I interviewed David Leifsson who discussed "Change the way you work" - 3PL vs eCommerce.
Today we're speaking with David Leifsson, and we're going to discuss Change the Way you Work — 3PL versus ecommerce. So, David, before we start, can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Yeah. Hi, Dustin. Thanks for the call. My name is David. I'm a logistics professional. I've been in the business about 20 years. My education background is a Masters in logistics and transportation, coming from Iceland, living in Gothenburg, Sweden. And for the past four years, I've been working in a 3PL company headed in Gothenburg, Sweden. That is something that I wanted to share because I have come across many things that traditional 3PL companies are doing and the customer is expecting something else. So I have been in that company as a site manager and more recently, I've been a senior logistics manager and often in sales. So that's a little bit about me.
Can you first talk about why you should change the way you work?
Yeah. What I came across is when I started in a 3PL company is they have been doing the same procedure for a very, very long time because probably customers that they've been working with have been doing the same things for a longer time period. But now in the recent years when ecommerce has been coming in stronger, the demand for change and to be flexible has increased and put high pressure on 3PL companies that really need to shape up and start to think about new ways of handling customers and be more flexible and not try to say how their customers should do it but the other way around, do as the customers tell them.
How is it done effectively?
My experience with ecommerce company, when getting into 3PL operation is basically like doing a deep dive interview with them and trying to understand the total process of their supply and how they really think and what they are expecting to deliver to the customers. Some of them really want to ship out things over the weekend when the traditional 3PL company is focused on closing at maybe four or five o'clock in the day. So there is a big gap, and the most effective way is to make a really good SOP to really understand what the customer does want or really wants. Sometimes they say something and mean the other thing. So it's investigations.
Can you share with us what you see as the trends for the future of ecommerce?
Yeah. I've been doing a little bit of writing down my thoughts about ecommerce. What I can see is that ecommerce is always focusing on trying to deliver as flexible to the customer as possible. So we are focusing on the last mile. And this is where a 3PL company comes into help for ecommerce, because what I think could be a solution for ecommerce companies is not to focus on one central warehouse. Instead, they should maybe be focusing on several so-called microhubs in larger cities. Actually, Amazon is doing this in the US, and I believe that this is something that is coming more and more over to Europe here. So by decentralizing the warehouse and the keeping them closer to the customers with maybe a limited SKU, then you could be more flexible in delivering to customers.
What I'm seeing is that the ecommerce, they will promise [inaudible 0:05:36] that you can order later and later, and that is something that has a huge impact on 3PL companies. They need to adjust to that fact that the customer presses the order button, and then they almost want the goods delivered straight away. So huge flexibility in the supply chain.
And often, what I can see is ecommerce is driven by entrepreneurs, and they have a lot of crazy ideas. So I think the ecommerce and the last mile is, as I would say, the last frontier of the logistics of the supply chain and has the most potential of creating new innovation and new ideas.
Then I believe that one thing that is driven because of the ecommerce is wanting to pay less and less for sending out orders. It will make 3PL companies focus more on solution as sending automated or a full-automated picking or warehousing and so on. So that's what I believe in brief.
Thanks for sharing today, David. Did we cover all the points you wanted to make today?
Yeah. I think so. Yeah.
Great. I look forward to staying in touch and having another interview in the future.
Yeah, that's good. Thank you. Thank you very much.
About David Leifsson
Logistics consultant - Helping business to lower their total logistics cost - Let me cut your warehousing cost.