A Self-Install Kit is a great option for individuals that prefer to handle the installation themselves. The house must qualify for a kit by having the proper infrastructure to turn on service without a service technician. If a home qualifies, the self-installation kit is sent to the customer, and they can usually get their cable service started the same day. Online resources, including cable installation help videos and Cable FAQs are available for assistance.
Self-Install Kit Benefits
No Technician Needed
Typically, cable company employees won’t be needed for installation. This is beneficial for the cable company because:
Technicians can work on more complex tasks.
Truck rolls cost $90-$200 for the company.
Scheduling is no longer an issue.
The customer can usually get their service started the same day without waiting for a technician.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this had a different meaning, but it still holds true today. At the time, nobody wanted strangers in their homes, so self-install kits were vital to making cable installations possible. There is still risk today, fewer home visits mean less risk for the technicians, cable subscribers, and property.
Self-Install Kits keep customer-employee interaction minimal if the processes are correctly integrated. Cable companies can expect to see increased efficiency with:
Shipping and System Updates
Learn more about how WDS solves other logistics challenges.
Key Components to Efficient Self-Install Kit Deployment
Self-Install Kits require clear messaging from the moment a kit is purchased. The cable customer needs to know they are responsible for installation. The benefits to the customer should be clear and upfront in the purchase process. Self-Install Kit delivery updates should be automated and sent to the cable subscriber, so they know when a kit will arrive. Installation instructions should be simple and easy to follow, with easy access to self-help options. The activation process must be quick and easy. Reducing customer interaction with a straightforward and concise self-install kit program will save you and the customer time and money.
Make sure you have a plan for packaging and inserts. Orders typically need to have more information included with them than a typical tech installation. A cable installation technician can read and relay MAC addresses, serial numbers, etc., but a subscriber should have this inventory information included when they receive their self-installation kit.
Packing kits can be different than standard order picking. Be prepared to have a good team handling self-install orders so all outgoing self-install kits are of the highest quality. Mistakes during order fulfillment will negatively impact the cable subscriber’s experience.
Consider a 3PL that has experience with complex packing processes and order fulfillment.
Integration, Integration, Integration
One primary key to success is ensuring all your order fulfillment systems integrate. In an ideal world, your order system will communicate with your billing system to see if the subscriber is eligible for self-install kits. Then it will communicate with your WMS to validate what is in stock. The order will be submitted to the WMS, which should communicate to the billing system what serial numbers and MACs are associated with an order, so the status of that customer can be updated.
It should also integrate with a shipper (UPS, FedEx, etc.) to automate shipping and convey the tracking information to your CRM. Finally, your billing system should be updated once the kit is delivered to start the billing process.
How do we (WDS) fit into this?
We have experience implementing various integrations between the systems to help automate the SIK process. We also sell our own warehouse management software (WMS) which is specific to the cable/telecom industry that integrates with the SIK APIs. Self-Install Kits are a fantastic option for deploying customer premise equipment, but they come with a lot of complexities.
What are the major logistical problems in the Cable, Installation and Service Industries?
The logistics of moving equipment can be complicated when working with multiple people in different locations.
There are many unique logistical situations for service businesses, particularly those in the cable, trade, and installation industries. These businesses often rely on a combination of equipment and people to complete their work. This means that they must be able to transport their equipment—whether it’s a specialized drill or electrical box—and get it where it needs to go.
Service trucks are mobile warehouses and should be treated as an extension of your inventory. Employees must manage them, but the inventory should be visible in your warehouse inventory management system.
If the inventory isn’t managed and tracked, you will face inventory management problems including:
Extra inventory from a job lost
Inventory shortages and overages
Additional time and money spent doing physical counts of inventory
The Blame Game happens when someone is looking for an item and can’t find it resulting in lost productivity.
Multiple Inventory Models
These industries often have multiple inventory models in one operation.
Service Model – The technician specs and orders the equipment from the warehouse for a specific customer job. Example: The electrician orders all the materials needed to replace a breaker box at a customer’s
New Construction Model – Large jobs are specified and bid on well in advance. Inventory is typically ordered and released in a phased approach (e.g., pre-construction infrastructure, rough-in, finishing, etc.). Materials can be ordered in advance and require less urgency.
Tool Room – Technicians require additional or more expensive tools to complete a job. They make a request from the tool room, use it, then return it. These tools are independent of their standard inventory. It is also cyclical and requires preventative maintenance and quality assurance.
