Parcel: A Worthwhile Conversation for 3PLs and Their Customers
Part 3 of 3
In Part 2 of our series about the benefits of a parcel-capable TMS, we discussed the growth opportunities available to 3PLs around parcel. But what about their shipper customers? What about their growth? There are several ways that actively supporting customers’ parcel operations can positively impact their growth, in addition to yours.
There is a reason shippers turn to 3PLs to manage freight transportation: it’s hard! Parcel may be easier to self-manage than freight, so many shippers keep those fulfillment operations in-house. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. Manufacturers and distributors consolidate operations and systems all the time because it makes their businesses run more efficiently. Now, they can do the same with their parcel and freight management. With a parcel-enabled TMS, experts in transportation can manage the entire shipping lifecycle, from the tiniest packages to the heaviest pallets, in a single system. No more toggling back and forth from one system to another, which saves time and greatly minimizes user frustration.
Many shippers still manage parcel the same way they always have: via a few large carriers’ disparate portals. However, that deprives them of the opportunity to shop across rates and modes, because doing so may well require manual comparisons which takes too much time. By combining all shipping into a single TMS, a 3PL managing a shipper’s freight can make rapid, automated determinations about what mode to use, and, for those shipments going parcel, what carrier and service level. The carrier network and negotiated rates available to a sophisticated 3PL ensure that shippers aren’t just saving money on freight, but parcel, too. This increases the value the 3PL brings to their shipper customers.
For a shipper, growth requires a combination of developing, making, and selling more products. That requires resources, which are typically limited. That’s where focus on one’s core business becomes imperative, and the ability to bring in external subject matter experts pays substantial dividends. We’ve already established that, just because parcel can be managed internally, doesn’t make it the best use of resources. By extension, shippers could be redeploying those resources to other areas where they can make a real difference. Having a parcel-capable TMS to serve shippers with can make all the difference. By allowing shippers to focus on core competencies, while increasing their capacities to fulfill orders, a 3PL can play a meaningful role in shippers growing their businesses.
We hope you’ve found this three-part series about the benefits of a parcel-capable TMS informative. If it has sparked questions about how parcel can be a source of 3PL growth, how to approach customers about managing their parcel, or the benefits they will see from it, we hope you will reach out. We can help you craft the right message and provide your shippers with a business case, along with any other supporting materials you need to have a productive discussion.
If you haven’t seen 3G’s Parcel Management Support Solution in action, get a sneak preview here.