Submitted on Wed, 2014-03-19
By Jim Laverty

Do your customers know how your cloud-based warehouse management system benefits them?

3pl solutions - cloud wms
A cloud-based warehouse management system is a 3PL’s secret advantage to improve cash flow and win new business from the competition. As a 3PL, you are able to offer your customers so much more with a cloud warehouse management system than ever before. Make sure they know that. You should be discussing the benefits of a cloud WMS with your clients every chance – new business meetings, RFP responses, phone calls – you get.
 
 

5 Reasons a Cloud WMS Will Win You New Business

3PLs should promote the following features of new, cloud-based warehouse management systems to win prospective clients over:

1. Quick and Easy Onboarding

The largest advantage a 3PL will see switching over to a cloud-based warehouse management system is how quickly you will be able to onboard new clients. The biggest hurdle in onboarding was data integration and the intense number of man-hours it took for the custom coding and development required to connect components. A cloud WMS now comes preloaded with a best in class toolset featuring more than 450 connectors, allowing you to connect to all your new clients’ systems in an instant.

Does your client use a unique unit of measure? Not a problem. Whether it’s pallets, eaches, drums, feet, or even vintage if you’re tracking wine, data can easily be imported and tracked within your WMS for every industry. Language isn’t even a barrier as the system easily translates into Spanish, French, or any other language your client uses.

You can immediately meet the demands of a customer that wants to expand their current business or any additional clients that want to get up and running in your warehouse today. Imagine for a second that your top local competitor goes out of business and you have the opportunity to swoop in and win some of the clients they’re leaving behind. With a new, cloud-based WMS, you’ll have the capabilities to quickly and seamlessly transition a large number of clients right into your system within a few days instead of months. Time is money, and your ability to jump in and immediately get business up and running will increase revenue for both you and your client.

2. Complete Visibility

3PLs can give clients the ability to see anything they want, anytime they want. Simple dashboards and user access rules give your clients a full view of their products interacting with your operation at the click of a mouse.

Your clients will be able to see all inbound activity, so they’ll know exactly when you received their items and where they currently are within your process. Your clients will be able to access any outbound information as well. EDI 856 Advanced Shipping Notices are available for viewing any time they want to check on them.

Every transaction is captured by the system so all of their billing information is available to see, clearly marked, and intricately tied to how the items flowed through your operation via RF tracking. Think of how impressed a client will be with full access to their inventory’s flow and the time you’ll save by eliminating disputes.

Intimately tied to complete transparency is a robust reporting system to keep your clients fully informed on every metric that’s important to them. Standard and custom reports can be run on-demand or be scheduled to automatically go out. Clients don’t have to request reports and it doesn’t take weeks to get a custom report built. Clients can immediately access a series of standard reports anytime they want. Building custom reports is easier than ever. Keep your clients happy and informed.

3. Data Security

Housing your warehouse management system in the cloud is actually far more secure than hosting at your organization. Data centers that house your information should be SSAE 16 Type II compliant to ensure this security and further certifications can be earned for specific industries (for example, data centers can become HIPPA compliant). They will benefit from the highest level of data security possible.

Your client should know that their data security is your highest priority. With all of the data security breaches going on in the world today, your clients can rest assured that you vigilantly protect their data security. Nothing is more important than keeping sensitive information safe, and nothing is better at doing that than the cloud.

4. Data Accuracy

Cloud-based warehouse management systems help 3PLs achieve virtual 100% data accuracy. Data going into the system is generated directly from barcode scanners, so it is 100% synchronized with the activity on your warehouse floor. That consistency and accuracy means no fines for your clients and complete customer satisfaction. Attract new and bigger clients with referrals and glowing testimonials from your satisfied base.

5. Lot Control

Gain your clients’ confidence. For sensitive inventory, a cloud-based warehouse management system will be able to do complete lot control to keep your clients fully compliant. Track lot numbers, expiration dates, serial number, and more right within your WMS. You’ll never lose visibility of inventory groupings, whether it’s drugs, food, chemicals, baby toys, or equipment, you’ll know immediately where every piece of inventory in that lot is in real-time so it can be recalled quickly.

This is especially important for 3PL clients that may be in the food and prescription drug industries, where the FDA requires they receive all lot numbers affected in the event of a recall within 90 minutes of their request. Cloud-based warehouse management systems can ensure that you provide that info to the FDA in less than 10% of that time.

 

A recent study from IBM found that companies using cloud solutions in their business see revenue growth more than two times higher than companies that do not use the cloud. Since only 8% of WMS users currently leverage the cloud, adopting early will give you a huge advantage over your competitors.

Blog Type: 
IRMS WM Blog