A new cloud-hosted, multi-channel order management solution has been developed that enables third party logistics (3PL) service companies to fulfill B-2-C orders on behalf of e-commerce retailers quickly, accurately and cost-effectively.
By adopting Utordo middleware, 3PLs can integrate their existing warehouse management system (WMS) with any internet retailer’s website or other popular trading platforms – such as Amazon and Ebay. This enables the retailer’s stock levels and orders to be synchronised in real time and ensures that all relevant information relating to each online order that the retailer receives is instantly exported to the 3PL’s warehouse management system without the need for any manual input – or keying-in – by the logistics company’s administration staff.
“As everyone knows, the online retail sector is growing at a fantastic pace,” says Utordo director, Richard Davies. “In June of this year the British Retail Consortium announced that internet sales accounted for 50 per cent of the UK retail market. Clearly logistics companies need to have the necessary technology in place to be able to compete in this market, so the launch of Utordo couldn’t be more timely.”
He adds: “Utordo brings a host of benefits to any 3PL/online retailer client relationship and we believe it will revolutionise the way that logistics companies will operate fulfillment contracts going forward. It is a game changer.”
In simple terms, Utordo (the name derives from Latin and means ‘to order’) seamlessly enables a logistics company’s warehouse management system to automatically interact and exchange data with an e-commerce trader’s multiple online sales platforms.
Sitting between the retailer’s website and any other marketplaces from which it sells its products and a 3PL’s WMS, Utordo converts and standardises order information and exports data relating to each order to the WMS using secure flat file, XMS or API formats.
This process allows a 3PL’s retailer client’s orders to appear on the host warehouse management system the instant an order is received and, in doing so, effectively upgrades an existing WMS to deliver the functionality needed to provide reliable and efficient order fulfillment capability.
Utordo also handles order communications with the online seller’s customers and updates the retailer’s web-store and other marketplaces with tracking and order details in real time.
Compatible with all well-known WMS brands, Utordo is rapidly deployed thanks to its preconfigured connections and, furthermore, because it is cloud-hosted, all software installation procedures and regular updates are undertaken remotely.
Utordo offers a rapid return on investment and to minimise a 3PL’s up-front costs and total CapEx commitment, the technology is offered as a SaaS (Software as a Service) package with a minimum 12-month contract agreement. This means that the full Utordo package is, in effect, ‘hired’ for a pre-agreed monthly fee.
Richard Davies comments: “The logistics space is going through a period of rapid change and internet traders want to work with fulfillment companies that have systems in place that are capable of linking to their web-stores and any other online marketplaces where they are visible.
“Utordo gives 3PLs this ability without impacting upon their WMS’s core functionality or, indeed, interfering with a 3PL’s day-to-day operational processes. Utordo is entirely independent of the WMS and works alongside it to deliver a raft of complementary benefits. This is a key product differentiator because, quite understandably, 3PLs want to avoid the cost and disruption to the business that reconfiguring a WMS involves.”
He concludes: “In short, Utordo is a highly advanced integration system that delivers an extremely low risk opportunity for 3PLs to dramatically improve the levels of service that they offer to their existing internet retail clients. In addition, by adopting Utordo, logistics operators that are new to online order fulfillment and have always focused on storing, picking and packing full pallet loads for B-2-B clients, can now tender for new online fulfillment accounts with full confidence that they have the systems in place to offer a reliable, first-class service.”