5 Critical IT Services For 3PL Organizations
As an IT company for Utah and Idaho small businesses, we specialize in providing IT Services for 3PL organizations (Supply Chain Logistics & Fulfillment Center). For the past four years, we have managed Elite OPS‘s network and have identified 5 critical IT services that every successful 3PL company should have.
- API integration to offer 100% customization
- Experienced personalized network management
- Clear WiFi coverage throughout warehouse
- Strategic network configuration for times of growth
- Business to business cybersecurity
1: API integration – 100% customizable
Firstly, API Integration is one of the most critical services 3PLs should have. Elite OPS seeks to be 100% customizable to their customers. Every one of their clients has customized branding, software, and business operations. In order for their customers to manage business finances, operations, and customer relations, they use a variety of software and services. For example – their CRM software: some use Amazon Prime Seller Fulfilled, others use Magento, and still others use Oracle NetSuite to name a few. Elite OPS manages these integrations with a state-of-the-art warehouse management system. It translates the orders coming from each of these CRMs so that Elite OPS can efficiently process them.
That is to say, it takes a lot of strategy behind the scenes to allow the different network configurations and software packages to play nicely together. Incompatibilities between unique businesses with unique computer networks are inevitable. API, or Application Programming Interface, is a tool that connects two or more applications and allows them to exchange data. In other words, it enables Elite OPS and other fulfillment centers to organize the multitude of incoming orders and outgoing shipments. And that increases their productivity. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of these technology tools and want to learn more about them, here are 2 videos and one article:
- What is API and API Integration?
- What is API and API Integration | API2Cart? (this one dives a little deeper)
- Supply Chain Integration: How API-Led Connectivity Is Transforming the Logistics Industry
2: IT services for 3PL organizations require experienced personalized network management
Secondly, like most logistics companies, Elite OPS has a complex network with many moving parts:
- 450,000 sq ft warehouse
- Wireless Internet network (warehouse-wide)
- Warehouse management system
- Data center with several servers
- Internet and WiFi
- Hand-held Scanners
- Mobile devices
- 150+ Workstations (computers, keyboards, mice, monitors)
In order for Elite OPS to get the most out of their infrastructure and warehouse management system, they need all of these components to work together seamlessly. They need them to be consistently up and running. For this reason, Integrinet IT’s service engineers work behind the scenes to manage their network. They know downtime is revenue lost and work hard to prevent it from happening.
Our engineers monitor their systems 24/7, provide onsite and remote helpdesk services, ensure their WiFi coverage is clear and consistent, back up their data regularly, and tighten their security. When we first started taking care of Elite OPS, our engineers spent months getting to know the ins and outs of their infrastructure. They created network maps to document their extensive configurations. So, when something happens (and it always will), they can more efficiently troubleshoot it.
We Provide Elite OPS with:
- IT Consultancy
- Onsite & Remote Services
- Hardware Care & Procurement
- Cybersecurity Protection
- Email Health & Maintenance
- Data Backup & Business Continuity
- Personalized & Professional Pro-Action Team
If you don’t have an IT company with expert service engineers that get to know your computer network personally, you most likely are experiencing a lot of unnecessary pain.
3: IT services for 3PL organizations must include clear WiFi coverage throughout their entire warehouse
Thirdly, most supply chain organizations have huge warehouses to manage their customers’ inventory. Elite OPS has a 450,000 sq ft warehouse with 60 ft Ceilings. They also have huge 30 ft shelves to safely store their customers’ goods. But these shelves end up blocking WiFi signals generated from low-level access points. And while large spaces and shelving units are perfect for their fulfillment services, they always present a challenge for WiFi coverage.
When we first began services for Elite OPS a few years ago, they didn’t have WiFi coverage at all. So one of our first major projects with them was designing and building a powerful wireless network. It provides them with Internet access at every square foot of their space. Mounting several access points from the 60 ft. ceilings has enabled their teams to stay in continuous communication with their customers, their management system, and each other. We implemented tools to remotely monitor the hardware on the ceiling to keep it fine-tuned, ensuring it works with all devices. Rarely do our technical engineers need to physically get up there to service them.
If you don’t already have a powerful wireless network that reaches every square foot of your fulfillment center warehouse, you need to find a good IT company to design and build it for you.
Read more about Integrinet IT’s WiFi/Internet Solutions:
4: Strategic network configuration for times of growth
Fourthly, with the E-commerce, logistics, and distribution boom over the last year, 3PLs have experienced an intense spike in growth. While this has been an exciting journey for Elite OPS, it has given them a lot to manage. Our service engineers worked long hours to assist them with their rapid expansion of services. They recommended and installed new hardware, software, cabling, security, and WiFi system in their new Georgia warehouse.
So, if your 3PL business is expanding exponentially, you need an experienced managed IT service provider that has already set up the infrastructure for other businesses like yours. Choosing an IT company that is familiar with your specific industry’s needs and has actual experience taking care of 3PL organizations will reduce the time it takes to set up your network and thus your costs.
5: IT services for 3PL organizations & business-to-business cybersecurity
And last but definitely not least is cybersecurity. As a large 3PL company, Elite OPS interacts with countless businesses. They have the responsibility to keep their confidential and proprietary data safe. With ransomware attacks on the rise, it is more important than ever to fortify your network to safeguard your business as well as your clients’ and partners’ businesses. Integrinet IT’s service engineers and remote tools are working 24/7 to secure Elite OPS’s network. We monitor their servers 24/7, ensure they have a strong backup and disaster recovery plan in place, and administer employee security training.
Additionally, we perform security patches, operating system updates, hardware drive/firmware updates, and server monitoring. Server monitoring includes weekly checks of event logs. We ensure their hard drives have plenty of disc space to store data and data backups. Our service engineers watch for alerts that signal it’s time for equipment replacement. They make recommendations to purchase new equipment before the old fails or warranties expire. This minimizes downtime and cost. In the event of a crash or hard drive failure, they are covered by their warranties and backups.
Because you do business with other businesses, you need to keep your network cyber secure. Cyber gangs are working 24/7 to hack into large and small businesses. Don’t make it easy for them. Did you know that if you are hacked, they can potentially hack into your customers’ networks through your portal as well?
If you don’t have a strong defensive cybersecurity strategy that consists of multiple layers of protection, make the move now to reach out to an experienced IT company to help you get started.
IT Services For 3PL Organizations
In conclusion, while we haven’t been the reason Elite OPS has been exponentially growing, we have been behind the scenes supporting and securing their network so that they can.
If you are a Supply Chain Logistics & Fulfillment Center and in need of IT Services, give us a call.
Utah (385) 316-7202
Idaho (208) 510-0967