Defining your Technical Needs when selecting a 3pl efulfilment partner

In today's fast-paced e-commerce world, choosing a 3PL partner that embraces technology is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for sustainable growth and success.


PART 2: The 3PL landscape is diverse – how do you find the perfect match'

Choosing a 3PL efulfilment partner involves careful consideration of their technical capabilities to ensure seamless integration with your brand's systems and provide optimal order management and stock visibility.


Order Processing Integration

API/EDI Compatibility: Does the 3PL offer Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) capabilities to automate order intake, confirmation, and status updates between your platforms and theirs'

Real-time Updates: Can you receive real-time order updates, including confirmation, picking, packing and shipping notifications, to keep your customers and systems informed'

Error Handling: How does the 3PL handle potential order errors or discrepancies during integration' Are there automated notification and resolution processes in place'


Inventory Management and Visibility

Inventory Synchronisation: Can your inventory levels be automatically synchronised with the 3PL's warehouse management system (WMS) to ensure accurate visibility and prevent overselling'

Inventory Reporting: Can you extract detailed inventory reports, including location-specific stock levels, product movements and stock forecasts, to optimise inventory management'

Multi-warehouse Management: If you utilise multiple warehouses, does the 3PL offer tools for centralised inventory management and visibility across all locations'


Additional Technical Considerations

Order Tracking and Visibility: Can customers track their orders in real-time through your platform or a dedicated portal provided by the 3PL'

Returns Management: Does the 3PL have an integrated system for handling returns, including tracking, processing and restocking'

Data Security and Compliance: Ensure the 3PL adheres to industry data security standards and complies with relevant privacy regulations.

Platform Compatibility: Confirm compatibility between your e-commerce platform and the 3PL's technology stack to avoid integration issues.


Information to Extract

Order Status Changes: Real-time updates on order confirmation, picking, packing and shipping.

Inventory Levels: Accurate and up-to-date stock levels for all products across all locations.

Inventory Movement Reports: Detailed reports on product movements, sales trends and restocking needs.

Delivery Tracking Information: Real-time tracking data for shipped orders, including estimated delivery times and carrier updates.

Performance Metrics: Data on order fulfilment accuracy, shipping times and other key performance indicators.

By prioritising these technical needs and ensuring access to crucial information, you can establish a secure and efficient partnership with your 3PL e-fulfilment partner, leading to smoother order processing, accurate inventory management and a satisfied customer experience. Remember, thorough research and clear communication with potential partners are key to finding the best fit for your brand's technical needs.


Data Security & Customer Service Metrics

Check the 3PL provider's data security measures to protect your sensitive information and ensure compliance with data privacy regulations.


We’re personal, approachable, and happy to help you create a benchmark formula to compare us against others.

  • We provide Pay-as-you-go efulfilment solutions
  • We are experienced with all major ecommerce platforms
  • We guarantee we’ll be different to others in a good way

If you’re looking for a 3pl efulfilment partner to help you grow – get in touch.

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