Direct to Consumer – In some cases, especially in the telecommunications industry, the telecommunications technician is being bypassed so the customer can receive their cable self-install kit and do some of the work themselves.
Wireless Data Systems will help you find an inventory management solution to transform your operations. We understand that each logistics and inventory management challenge requires a unique approach; contact us today at (561) 488-5540 for a free consultation or click here to request a demo.
The demand for furniture is enormous in the United States, and continually growing. But a major dichotomy exists in this more than $60 billion market – wholesale furniture distributors are still using old systems and outdated technology. While nearly every aspect of life has been ingratiated with automation, furniture companies seem to be lagging behind in their furniture logistics software.
Wireless Data Systems, Inc. (WDS) has had the pleasure of working with a number of furniture companies in our pursuit to transform the industry. Our Warehouse Management System (WMS) has become the centerpiece of that transformation, creating successful operations from the top down. A hybrid of barcode technology, RFID, and IoT automation are examples of the current technologies we are deploying to provide fast and accurate data collection on the warehouse floor and in the delivery operations. This is something that we have been preaching for over 20 years.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of potential challenges inherent in dealing with furniture, most notably damage to the products. These challenges are not only disruptive but extremely costly. The unfortunate situation usually plays out like this:
In a warehouse environment, these large, heavy objects are often dropped or bumped against edges of beams
Damage occurs, but it is internal damage that is not visible from the outside
The product is delivered to a person’s home and damage is discovered once the installers open the product
The customer is angry and disappointed
The damaged product must be returned or repaired
The customer has to wait for the repairman or a replacement to be picked and shipped (assuming the product is in stock)
The customer has to reschedule the delivery and plan to be home an additional day
Additional scenarios that are costly and damage customer relations include items missing from the delivery and wrong items delivered
The above scenarios are commonplace, a simple mistake that ends up costing furniture companies an exorbitant amount of money. A lack of a furniture logistics system, organization and relevant technology lays the foundation for these all too common scenarios to occur.
WDS has built a WMS from the ground up that serves as a robust solution to the challenges above and beyond. Below, we outline the features of our customizable system that would benefit every furniture supply chain operation.
Intelligent, Serialized Barcode Labeling/Tracking
At the heart of any successful warehouse management system must be an advanced labeling structure. First and foremost, a labeling system establishes accountability for the workers that are handling items. The WDS WMS assigns serialized barcode labels to all of the products being received from their manufacturing plants and suppliers. As the products are being received on the dock, the system verifies them against the PO from the vendor as the labels are attached to the items. Then, the items are added to a cart or pallet, which is also serialized. Once the product is placed on the cart or pallet, the system minimizes the frequency of the product being picked up and dropped down to reduce opportunities for damage. In many cases, the next time the product is picked up or dropped down gain is when it is moved from outbound order staging to placement on the delivery truck. Plus, with serialized tracking the system will show every movement of the item, and who executed the movement.
This level of tracking is imperative to monitor damage and a wide range of forensics relevant to minimizing loss and maximizing productivity. Consolidation and validation of like SKUs is paramount in preventing damage as well as assuring multi-box SKUs will ship with all necessary boxes (i.e. kit or assembly items). Chain of custody and history data is readily available and accessible with WDS WMS.
Split ICN & Parent-Child Relationships
Another unique feature of WDS WMS is that it allows for half quantities. For example, if two chairs are packaged inside a box it is processed as part of the same dynamic ICN. Many times, our clients are sending replacements to customers or additional items to the customers that do not meet package size configuration (i.e., two chairs in a single box). To work around this, our system allows a quantity of .5. As a result, 1 of the chairs will be removed from the box, repackaged, and relabeled.
Known as Split ICN, this process means that the original ICN is kept but the quantity is changed from 1 to .5. Then, the new label generated for the single chair going to the customer is applied to the new box and the ICN. Now, the items have a parent-child relationship to the original ICN. And of course, the quantity in the second box is .5 as well.
The system manages parent-child relationships across a single part number or SKU, and multiple boxes needed. For example, SKU number BED12345 may consist of 3 boxes. The frame, headboard, and footboard. If an order is being picked for that bed, the user cannot pick boxes 1 and 2 and forget 3. The system requires all three boxes to be picked for the single line on the order for that bed.
