The Infosys global supply chain management blog enables leaner supply chains through process and IT related interventions. Discuss the latest trends and solutions across the supply chain management landscape.

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What IT hooks do 3PLs hang their business coats on?

The global economy is changing. That's arguably the only thing that can be stated as fact about this change. The only other thing that could be stated as fact is the continuous need for corporations to make profits, serve customers and to provide value to shareholders. This is true for 3PL providers and their customers too. So, what do 3PLs do to be prepared for the coming change? What are the IT hooks they hang their business coats on?

I will be sharing my experience with the facets of 3PL IT force multipliers on 24th Feb 2009. Please register here to be a part of the webinar.



The business' urge to move up the value chain is a lofty goal, but difficult to act on. It is so, because, of two challenges: 

1. How to move up the value chain?

2. How to measure the value?

For a 3PL, (1) usually implies moving from being a tactical "space and hands" operation to a strategic "two companies with one mind" relationship with their customer. This requires organizational commitment and execution excellence, with information management being key to execution excellence.

Resolving (2) is even more difficult. Moving around the value chain is pointless, unless it can be measured, shared and proven. A 3PL requires the infrastructure that will help extract value for itself from the value it derives for its customers.

While all this requires organizational focus, good IT solutions can make a fundamental difference to a 3PL's ability to differentiate and to gain from its differentiation.



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