When a retailer is searching for a 3PL, one main item of consideration ought to be business continuity. But while many 3PL providers market themselves as “technology companies,” and claim that their systems lead to fewer missed orders, what do they do when their system crashes? Are they able to stay on schedule? MKM boasts its ability to keep operations running even in the face of a system crash or other disruption. MKM maintains business, doesn’t miss orders, and keeps running on track.
It’s a difficult switch, especially when the crash or glitch is unpredictable. But below you’ll see some of the ways MKM is prepared for the unpredictable. Because, glitches or not, retailers can’t afford to miss orders or have product delivered incorrectly or late, just because the 3PL wasn’t confident in their ability to conduct fundamental distribution actions.
Barcodes are unquestionably helpful, and many warehouses are able to operate with lean staff because systems have been automated. But MKM is able to operate even if their scanning systems run into a glitch. They can manually print and read shipping labels—and can continue proper sortation—so there’s little to no downtime, and packages arrive on time, at the correct destination.
When a Warehouse Management System crashes, a stopwatch begins: how much time is lost before the system gets fixed? With the right plan and the right IT support, backup servers, and a backup for the entire system of inventory files, records, and orders, MKM is able to get their WMS running again quickly, without losing key information.
MKM always wants to be able to access physical copies of their inventory, so that, despite a system failure, they can continue operating and keep track of their inventory. Physical spreadsheets and manual inventory sheets might seem outdated, but they can be crucial to maintain operations when the unexpected happens. Other technology companies who do distribution and experience system crashes are at risk of losing all of important documents and records.
At the core of all of this is process flow, the 3PL’s ability to maintain distribution systems of picking, sorting, and shipping—all without the help of a WMS. When a 3PL company like MKM can identify exactly how they can execute each of these stages without the use of scanners or systems or WMS, during an outage, then you know as a retailer you don’t have to worry about missing product or late deliveries. And this comes down to a 3PL’s history, if they have experience of working with a system and have taken precautionary measures to ensure their employees can return to this at a moment’s notice.