Automation, accuracy and velocity are key to third-party logistics parcel analytics and billing management, says Coby Nilsson, chief executive officer and co-founder of Enveyo.
A lot of 3PL providers find parcel analytics and billing management is a complex process for them, and the question is why?
“First, you have to consider these are really large operations with multiple locations,” Nilsson says. “They have a variety of customers, and each one may operate a little differently. The goods they're shipping may look a little different and have a different footprint. So there's just a lot that goes on. And a lot of the infrastructure is older. You're dealing with dated technology in some cases across really spread-out large organizations. With the complexity that the customer introduces, it all converges in one place to create some pretty unique challenges.”
Dealing with it all begins with data, Nilsson says. “When we talk to customers, it's [about] getting the data into one place. Data consolidation, aggregation and normalization are what enables everything that's going to come next. If you can't solve the data problem, it's going to be a struggle.”
It goes without saying that 3PLs are in a hypercompetitive environment, and cost pressures are high. Consequently, accuracy is something customers demand and expect. “That’s one of the areas that 3PLS really have to focus in on,” Nilsson says. “And in order to do that, they need data. They need systems in place that are going to help them remove some of the human element in the errors.”
They must be accurate — and fast at the same time. “Velocity's really important,” Nilsson acknowledges, “but if you don't have the data in place that allows you to execute accurately, you have a problem. If you're shipping out the wrong goods very fast, that's still a problem for the customer.”
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