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Leading UK supply chain provider 3P Logistics has introduced a new web-based logistics portal for its customers to help make the process of receiving, storing and despatching of their goods much faster, simpler and more intelligent. The new portal has recently been on trial with selected customers and following a successful pilot is now being offered to all companies that opt to outsource to 3P Logistics.
The new system operates through the company’s MACS warehouse management system, which interfaces with Linnworks order management software and the MetaPack distribution software that is integrated with 300 carriers. MACSwms controls the flow of goods through the warehouse and provides the data for a wide range of customer reports that are available online.
3P Logistics provides a complete range of outsourced warehousing and logistics services to B2B and B2C customers; these include household names as well as many small online retailers who are looking to expand their businesses. Now, these customers can log in to the 3PL portal to create an account online, set up their products, create an Advanced Shipping Note (ASN), print off a bar code and ship their products into 3PL – all done seamlessly online and without the need for verbal contact.
Wayne Dullaghan, 3P Logistics Wigan Depot Manager, says that the new portal is providing access to his company’s services to customers in the way they prefer to work. “Many people live in a virtual world nowadays,” he said. “They are used to managing their businesses in the cloud and our new portal takes them to a whole new level of automation.” As well as being convenient for customers, the portal also ensures that 3PL’s customers enter the required bar code, weight and dimensions in a compliant manner.
The portal has been made possible by 3PL’s use of the MACS warehouse management system, MACSwms. The company has used MACSwms since its inception in 2006 and has worked with MACS Software to provide the infrastructure that underpins the new portal. “Whenever we want to try something new, MACS Software has the skill, ability and flexibility that we need to make things happen,” said Wayne. “As our business has changed this willingness to work with us has been invaluable.”
Tony Liddar acknowledges that it is this type of challenge his company is ideally set up to meet. “No customer stays the same for long,” he said. “Every customer we have needs to evolve and change to meet the needs of the market and keep one step ahead of the competition. It’s our job to work with them to make sure they can do just that.”
The portal also provides a wide range of business information for customers. This includes account status information, order status (including items on back order), orders processed, top and bottom selling lines, stockholding and invoice information. This was previously provided to customers by email as snapshot reports; the portal now provides this vital business intelligence in real time day or night and from anywhere in the world.
Earlier this year, following a devastating earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak, MACS sent in reinforcements to get the SCMS (a delivery partner for USAID) warehouse, which despatches vital antiviral drugs, back to full operational capacity.
We all celebrated MACS Software’s 21st birthday recently with a staff trip to the Sutton Elms Go-Karting circuit in Leicestershire in order to let off a little steam. Some of the team showed a natural aptitude for thrashing around a race track – a far cry from our day jobs designing software for some of the world’s leading corporations.