3PLs are much more than an outsourced logistics execution channel today: They're assuming larger contracts, more complex projects and increased authority as trusted advisors to companies navigating the omni-channel landscape. But with greater responsibility comes greater expectations all around - and it's up to 3PLs to rise to the occasion.
Analyst Insight: Customers of 3PLs face fundamental market transformation impacting their supply chain operations and initiatives. Connected commerce drives basic changes to fulfillment operations. Change is occurring at internet speed. 3PLs haven't traditionally been known for "anticipating" customer requirements changes. They have, however, been exceptional in responding to customers' requirements when the changes become apparent. In today's fast-paced markets, responding to change may not be enough. Vested relationships based on innovation are the new 3PL imperative. – Rich Sherman, author and founder at Gold & Domas Research
Analyst Insight: Implementation time-lines for transportation management outsourcing continue to shrink thanks to cloud-based systems, process standardization, and features like automated carrier contract management. This is not the case for facility start-ups. With 10+ key milestones, hundreds of key tasks and sub-tasks, time-line slippage and cost overruns can quickly extend the time to value for both 3PLs and shippers. – Valerie Bonebrake, Senior Vice President, Tompkins International
Movement across borders is as simple as getting in a car or on a plane. It's a seamless, simple experience to which most people devote little thought. For both merchants and consumers, however, the path to online and offline purchasing across borders is still a bumpy one.
Global e-commerce platform Alibaba recently made headlines with its record-setting New York initial public offering, the largest ever in the United States. The company's aggressive growth aspirations are rooted in the success it has seen in its home country of China, where it is one of the biggest retail players. Alibaba is the Amazon of the Chinese marketplace without equal competition. But how will the company fare in its expansion in the U.S.?
Retailers are prioritizing immediate investments in customer-facing tactics such as price, marketing and customer service over strategic infrastructure, according to research released from eBay Enterprise.