Third-party logistics (3PL)?
What you need to know about connecting your system to a 3PL to automate the dialogue between your system and theirs. What we need from you.
So you’re using a 3PL.
It’s often the case that 3PLs offer remote interaction and transactions with their systems.
From an efficiency perspective, it makes sense for your Salesorder system to interact with the 3PL system to automate the dialogues.
Our engineering team has hundreds of hours of experience making Salesorder interact with 3PL systems.
Sophisticated 3PLs often provide a playbook containing options for connectivity to their services. Make sure you ask for this first.
We need to know as much detail as you can acquire about what technology options your 3PL offers for your Salesorder system to communicate with their system.
Either a technical contact or a playbook or documentation will suffice.
Communication to the 3PL can be provided in many formats:
- User Log in to a form-based web interface to rekey instructions from your system, for example, shipment instructions including line item data, shipping address, etc. The 3PL system returns transaction status updates. Sometimes they can provide stock balances.
- FTP (File transfer protocol). You send a file from your system to a remote folder accessible from their system. Their system reads in the file. The file contains shipping instructions.
- EDI (Electronic Data Interchange). Either via a third-party gateway (i.e. SPS Commerce) or the 3PL’s own VPN (Virtual private network), your system and the 3PL systems exchange documents. For example:
EDI Document #
Warehouse Shipping Order
Warehouse Stock Transfer Shipment Advice
Warehouse Stock Transfer Receipt Advice
Warehouse Shipping Advice
Warehouse Inventry Adjustment Advice
- API (Applications Programmer Interface). A direct connection between the two systems.