When looking to improve warehouse operations, partnering with a 3PL warehouse management service can be an excellent choice. 3PL and 4PL logistics companies have access to robust analytical tools and huge networks of service providers which can be leveraged for economies of scale, leading to significant cost savings and improved performance.
However, hiring a 3PL isn’t a total ‘magic bullet’ solution, and – in particular – there are some challenges during the initial changeover to their new systems. With years of experience helping warehouses and shippers excel, these are our tips for making the transition happen smoothly.
Three Ways to Streamline Onboarding of A 3PL Warehouse Management Provider
1 – Create a data migration plan
Most, or all of the data in your current systems will need to be transferred into the 3PL’s software, and then there will need to be a transition from one system to the other. This is the most critical time for implementing new warehouse management systems.
Have a solid plan in place for what data will be transferred, and when. In addition, we strongly recommend keeping your old systems online for a short time afterward. If something goes wrong, in a worst-case scenario, you’ll still be able to fall back to the original systems until the problem is worked out.
2 – Prioritize which functions will transfer over, and when
It’s exceptionally rare (and rarely a good idea) to transfer 100% of all systems over to the 3PL at once in one single move. The transition is almost always done more gradually so that it isn’t an all-or-nothing effort. So, prioritize which functions you most want to transfer to the 3PL company first, and then work your way down the list in order of importance or criticality.
3 – Remember to include allowances for testing and retraining
Before the new systems become truly live and relied upon, they should be tested thoroughly to reduce the chances of anything going wrong. Likewise, affected employees in your operation will need to be trained on how to interface with your new partner. These can add more time to the transition, which some companies fail to plan for.
Get 3PL Warehouse Management Solutions
US Logistics Solutions are your partners for 3PL and 4PL logistics services. We can overhaul your warehouse and/or shipping operations, leading to reduced costs and greater profits. Contact us to learn more.