Recent market conditions and growth are demanding distribution models and speeds that many retailers cannot handle in-house. More and more, this rise in consumer expectations coupled with the diversification in omnichannel fulfillment, has prompted a growing number of retailers to turn to third-party logistics providers (3PLs) to have the 3PLs handle distribution. Hence, the 12 to 15 percent increase in 3PL use — corresponding to the growth in e-commerce business of late.
In order to better manage the diversity of e-commerce fulfillment and retail store replenishment for their client companies, many 3PLs are turning to more intelligent solutions, such as warehouse execution systems (WES) to improve productivity. A WES such as the Continuous Order Fulfillment Engine (COFE®) from VARGO®, are proving to be a smart option for 3PLs, particularly those handling multiple brands. Combining waveless fulfillment with a single inventory and labor force, these WES enable the 3PLs to balance labor and automation across pick, pack and ship processes in real time.
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