Directed Put Away & Mixed Item Sorting
The pickup and place down refers to the exact movements of the products, and this is where most of the damage occurs. In our model, however, the objects are placed on the cart or pallet and the cart or pallet is directed to the end of the storage aisles. Once the cart is full, our system instructs the user to the correct aisle for the product storage. So, as all of the items are placed on the cart or pallet, the system is building a “manifest” for that cart or pallet.
The user is then ready to move the cart or pallet to the end of the aisle where the storage bins are located. The user scans that license plate label or manifest label on the cart or pallet and, due to the product loaded, the system knows where to instruct the user to place it. Like items are sorted to the cart or pallet – a critical component so items like mattresses and headboards are not on the same cart or pallet.
Organization is further perfected with the introduction of mixed item sorting. If the purchase order is received from the vendor’s truck includes a mixture of items, those items are segregated and grouped on the carts or pallets. Once the cart or pallet is placed at the end of the aisle, the worker in that aisle working from a Cherry Picker forklift lifts the platform and drives up and down the aisle placing the items into storage.
The driver lines up the platform even with the floor of the bin and then slides the product from the platform to the bin location. As a result, the placement of the product is simply sliding it from the platform to the floor of the bin. This means no lifting and setting down by the user, which vastly reduces the likelihood of product damage.
Advanced Picking Technology
Our advanced picking technology applies many of the same principles as our directed put-away system. The user on the forklift has a computer mounted on the forklift which instructs him to pick orders for items that are in his aisle. The user logs on to the terminal. selects picking, and our system displays a list of orders that are assigned to that user.
NOTE: In the scenario below, the order picking is split between assigned aisles that workers are assigned to. The system may also be configured to direct picking of one order to one worker, and the worker is directed by the system to each aisle that has items for the order.
The WDS WMS sorts the orders so that the user knows which aisle has items required for that order and the system distributes the picklist to the user’s computer screen based on the aisle selection. The system displays the first location that contains an item to be picked and the driver positions the forklift at the mouth of that bin location and scans the serialized label that was applied during the receiving process. Then the system verifies that that serial number is assigned to an item that matches the item for the order, and the user slides the item from the bin location to the platform on the forklift. This process continues for all items in that aisle that are needed for the order.
As the platforms become full of product, the driver goes to the floor level with the forklift and then drives to the end of the aisle for cart or pallet drop off. Again, no lifting or placing of the items is involved here, greatly reducing the threat of product damage.
Next, runners with tugs drive up and down the ends of the aisles and grab the trailer platform or pallet with the picked products and tow them to shipping lanes where orders are being staged for delivery. The product is left on a cart or pallet until the last possible minute when the items are removed from the cart or pallet and placed in the bed of the delivery truck. At that point, the driver of the truck is equipped with a manifest of all of the items needed for his route that day and the orders that are being delivered along that route.
The driver confirms and takes responsibility for the items on the truck. The WDS system assists with this confirmation as it will not allow any items on the truck that do not have an order for the item on the route that the truck has been assigned. In doing so, there is a very high level of verification as the items are picked and placed on those shipping lanes, consolidated into a complete order for the route on the truck, and loaded on the truck.
FIFO Management & Rules
First-in first-out (FIFO) is critical when it comes to furniture. Logic is placed in the system to confirm if the item is in the bin already. If so, the system directs the worker to an empty bin nearby to place the item there. The FIFO management and rules make sure that customers are not receiving items with aged/faded packaging covered in dust. The system is also structured to flag workers who perpetually pull newer items. With this structure in place, management is able to ensure that the warehouse workers are pulling correct items.
In addition, items are grouped/consolidated in order so that the truck is loaded based on the sequencing of stops along with the delivery reroute.
Hot Pick Optimization
When a customer chooses to pick up an item at the warehouse, the WDS WMS may utilize graphic displays for hot picks. With graphic displays in a grid, the workers in the warehouse can quickly retrieve the item from the aisle when the needed box flashes in red. Our system’s hot pick optimization allows for added efficiency based on data.
Geofencing & Proof of Delivery
Recently developed by our IoT Division, our GPS and geofence feature adds unmatched reliability, accuracy, and real-time tracking. When routes are established for the day based on scheduled deliveries, the WDS system uses that route and delivery schedule to create the routes for the physical trucks that the system will be loading material on. Each of the stops on the route is identified with a geofence around the location on the route. Meaning, each address for each stop has a geofence created with the perimeter around the location for all the longitude and latitude GPS coordinates.
