With the unpredictability of the current global economy, distributors increasingly rely upon their relationships with third-party logistics (3PL) providers to support the supply chain. 3PLs support distributors at specific stages primarily with warehousing and transportation. This synergistic relationship has become more important, and as such, it’s increasingly important for 3PL companies to leave legacy technology behind for modern, digital transformation solutions.
To help 3PL companies move away from dated technology and embrace modern solutions, here are some steps to consider:
Assess current technology infrastructure
Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the existing technology systems and processes within the company. Identify the areas where dated technology is hindering operational efficiency, causing bottlenecks, or limiting growth.
Set clear objectives
Define the specific objectives and outcomes that the company wants to achieve by adopting modern technology. These goals could include streamlining operations, improving visibility, enhancing customer service, or reducing costs. Clear objectives will help guide the selection and implementation of new technology.
Research and explore modern solutions
Stay up to date with the latest trends and advancements in logistics technology. Research and explore modern solutions such as cloud-based logistics platforms, transportation management systems (TMS), warehouse management systems (WMS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), real-time tracking and visibility tools, data analytics, and automation technologies. Identify the solutions that align with the company’s objectives.
Develop a technology roadmap
Create a detailed plan or roadmap for implementing new technology. Prioritize the solutions based on their potential impact and feasibility. Break down the implementation into phases, considering factors like budget, resource availability, and integration requirements. Ensure that the roadmap includes milestones and measurable goals to track progress.
Secure executive buy-in and support
Obtain buy-in and support from top-level executives within the company. Highlight the benefits of adopting modern technology, such as increased efficiency, cost savings, improved customer satisfaction, and competitive advantage. Executive support will help secure the necessary resources and funding for the technology upgrade.
Partner with technology providers
Collaborate with technology providers that specialize in logistics and supply chain solutions. Engage in discussions, demonstrations, and evaluations of their products or services. Look for providers with a proven track record, industry expertise, scalability, and flexibility to meet the specific needs of your 3PL company.
Plan for change management
Recognize that transitioning from dated technology to modern solutions involves change. Prepare a change management strategy to address potential resistance or challenges from employees. Provide training and support to ensure a smooth transition. Communicate the benefits of the new technology, involve employees in the process, and address their concerns.
Test and pilot new technology
Before full-scale implementation, consider running pilot projects or testing the new technology in a controlled environment. This allows for fine-tuning, identifying potential issues, and ensuring compatibility with existing systems. Collect feedback from users and stakeholders to further optimize the technology implementation.
Implement in stages
Roll out the new technology in stages rather than attempting a large-scale implementation all at once. This approach allows for gradual adaptation and reduces the risk of disrupting day-to-day operations. Monitor the performance and impact of the technology at each stage and adjust as necessary.
Continuously monitor and optimize
After the implementation, continuously monitor the performance and impact of the new technology. Collect and analyze data to identify areas for further improvement. Stay informed about emerging technologies and industry trends to ensure ongoing technological evolution and stay ahead of the competition.
Sikich can help your 3PL company move away from outdated technology to a new modern solution with our software solution created just for 3PL companies and built on Dynamics 365 Business Central. If you’re ready to make the digital transformation, contact us today to get started.