The Future of 3rd Party Fulfillment with Andy Lloyd

Andy Lloyd and Joe Lynch discuss the future of 3rd party fulfillment. Andy Lloyd is the Chief Executive Officer of 3PL Central, a company that specializes in cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) solutions.

About Andy Lloyd

Andy Lloyd is the Chief Executive Officer of 3PL Central. Andy is a software innovator with more than 20 years experience at high growth companies, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. In his role at NetSuite, Lloyd led both digital marketing, e-commerce, and retail vertical teams both from a product and new business perspective. Prior to joining NetSuite, Lloyd was the CEO of Fluid Inc., where he led the company’s strategy, innovation, and growth. Under his leadership, Fluid Inc. more than tripled its annual revenue and improved profitability year-over-year. In addition, Lloyd drove new business, adding key brands to the portfolio, as well as driving geographic expansion. As an entrepreneur, Lloyd was the founder and CEO of Chariteam, which provided a SaaS solution for online fundraising. He was also a founding team member of Diba Inc. Lloyd has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stanford University, where he was also captain of the swim team, leading the Cardinal swimmers to an NCAA championship and setting records for the largest margin of victory and the highest point total in NCAA history. Lloyd was ranked among the top 25 swimmers in the world in 1991 and competed in the Olympic Trials in 1998 and 1992.

About 3PL Central

3PL Central is the leader in cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS) solutions built to meet the unique needs of the 3PL warehousing community. Serving as the backbone of our customer’s operations, our platform quickly transforms paper-based, error-prone businesses into service leaders who can focus on customer satisfaction, operate more efficiently, and grow faster. Offering a comprehensive warehouse management platform, we make it easy for 3PLs to manage inventory, automate routine tasks, and deliver complete visibility to their customers. As the proven industry leader for over a decade, 3PL Central accurately manages billions of dollars in inventory and processes more than 1 million orders a week from any of our customer’s and their customers’ systems.

Key Takeaways: The Future of 3rd Party Fulfillment

  • Ecommerce growth
    • Ecommerce has led to a huge boom to 3rd party fulfillment.
    • Ecommerce customers have high expectations in terms of shipment speed and accuracy. 
    • Transportation and logistics companies need technology and software management.
    • Consumers want to know where their packages are from the moment they buy them – end to end visibility. 
  • Building intelligent fulfillment networks
    • Andy believes that approximately half the ecommerce fulfillment companies have just one location, which may make it difficult to deliver on the same-day, next-day commitments on a national scale.
    • To win accounts with ecommerce companies that require one or two day shipping to the entire country, 3rd party fulfillment companies may partner with fulfillment companies in other regions. For instance, a fulfillment company in Los Angeles may partner with fulfillment companies in Texas and Illinois in order to win a national account.
  • Ensure customers are successful implementing software
    • To ensure their 3PL fulfillment customers are successful using their software, 3PL Central invests in training and development.
    • 3rd party fulfillment is the critical link between ecommerce companies and consumers, so their systems and processes must drive efficiency and effectiveness.
    • 3PL Central also helps their customers to adopt 3PL fulfillment best practices.
  • More attractive employee experience
    • Fulfillment companies need to make jobs more attractive to prospective employees and one way of doing that is by using technology and automation. 
    • Top talent is tough to find, so 3PLs must encourage professionals to work in fulfillment. 
    • Employees need to understand the supply chain industry, how the warehouse works, and how software supports it.
  • Micro-fulfillment
    • To meet same-day, next-day shipments, inventory must be located close to customers so companies may need to have many smaller fulfillment centers located near large populations center rather than one larger regional fulfillment center. 
    • To be successful 3rd party fulfillment centers must route orders intelligently – accuracy and efficiency are key. 
  • Sustainability
    • Many consumers want to buy from companies that value sustainability so brands and companies are looking for logistics and warehousing companies that are environmentally conscious.
    • To become more environmentally responsible companies should invest in intelligent packaging, avoid shipping via air freight, and find ways to consolidate orders in one single shipment. 

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