Supply chain as a service is an opportunity to rethink the underlying role of supply chains and provides a new business model that generates alternative revenue streams not just for 3PLs but also for shippers.
The post pandemic world could provide an opportunity to reshape supply chains for those willing to be disruptors. The challenge to 3PLs is to identify unmet needs in the marketplace and to match alternative models to capture untapped revenue sources. This will include flex capacity, on-demand usage and non-dedicated services wrapped in more modern and digitally enabled bundles.
Supply-chain-as-a-service is becoming more and more possible through the use of cloud technologies, which enable companies to leverage available technologies and service partners to manage all or part of their supply and demand networks. The challenge to 3PLs is to identify unmet needs in the marketplace and to match alternative models to capture untapped revenue sources.
3PLs currently have several supply-chain-as-a-service-offerings, including logistics as a service (77%), inventory management as a service (57%), returns management as a service (51%) and reverse logistics as a service (51%). They are also planning to expand their offerings, with 23% reporting plans to offer supply chain management as a service within the next three years, 21% have plans to introduce returns management as a service, and 20% plan to introduce last-mile as a service.
Currently, just 10% of shippers are utilizing an as-a-service model, 12% are presently reviewing options, and 5% plan to explore their options over the next year. Similarly, only 5% of shippers offer supply chain services to other companies, but 15% said they are currently reviewing options, and 10% plan to explore options over the next year.