3PL Leverages CRM Relationship with Sales Force

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Editor’s Note: A number of powerful factors are assembling in the 3PL industry today, bringing significant incentive to improve sales strategies and practices through a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) technology serving the industry.  Lanetix CEO & Co-founder, John Golob, is banking on making his start-up company a global contender by leveraging its Sales Force platform in the coming years.

Supply Chain Management Review: What advantages do 3PLs enjoy when leveraging social networking, Big Data, and The Cloud?

John Golob: By leveraging the Cloud and connecting cloud-based apps to mobile devices such as smartphones, iPads and tablets, 3PL’s can deliver a higher standard of service, respond faster to customer opportunities and lower their cost of sale.  One of our customers uses a cloud-based app to integrate their warehouses around the world with their global account teams, so when a warehouse manager “saves the day” on a shipment in Perth, the global account director can share the good news within hours at the corporate office in Peoria.

SCMR: There must also be a downside. Can you imagine a “worst case” scenario?

Golob: Yes, 3PLs need to chose cloud-based suppliers that run on secure, enterprise-grade cloud platforms.  Without paying close attention to the underlying cloud platform - or worse yet, selecting apps that run on servers hosted in back office, insecure data closets - 3PL’s can risk losing sensitive customer information.

SCMR: There’s been a lot of talk about the “talent gap” in logistics. Where do you find and cultivate new human resources?

Golob: 3PLs have to look to the new talent entering the workforce from supply chain programs such as Penn State University. In order to attract the best talent, however, 3PLs must invest in internal, social, cloud-based platform tools. You can’t take a 23-year-old that uses Facebook for two hours a day, and expect him to work in front of a mainframe “green screen” terminal.

SCMR: Finally, where does a 3PL look for growth? Is it in emerging markets, or specialized commodities, or in services like “temperature control” or reverse logistics?

Golob: 3PL’s should start to look for growth by eliminating wasted capacity in their commercial operations.  Unfortunately, many companies have customer-facing teams that aren’t compensated by creating value for their customers. By re-engineering their customer operations and developing a growth-based strategy focused on selling value, 3PL’s can find growth in their installed base of customers; they don’t need to look to emerging markets.


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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