Inside their 43 thousand sqft 3PL warehouse, TNS Commercial Manager Matt Norton shares how they grew the family business from a local transport company, to build a thriving e-commerce 3PL warehouse.
E-commerce shopping has experienced a record leap in demand, with more consumers and businesses moving to online storefronts. For consumers, e-commerce often provides greater choice, and simplified search, with access to global storefronts at the click of a button.
For businesses, online stores allow them to market their products to customers without the geographical constraints or financial overheads of a brick-and-mortar store.
For the logistics industry, the e-commerce rise in popularity created both growth opportunities and hurdles to overcome.
Rather than bulk movement between warehouses and storefronts, smaller orders placed online are sent directly through to the warehouse for individual pick and pack. These smaller with smaller orders also require more nuanced delivery optimization to get each package to individual delivery addresses, and with larger companies offering same-day or next-day delivery, the pressure is mounting for smaller 3PLs to provide more, for less.
At TNS Logistics, they saw an opportunity to capitalize on e-commerce demand, expanding on their current transport and cartage services, offering warehouse storage, order pick and pack, and freight forwarder management — simplifying the logistics process for their clients.
TNS commercial manager Matthew Norton said they started with a vision to provide an inclusive, streamlined logistics service for their customers. They saw an opportunity to not only deliver more to their current customers but to offer transparent, trackable 3PL order fulfillment for new customers seeking e-commerce fulfillment.
They needed the ability to accept incoming orders online, and capture real-time updates as these orders were picked, packed, and sent for dispatch. On top of this, they needed a way to capture all of their chargeable rates with ease and accuracy, to make this venture financially viable.
With CartonCloud’s cloud-based Warehouse Management system, they were able to streamline their operations end-to-end, integrate customer storefronts with their WMS to import orders directly, utilize barcode scanning through the mobile app for accurate order picking, and capture courier consignment collection with sign-on glass, to track order movement in real-time.
Using software integrations, TNS Logistics simply link their WMS directly to their customer’s online stores (like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento), allowing them to accept online orders directly through the warehouse for pick and pack.
They can also integrate with freight forwarders, shipping aggregators (like Sendle, Shippit, StarShipit, and DeTrack) and couriers, to assign the consignment for delivery and capture the freight’s real-time collection from the warehouse.
For Mr Norton, the cloud-based system means they are able to scale up their operations as they grow.
“Our warehouse manager now comes in each morning, he can clearly see the day’s orders, the warehouse team can pick directly from the mobile app — using barcode scanning for accuracy.
“They pack the order and through the integrated WMS and TMS, simply send the packed order as a consignment, which the couriers can pick up, with sign-on-glass.
“All of this is tracked and updated in real-time, so customers can log in and see their orders completed, accessing the most up-to-date information 24/7.”
“All charges are captured automatically, and the invoices can be automated to be sent directly out to our customers.”
Their workflows are streamlined, picks are accurate and tracked, they can find inventory with ease, and clearly see order tracking in real-time.
What’s more, TNS Logistics has
also set up a clever solution to capture their consignment dispatch confirmation digitally. With an iPad set up at the docking bay, couriers can simply select the consignment they are collecting, and sign for the order with sign-on-glass— allowing TNS Logistics to easily capture end-to-end data, with full transparency.
Customer expectations for faster and trackable orders are growing, and by using CartonCloud’s cloud-based Warehouse Management System, TNS can simplify complex operations, while capturing trackable data at each step of the order fulfillment.
By combining modern technology, with intuitive features, they can implement digital processes throughout their workflows, with ease.