As manufacturing firms evolve towards an integrated approach to supply chain management, it is important to consider the role of Third Party Logistics (3PL) in the value chain as well as the enabling technologies that support this evolution.
A new report from IDC Manufacturing Insights, examines the role of mobile technology in supporting integration and performance improvements in the 3PL industry.
“Through a mobile strategy, 3PL providers are further helping to drive efficiency in the manufacturing supply chain while at the same time better positioning themselves as value adding players,” says John Santagate, Research Manager, IDC Manufacturing Insights.
As mobile technology continues to evolve, supply chains will continue to find opportunities to leverage and apply mobility.
Mobile technology for the 3PL is especially critical when considering that the 3PL must create a balance between its customer, its customers’ customer, and its internal operations.
Some of the mobile applications relevant to the 3PL include:
• Mobile analytics dashboards
• Alerting and reporting directly to mobile devices
• Improved track and trace capabilities
• GPS location for in-transit inventory
• Physical conditions monitoring
• Instant access to critical documentation
• Mobile access to CRM
According to the report, the utilisation of mobility within 3PL operations helps to provide visibility of operational, performance, and product data to the shippers while also providing product location, availability, and chain of custody to the customer.
Such insight is outfitting the end-to-end supply chain with valuable data relative to the movement of goods and providing actionable insights by which supply chain partners can work together to drive even greater efficiencies within the supply chain.
"As mobile applications continue to evolve from the rugged purpose-built devices to new mobile applications aligned to modern mobile technology (smartphones, tablets, etc.) the benefit, potential, and continuing proliferation of mobility creates a compelling case for dedicating investment in the area of mobility,” Santagate adds.