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How to get full insight across all your 3PL providers

Knut Fredrik Ramstad | 08. May 2019
3 minutes read

If you are a company working with several third-party logistics providers, it should be of interest to be able to monitor all their activities to ensure the service level both parts have agreed upon (KPIs).

Information to gather KPIs from several 3PLs, may be extracted manually. However, a more efficient and accurate way of achieving the information is to connect to their information systems and extract the relevant data automatically. The question is, how can this be achieved?

 

Connecting systems

In many situations, several different 3PLs is engaged to move the cargo from origin to destination. Typically, these 3PLs use different systems to manage their operations, and these systems are not electronically connected. Information exchange between them may require manual interventions, i.e. through spreadsheets and e-mail, entering the same information into the various systems manually. This can be a source of errors and is not efficient. In addition, it does not facilitate proper overall logistics management involving these stakeholders.

The architecture used by MIXMOVE provides connectors (called Access Points) for linking ICT systems electronically.

 

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Logistics Management Systems (LMS) can be connected to an access point using already existing capabilities in these systems (API, message interface). Information from each LMS is first communicated to the MIXMOVE event pipeline, where data is converted into a format that is suitable to the real receiver of the information. Once converted, the information is sent to the receiver.

By linking all 3PLs along a chain electronically, efficiency is significantly improved and mistakes made through manual entry of the same information several times, are eliminated.

Since all communication passes through the MIXMOVE event pipeline, some of it can be extracted to compute the KPIs related to each 3PL and for the complete end-to-end operation.

 

Holistics logistics network management

In a unique set-up, 3M has implemented the MIXMOVE Match solution in all terminals/hubs that are being used to move their goods around Europe. MIXMOVE Match is being used for order reconstruction in all hubs to ensure that all transport resources (trucks, containers etc.) are being well utilised. The MIXMOVE Match operation is an autonomous logistics process with its own management system. It can be implemented in all terminals without changes to existing infrastructures. It is a supplement that preprocesses cargo before submitting it to the existing terminal operations.

Incoming cargo in the MIXMOVE Match process is scanned, sorted, reconstructed, and then handed over to the existing operations.

By scanning each logistics unit (parcel, pallet), the MIXMOVE Match solution captures all operational information in each terminal. Considering this solution is used in all terminals, information is captured and consolidated mostly for logistics and logistics units management. However, properly processed, this information can provide a dashboard where the performance of all 3PLs involved is these logistics operations are being presented.

 

Observation

In both examples, the focus of the implementation is to increase efficiency and improve customer service. Also, by ensuring proper data capture in the implementation, you get full visibility across all of your operation. All of the captured data regarding 3PL performance and service level, gives you full control over where bottlenecks are and where you may act to improve performance.

 

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