The driver is equipped with a proof of delivery module running on a smartphone application that uses these GPS coordinates to verify the delivery. As the driver drives to the first location, the GPS validation confirms that the smartphone is within the geofence for the first stop. As the product is being scanned from the truck to the customer’s home or business, the system is validating that the longitude and latitude location of that device during the scanning is within the geofence coordinates. The WDS system alerts the user to any anomalies and the system may send email alerts to management notifying them that there was an anomaly in the delivery from that route.
As a note, the newest enhancement being added to the POD module is the ability for the installer to take a picture of the items post-delivery or installation. This also reduces the opportunity for post-delivery and installation damage claims.
Real-time validation of SKUs ensures a perfected proof of delivery process. The geofence mapping feature is critical and truly sets WDS WMS apart from any competition in the furniture industry.
The WDS WMS verifies that the items being delivered are not for another stop on the route. When the user indicates that they are done scanning all the items for that order at that location, our system verifies that nothing was left behind. The same course of action is applied in the warehouse when the truck is loaded. The system will not allow users to forget items on the dock that need to go on that truck for delivery.
Route & Reroute Utility
In addition, the system allows for non-deliverable conditions. This means that if the driver stops at the customer site and nobody is home, there is a trackable structure in place. Those items are left on the truck and returned to the warehouse to be rescheduled for the next time the customers are available.
While not always applicable in the furniture space, wave picking allows for the system to look at all orders for the day and find like items in the orders. When the WDS WMS operates wave picking, a person is sent to a bin location once as opposed to multiple times to pick up additional items. This is a critical component to not only reducing deadhead travel but also minimizing the wear and tear on equipment and products.
Building a furniture warehouse management system from the ground up meant diving deep into the wants and needs of large furniture companies. As a result of creating the WDS WMS, we have found that each customer has unique needs to improve their furniture logistics operation. A one-size-fits-all software solution would fail to meet these specific, dynamic needs. With this in mind, our robust software can be modified and customized to fit the exact mold of our customers’ particular requirements.
Delays, downtime, and material loss are all too familiar to construction site management. Industry veterans can attest to the fact that even the slightest hiccup in the timeline can cost a project thousands upon thousands of dollars. On bigger commercial construction projects, these hiccups cost millions. Construction materials typically account for as much as 70 percent of a construction project’s total cost. As such, mismanagement of materials can be catastrophic.
Material loss creates a chain reaction of financial burden. Downtime increases and delays ensue, thus creating a scenario where the entire team is impacted and time and money is lost. A job site needs to run as close to a well-oiled machine as possible in order to maintain sizable profit margins. The last year has thrown another profit-killer into the mix: COVID-19.
The global pandemic affected virtually every industry, but the construction world got particularly hard hit. A shortage of materials has led to price increases and supply chain challenges that have stifled many construction companies’ ability to perform well. In reaction, the construction industry has been forced to get creative in finding ways to tighten budgets and reassess the process.
The solution? A job site supply chain management system that offers real-time materials tracking for job-site work. With the ability to access real-time data collection of materials being gathered or re-supplied to the job site team, efficiency skyrockets. And more importantly, timelines and budgets are met.
Impact of Missing Materials
From lost revenue to project derailment to financial penalties, the impact of missing materials on a job site is enormous. In addition, delays in a project can lead to loss of trust from the customer or general contractor and thus rushing to get the job done. The result can be disastrous, leading to accidents and even further loss of trust. If materials are delivered on time, however, much of this can be avoided.
So, when materials are missing or delayed, the lost revenue can really paralyze a project. And the impact goes beyond just dollars and cents, even though all roads lead back to budget. When a project gets derailed and the timeline changes there are a wide range of challenges that follow. Accounting for things like interest carrying cost increases and a delay in revenue generation means that projects who fail to meet timelines will be costly beyond measure.
Missing or delayed construction materials and equipment create massive challenges that threaten to permanently damage a project. When operations are well-organized with the support of technology, headaches are circumvented and the overall flow of the project is streamlined.
The Value of the TSX Warehouse Management System
The number of people still using spreadsheets to organize and track materials is astounding. Many multiple-system operators (MSOs) are hampered with numerous spreadsheets or disconnected systems used to order customer premises equipment (CPE), installation materials, construction supplies, etc. From job site confusion to a general lack of coordination, spreadsheets are an antiquated and costly way to manage a warehouse and a job site.
