What is 3PL and How it can be beneficial to integrate it with Odoo?

Posted on 19 May, 2016

We all know that in last century, it was time of many great innovations, which then become great force for the economy, like fuel powered engine brought new auto-mobile business on floor, and with assembly line from Henry Ford, given huge boost to it. Another nice example we can list out here is of microchips, and as we know that just because of that, it became possible to make small size computers, which then made it household product, otherwise, it was near to impossible to think computer as business product! Here list can go on and on as there were countless ideas which converted into huge business and plaid huge role in economy.

But now a days many believe that no such stuff being worked out, which can really boost economy to further level. With some analysis of past and current century, we can feel the same way! While in contrast of this, other gives many examples, which are now moving ahead to making impact on business world, and one of them is eCommerce, as it has given a global platform to sale goods! And with its by product, it has given a new life and huge boost to a business called 'Third Party Logistics' (which generally pronounced as 3PL/TPL).

Let's dive briefly into basic of 3PL

The concept of 3PL is to give service to get-store-deliver product of seller to end customers. Such business was existing previously as well, yet it's diameter was very limited, but now as we can see, that industry is growing with rapid pace, and that too, like we mentioned before, with help of eCommerce. What it brought that sellers has nothing to do except prepare a store, and put as many products as they want into that. While all those product they can store into a 3PL service providing company. So, until those products being sold, 3PL company hold those products, and when sales gets happen, they deliver that to next/end destination. Here also, if required, they also provide service to pick goods from supplier and store that into their warehouses.

Listing out some of 3PL's value added services 

Though we tried to mention what actually 3PL means and what does they do, let's check some of their main features, which they provide to their customer, helping them out and grow their business!

Warehousing : This is one can say is the most important things, specially for those, who cannot spend enough initial costing for their business to get one of those to store/manage/maintain their products. And as this essential service is being provided by 3PL, helping them out to focus on other aspects of their business.

Custom Labelling & Packaging : Many time what happens that at the time of purchasing goods, it can be under another label value, but after that, new seller add his own value into that, and to do that, they need to relabel those products and update it's packing as well. 3PL does same on behalf of seller.

Order Fulfilment : This you can say is next thing (which now one can expect) 3PL provides. When seller provide 3PL all details that from where to deliver goods, based on sales order, 3PL transport those goods to end destination with their delivery services.

Product Destruction : Many time, there comes a situation due to which product gets damaged (well, no one wish for that), at that time, it becomes quite difficult thing for seller to manage those, specially if that product end up on secondary market. 3PL also deals with this, as they not only manage those product with right way, but also adding that experience into their knowledge base, reducing percentage for such condition to take place in future!

3PL's Benefits

Less capital investment: 3PL does take there services charges to provide their services (which is obvious), like warehouse to store product, transport goods to end users, but this also brings big advantage to seller as they don't have to spend heavy amount on those, and can invest on some other crucial thing which can help them to grow their business.

Inventory Management: As this is most important aspect of management, 3PL manages all the stock related transactions and provide all the details to sellers, like how much is currently into stock, how much send to customer, that too on which time period, etc. Such informations are very much required to seller as they can visualize whole transportation related scenario.

Stick to your main goal: As we all know that to manage business, you have to deal with all the aspects of it, specially need to stay one step ahead with your counterparts. But at the same time, one need to handle all the internal things of business as well. And if you are using services of 3PL, they manage many aspect of your business, things we mention above, so you can focus more on growing your business.

What else you need ?

With all those and more services, and advantages, one can think what more they want ? Well, let's see one example. If a company is using their own software to manage all their business, while all stock related things being managed by 3PL. What happens from time to time, is 3PL provide them reports which contains all transactions. Now, there will be a need to manage all those data in one system, and in this case they need to enter all those data into their system, which can be not that easy task. So solution of that is to have one central system, and atomisation, this one can say that is key thing for system must have, to communicate with 3PL. As time to time they need to provide all sales related details to 3PL, get status from it, and integrate those with their current system, with 100% accuracy. And from which, system can generate many kinds of reports. System can check order status time to time, and on that if anything is fishy, they can send alert message to company, so they can get more details related to that from 3PL.

Few of our European Odoo customers, who didn’t have their own warehouse space, decided to outsource their warehouse activities to 3PL service providers.  For them,  as a leading solution providers in Odoo, we have leverage the solution of  seamless integration between Odoo and some of the large 3PL service providers of EUROPE and China like  TM Logistik, Alpha Direct Services,  CB Fashion, WinIT Corporation etc. 

Our 3PL integration solution in Odoo can perform following operations from Odoo to 3PL,

  • Export Delivery Order and Synchronize the Status to Odoo
  • Import Carrier Tracking number from 3PL to Odoo
  • Shipment details export
  • Export BOM from Odoo to 3PL 
  • Import Bundle Products / Kits from 3PL
  • Purchase Order Export to 3PL
  • Purchase Confirmation File Integration from 3PL
  • Sales Return export and integration of backfile 
  • Daily Inventory Adjustment Integration from 3PL to Odoo
  • Auto Maintain equal stock level between 3PL & Odoo
  • Stock Report Sync from 3PL
  • Supplier Product & Barcode Export from Odoo

There is no doubt that in upcoming years, 3PL has a very bright future ahead, and as a seller, one can surely take benefit of their services, because as all inventory related job gets done by them, other business related things can become more easy to manage.


Kunal Pathak , Odoo Project Manager

Odoo Blog

About Emipro

Being an emerging leader in IT market since 2011, Emipro Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has been providing a wide range of business solutions in Odoo & Magento. We are pleased to have a large pool of contented customers with our meticulous work in the domain of ERP & e-Commerce. Our customers are companies of all sizes ranging from startups to large enterprises who realize that they need a professional internet solution to generate revenue streams, establish proper communication channels, to achieve desired goals and streamline business operations. [....] Read More

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