Businesses Turning to 4PLs to Keep Up with Modern Supply Chain Demands

Supply chain management is an enormous job, with trends in the industry as well as on the geopolitical stage making matters even more complicated. In just the grocery industry, the average number of SKUs has climbed from only 9,000 in the ‘70s to nearly 40,000 in 2015. Deliveries are getting faster, and fulfillment is struggling to keep up. At the same time, possible tariff changes on goods from China could have a big effect on supply chains.

In order to stay on top of these constant changes, some businesses turn to supply-chain-as-a-service (SCaaS), or 4PLs. While 3PLs are already commonly used to outsource packing, shipping, and other functions, many businesses now need more help with supply chain data.

Benefits of Using a 4PL

A 4PL is like an extension of a company that takes on the responsibility of managing activities related to the supply chain. Using technology, transportation and processes in harmony, they can help businesses bring about greater productivity and visibility in the face of higher supply chain pressures.

If your shipments rely on multiple partners, for example, a 4PL can manage not only its logistics services but also those coming from other providers. They give you a single point of contact, accountability and management for everything from customs compliance to warehousing to managing purchase orders.

A 4PL can offer accurate end-to-end visibility through cloud-based solutions that gather data from internal and external sources alike and provide insight into every step of the process no matter who is actually handling the shipment.

In addition, they can help to gain data-driven insights as well as analytics to turn that data into actionable business intelligence. Whether it’s reports on service levels and staffing costs that you’re after or you want to help keep security threats and ransomware like WannaCry at bay, 4PLs can make sure your data is always secure.

This blog post was based off of an article from Inbound Logistics. View the original here.

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