The TSX Warehouse Management System (WMS) serves to alleviate tracking, coordination, and delivery issues by validating every aspect of the process:
Validated picking of materials from stock
Cross dock merging of special order supplemental items
Staging for the job site
Loading of the materials to the delivery or job site trucks
Validation on arrival at the destination
Off-loading of the correct items needed for that site/job
Automated alerts for missing or incorrect items being off-loaded
Communicates and integrates with the accounting system
TSX Job Site and WMS Solutions automate the warehouse processes for the manufacturing and/or purchasing and receiving of goods needed at a designated job site. Job site issues occur along nearly all phases of the process – from inventory issues to scheduling, from ordering to receiving, and from storage to delivery, the TSX Warehouse Management System is the ultimate solution.
SCORE Order Management Portal
The SCORE System (Supply Chain Order Requisition Express) was created to provide a standard system for ordering that is fully integrated and supports all departments and communities. Designed to replace spreadsheets with a central, common portal, SCORE is accessible via the web with tablets and/or mobile devices, making it easy for delivery drivers and technicians to work within the system.
In addition, SCORE was specifically designed to support user-specific templates or company-boilerplate templates. Utilizing pre-designed templates with commonly ordered goods makes the process extremely smooth. With 2-3 clicks of the mouse, the user can queue up an order with hundreds of items defined in a specific template. With 1 click of the mouse, the supervisor can review and release the order.
As an Enterprise-Class System, SCORE offers features that revolutionize the ordering process:
Authorized users replenish standard stock items to their trucks with a few clicks of a mouse
Accessibility via field or job site devices (tablets/smartphones)
On-demand ordering from the site
GPS tracking of all trucks
Data points for each truck, including location speed and direction of travel
Plus, with strong encryption and the ability to support over 55,000 users, SCORE and WMS work together seamlessly to offer complete, real-time visibility.
Technology Safeguards Proof of Delivery
Utilizing TSX Job Site and WMS Solutions with SCORE means operating a job site with unmatched precision. Job scheduling is established and required goods are picked and staged for delivery. Items are picked from manufacturing finished goods, stock inventory, or job-specific inventory and then the systems instruct designated workers to pick/pull the items by order and stage them on the shipping docks for loading to trucks. Then, the WMS assigns a route to the trucks, with stops and order numbers assigned as well. As items are loaded onto the truck, the system validates (in real-time) that the items loaded match one of the job sites on that truck’s route.
From geofence features to breadcrumb tracking, the TSX system completely takes overall responsibility on the job site. The WMS has the physical address for each customer associated with the orders. Management will use the WMS Geofence functionality to create a perimeter around each of the designated customer’s address locations.
Arrival at the job site is confirmed via GPS and the customizable Geofence parameters the user creates via the TSX management screens. Geofences may be as large (entire development or job site area), or as small (individual units within the job site), as the user prefers. As items are scanned from the truck to the team, the system validates the transactions within the correct Geofence perimeter and a secondary focused Geofence Unit. These transactions are executed in real-time via our TSX Smart Phone App, and real-time updates are available to management via the system’s dashboards.
Verifying and scanning materials ensures that all expected items for that site have been delivered. This type of Proof of Delivery is paramount to keep job sites functioning at peak capacity.
Revolutionizing the Construction Industry with Complete Visibility for Job Site Activities
Managing the supply chain for a job site can seem like an uphill battle, but with the TSX Warehouse Management System and SCORE job site teams can refocus their efforts on getting the job done right. Complete visibility from TSX provides all data related to the warehouse floor processes, loading validation, delivery and vehicle travel activity, and job site activity. All in real-time, and all with 100% validation.
Improving employee productivity is a universal goal for business owners across every industry. From comfortable working conditions to state-of-the-art equipment and tools, from incentive-based pay to improving company culture, and from increased training to placing an emphasis on self-care, companies truly try it all to achieve maximum productivity. 3PL systems are proven to increase employee productivity.
According to a recent study from Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, the United States loses $483 to $605 billion per year due to actively disengaged employees. That number is astonishing and underlines the massive value of maximizing employee productivity in the workplace.
3PLs looking to get the most out of their employees have tried all sorts of methods, but the truth of the matter is that knowledge is often the largest hurdle. Who are your most productive employees? Do you know which employees are underperforming? Is your executive team able to make informed decisions about compensation and bonuses?
