Speed, Reach & Flexibility Are Critical to Supply Chain Success in COVID Era

The pandemic has vastly accelerated the growing digital commerce space. Reports show ecommerce leapt years ahead in progress in just months with spending up 30% from the beginning of March through mid-April 2020. A rapid change in customer behaviors, driven by the pandemic, led to an explosion in social commerce, a faster evolution of omni-channel retail and many businesses embracing digital storefronts. Third-party logistics (3PL) companies that wanted to stay relevant were forced to expand their ecommerce and fulfillment capabilities to keep up, and 3PLs without pre-existing capabilities struggled.

Innovative Technology and Improved Customer Experience

Not only are the number of ecommerce orders rising, but customer expectations are shifting as well. Online shoppers want full visibility into their product’s journey, from order fulfillment to when it reaches their doorstep, and near-instant gratification, pushing retailers to need pick, pack and ship services completed faster than ever, and with total accuracy.

Businesses working with 3PLs that lack innovation are having problems growing their business because of issues in their supply chain and an inability to fulfill orders. Today’s technology enables smart logistics providers to streamline these processes, enhancing visibility, speed and accuracy.

“Retailers are aligning with Suddath due to lack of technological sophistication with their current 3PL providers. Several new customers have come to Suddath because they are looking to improve accuracy by digitally streamlining their order fulfillment process and eliminating manual processes. Our technology integrates directly with our customers’ ERP software ensuring order accuracy and visibility while also providing real-time inventory reports,” said Maria Bauta, Suddath Sales Executive.

As online retailers grow their customer segments, they also need expanded reach. As a nationwide logistics company, Suddath® recently worked with a customer to set up ecommerce and fulfillment in its owned locations in Los Angeles and Miami, cutting down on shipment times and giving them a true nationwide, coast-to-coast solution customized to their needs.

Greater Flexibility to Adapt to Changing Needs

Flexibility is imperative now more than ever for mature as well as developing supply chains. We see customers outgrowing their current providers because they need more flexible solutions that can support omnichannel fulfillment for each, case, and pallet orders coming from multiple ERP systems. At Suddath, we have invested in resources and technology to serve customers without the long-term, costly commitments and volume guarantees most large providers require.

“Recently, we worked with a customer that was adding a B2C component to their B2B model, and therefore needed a larger distribution footprint for smaller quantities. What set Suddath apart was our approach, availability and attention of our IT team, or our ‘imagineers’ as we affectionately call them, to help create a solution quickly,” said Brandon Farmer, Suddath Sales Executive.

It’s clear that 2021 will be another year of growth for digital commerce, and the only way 3PLs can stay ahead is to adapt to market-driven needs, and provide bespoke solutions in the same time it takes to provide a canned solution to strengthen customers’ supply chains.

To learn more about how Suddath can help strengthen your supply chain, visit Suddath.com/logistics.


Brandon Buckley has more than 20 years’ experience in account and project management. For the past 10 years he has been focusing on supply chain solutions.

Since joining Suddath in 2017, he has been developing solutions for omni-channel fulfillment, warehousing, distribution, and transportation for clients across the United States leveraging Suddath’s network.

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