Now, these organisations expect 3PLs to manage inventory and help optimise fulfilment.

To read the full blog post, click here.

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