The answers to these questions are critical, yet most organizations lack the internal knowledge and data to make strategic choices. Companies once lacked the technology to collect this data, until Wireless Data Systems, Inc. (WDS) broke the mold for 3PLs everywhere.
Enter TSX™ systems, the state-of-the-art, real-time IT solution created to offer unparalleled data forensics for 3PL management. Armed with the power of data visibility, these applications will transform your employee productivity and thus, your bottom line.
Measuring Productivity for Unmatched Success
3PLs deal with a lack of employee visibility all of the time. This leads to a lot of internal issues, many of which are unbeknownst to management. As such, every TSX™ system provides management with unsurpassed visibility into operations. The way the system works reveals inefficiencies in operations as well as high-performance indicators, all of which guide executives to make informed, strategic decisions about personnel.
For instance, let’s look at Employee A and Employee B. Each of these employees works the same shift and thus the same number of hours. However, Employee A is able to process 10 times the number of orders as Employee B. The problem? They are both getting paid the same amount.
As a result, employee resentment towards management and the company grows. This leads to frustration, bitterness, and often disengagement with their day-to-day responsibilities. The worst part? It’s all avoidable with the right technology in place.
The TSX™ System’s Automation-Assisted Operations include:
There is an audit trail of all transactions recorded as they occur, including all handheld screens viewed by the user. With real-time data, management is aware of the top performers. All of the data is trackable on the Transaction Dashboard, making the system user-friendly for all.
TSX™ provides the critical data that clearly illustrates high-performing (and low-performing) employees’ productivity. Armed with this newfound data visibility, management can then recognize productive employees, often making them 100% dedicated to the company. Empowered with facts-through-data, management may confidently compensate or recognize their champion employees.
Productivity-based pay has proven instrumental in transforming a 3PL’s ability to outperform their competition and reach new levels of efficiency. The TSX™ system provides the structure that allows for employee productivity to skyrocket.
The 3PL solutions at WDS have been accumulated through 30 years of experience in building and implementing state-of-the-art hardware and software solutions. We are steadfast in our commitment to developing technology that solves our customers’ problems and propels them forward amongst their competition.
The key to success for 3PL’s both large and small lies in the details. From accuracy to security to timeliness, relying on technology lays the foundation for a smooth operation each step of the way. At Wireless Data Systems, Inc. (WDS), we understand the value of data and we have built our business on the backs of state-of-the-art technology paired with unmatched customer service. In doing so, our customers benefit from 3PL Solutions that meet their specific needs.
With the onset of COVID-19, 3PLs have seen massive growth in business due to the rise in online ordering and online fulfillment. As such, it is critical that these companies can rely on dependable software to address said growth while maintaining a high level of security, accuracy, and accessibility. WDS can and has provided an answer to these problems in the form of the TSX™ 3PL Solution. With inventory visibility to see the status of everything received and reports generated monthly showing detailed information, nothing slips through the cracks.
Our TSX™ 3PL Solution is a very powerful system that relies on shared data and seamless integration options for all-size companies. With automated integration, a robust built-in billing module, and a customer portal for easy access, WDS technology truly transforms the business practices of our customers, and thus, their customers.
The days of communicating on paper are long gone. Today, 3PLs looking to achieve efficiency and accuracy must rely on a software solution that is customizable, web-based, and offers real-time data acquisition. At the end of the day, our TSX™ 3PL Solution serves one primary purpose: improving your bottom line.
TSX™ 3PL Solutions benefits
So, why use the TSX™ 3PL Solution? What features and benefits will it provide to you?
Data errors have been the bane of 3PLs existence for far too long. Transactions must be entered accurately and timely in order to keep the company profitable and efficient. Unfortunately, 3PLs are at risk of losing 30% or more every month in transactions, all of which could have been billed for. In most cases, transactions either were not entered or entered incorrectly. These inefficiencies can kill a company’s bottom line, and they are all avoidable.
The TSX™ 3PL Solution is a transaction-based system, meaning it is equipped to handle all different billing models and meticulously tracks billing for each and every transaction. The transactions are written into the system billing tables in real-time, including details such as the user ID that performed transaction and all pertinent data like item number, quantity, pallet ID, date and time down to the second, and more.
Then, the system takes that information and generates a monthly report outlining the transactions that the 3PL did for all of their customers, containing detailed information about when the transaction was executed and who executed the transaction, and then generates an invoice based on the 3PL’s billing table.
