Keywords: Logistics, 3PL, IT Infrastructure, Warehouse Management, Transportation Management, WMS, TMS.
Dr. John Langley of Penn State has been doing comprehensive third-party logistics (3PL) surveys for many years. His surveys have documented something he calls the "IT gap" - a gap between the importance shippers attach to a 3PL's IT competence and the shipper's perceived competence of the 3PLs it works with.
While this gap, first reported in these surveys 11 years ago, has narrowed, it remains substantial. The most recent report analyzes some of the reasons for this gap, but ARC Advisory Group believes the fundamental explanation is that achieving IT excellence is expensive, requires a great deal of time, and has a difficult-to-fully-quantify ROI. These have implications for shippers choosing a new 3PL partner.
The IT Gap
For 17 years, John Langley of Penn State has been doing comprehensive third-party logistics (3PL) surveys. As always, his most recent report, 2013 Third-Party Logistics Study: The State of Logistics Outsourcing, had a very large number of respondents; over 1,500.
Ninety-four percent of shipper respondents report they believe IT is a necessary element of 3PL expertise, but only 53 percent are satisfied with their 3PL's IT capabilities. While this IT gap, first reported in these surveys 11 years ago, has narrowed, it remains substantial.
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