Flexibility and customization put the TSX™ 3PL Solutions into a class of its own. Everything is customizable to address specific billing methods. Plus, 3PLs have the ability to edit charges to give customers discounts and make any other custom modifications necessary.
An automated system is imperative for 3PLs. All too often, transactions are lost on the floor when dealing with paper reports, manual inputs, and user error. As a result, lost revenue is inevitable. With the TSX™ 3PL Solution, however, billing is thorough, accurate, and error-free, ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks.
Customer Integration and Order Entry
Our 3PL customers sell their warehousing services to small, medium, and large partners which have goods that need to be picked, packed, and shipped to their consumer customers. If the partner is a small mom and pop shop, the challenge for the 3PL is that those partners do not have IT departments or technology to efficiently communicate those orders to the 3PL.
As such, these partners will either make telephone calls to dictate the order details to 3PL customer services reps (CSRs), who then must manually enter the orders into our 3PL system. The other typical method is to send emails with details about the order that the CSR then needs to swivel chair data enter from the email, or fax the orders to the CSRs, that again must be re-entered into our system.
To accommodate customers, large and small, the TSX™ Integration Manager provides the 3PL with multiple options to offer their partners to automate the import of their orders in a fast, accurate, and efficient manner.
SCORE™ Online Order Entry Portal
Our Online (Web) Order Entry Portal, called SCORE (Supply Chain Online Requisition Express), provides a fast and efficient tool that allows customers to enter orders directly into the 3PL system. The partners can create templates based on marketing campaigns for items where they expect high volume again, and with three clicks of the mouse place those orders in seconds. There are screens for a two phase approval/release process, or the orders may be released for immediate processing.
TSX™ Import Agent – Excel Spreadsheet Templates
We provide the 3PL partners with standard Excel templates with the format and required fields of information the partner must provide with their orders. Sometimes just providing the partner with a quick and simple format to follow the 3PL pseudo automates the inbound order processing. Excel spreadsheets are the least efficient process, but are the at least better than communicating order data via fax, email, or phone call.
TSX™ EDI Integration Suite
This interface is the most widely accepted between trading partners, and is the most widely selected method among medium to large partners. This proven technology imports the data from the 3PLs partners and automatically imports it into our 3PL system. We provide the 3PL partners with standard 3PL EDI templates that include the required and optional fields of information needed to process orders.
TSX™ 3PL Native Order Entry
The final interface is an order entry screen within the 3PL system that our 3PL customers’ staff may use to enter the orders manually. These screens are similar to the SCORE™ system mentioned above, but is not meant for access by the 3PLs partners. It is for internal use and is used specifically for the partners that can only send orders via phone calls, fax, or email.
In addition, the TSX™ 3PL Solutions highlight inefficiencies in work production with industry leading data visibility. With the ability to showcase data that underlines employees who are working fast and efficiently, and those who are not, employee productivity skyrockets. Put simply, the system was designed to be brutally honest with data, which allows employers to recognize and reward their best performers.
Some of the most prominent benefits include:
Transactions-based system allows for maximum efficiency, as it looks at all transactions and puts them against billing tables to see what to charge customers
Billing tables for customizable services and rates that give 3PLs flexibility and control, allowing them to grow regardless of employee count
Real-time data collected makes operations efficient, accurate, and fast
Multi-level security offers 3PLs comfort and reliability
Extensive reporting keeps meticulous track of all transaction and generates invoices, ensuring that operations and billing are precise
Scalability with EDI Integration means companies can lean on automation, instead of personnel, to grow exponentially
Dashboards allow for transparency and visibility that enables users to see inventory and all transactions
Modern 3PL Software for All 3PL Challenges
The TSX™ 3PL Solution is a system unlike any other. Built from the ground up with state-of-the-art technology, 3PLs benefit from a rich feature set that not only addresses common challenges, but identifies future challenges before they become a problem. From saving time and labor costs to offering scalability and efficiency unlike anything of its kind, this customizable solution makes 3PL operations smooth and reliable. With an abundance of benefits and features, the TSX™ 3PL Solution plays a prominent role in improving your bottom line.
At WDS, our 3PL solutions benefit from our more than 25 years of experience in successfully designing and implementing complete software and hardware solutions for some of America’s most well-known corporations. We are committed to continually pushing the envelope as we utilize technology to exceed our customers’ expectations and identify opportunities for future growth.