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7 Things to Consider When Choosing a WMS for Your 3PL Warehouses

June 26, 2024

The evolving landscape of e-commerce and online marketing has created a demand for efficient warehouse management systems (WMS) within third-party logistics (3PL) companies.

As businesses increasingly rely on 3PLs for warehouse management systems to handle complex logistics and warehouse operations, the need for streamlined systems is important. Factors such as shipping costs, express delivery options, and accurate order fulfilment have fuelled this demand. Without the right WMS in place, 3PL companies might risk missed deliveries, incorrect orders, or inventory misplacement, highlighting the importance of selecting the right system for improved efficiency and competitiveness.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a WMS for Your 3PL Business


It is important to consider the scalability of the warehouse management system you are reviewing to ensure that it can adapt to your business’s future growth. This is important not only to accommodate increased order volumes but also to allow for expanded operational processes. Choosing a less capable system may require a significant overhaul or even replacement in the future if it cannot continue to support your business needs.

A scalable WMS provides the flexibility needed to handle business changes, such as introducing new product lines or shifts in market demand while maintaining efficiency and minimising disruptions. Conduct a scalability assessment and evaluate the WMS’s ability to handle increased order volumes and operational expansion by reviewing its performance metrics and capacity limits. This helps determine if the WMS can support your long-term objectives.

Integration Capabilities

A WMS with robust system capabilities is essential, as no system operates in isolation in any modern supply chain. Integration ensures that the WMS can effectively communicate with existing software and hardware, such as ERP systems, inventory management tools, and shipping solutions. Real-time data exchange is vital for maintaining accurate, up-to-date information across all platforms, enhancing decision-making and operational efficiency.

Conducting a compatibility check helps confirm that the warehouse management system software can integrate smoothly with your current technologies, reducing the risk of disruptions and ensuring a cohesive workflow. By considering integration capabilities, you can streamline logistics processes and improve data accuracy.

Customisation and Configurability

Tailoring the system to your specific processes ensures it aligns perfectly with your operational needs, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness. User-friendly interfaces make it easier for your team to adapt to and use the system, reducing training time and errors. Conducting a configurability evaluation helps determine if the WMS for 3PL can be easily adjusted to meet changing business requirements.

This customisation and configurability can enable you to create a more responsive and adaptable logistics operation, ensuring the WMS supports your unique workflow and contributes to improved productivity and competitiveness.

Automation and Robotics

Automation improves efficiency by reducing costs and minimising tedious manual tasks, allowing the warehouse to operate more smoothly. Technologies like voice picking, RFID systems, automated material handling solutions such as AMRs, Robot picking and palletising, and conveyors significantly boost productivity and accuracy.

Assessing the cost-effectiveness of these technologies ensures they provide a good return on investment. Integrating automation technologies into your WMS streamlines procedures reduces errors and improves overall operational efficiency.

Client Billing

A 3PL organisation typically invoices its clients for services rendered each month. The services vary widely but often include costs per unit/pallet for receiving, storage, and despatch. Calculating these bills can be quite difficult and can lead to disputes resulting in non-payment which in turn can create cash flow difficulties.

The best 3PL WMS provide tools to manage this process and provide proforma invoices based on services rendered and price lists unique to each individual principal managed within the facility.

Checking with your WMS provider if these capabilities are available will help greatly in selecting the right provider.

Analytics and Reporting

A 3PL WMS provides real-time data and insights that support informed decision-making. Predictive analytics can further enhance this by forecasting trends and identifying potential issues. Customisable reporting options allow you to tailor the system to your needs, ensuring the information presented is relevant and actionable.

Evaluate how well the WMS integrates these features, as they significantly impact operational efficiency and strategic planning. A strong analytics and reporting suite enhances visibility, optimises performance, and supports long-term business growth.

Warehouse Workflow

A well-designed WMS should offer tools for optimising warehouse workflow. Workflow analysis capabilities help identify inefficiencies and streamline operations, leading to smoother and faster processes. Efficiency improvement suggestions provided by the WMS can significantly improve productivity. Ensure the WMS you choose can effectively analyse and optimise these aspects, as they directly impact operational efficiency, order accuracy, and overall business performance.

Customer Support and Training

When selecting a WMS for your 3PL warehouse, the availability of strong customer support and comprehensive training programs is essential. Reliable customer support from the service provider ensures that your issues or queries are promptly addressed, minimising downtime and disruptions to operations.

Training programs are equally important as they equip your staff with the required skills to use the WMS effectively, leading to higher efficiency and fewer errors. User feedback on support and training services can provide valuable insights into the efficacy and dependability of these aspects.

When evaluating a WMS, consider the availability of 24/7 support, whether it provides a hands-on training approach, and user reviews highlighting the responsiveness and quality of customer service. These factors significantly influence the smooth implementation and ongoing success of the WMS in your 3PL operations.


Selecting the right WMS for your 3PL warehouse involves evaluating various factors such as scalability, integration capabilities, customisability, automation, analytics, and customer support.

Apex Real Time Solutions stands out by offering comprehensive, scalable WMS solutions tailored to your specific needs. These solutions ensure seamless integration and advanced automation. With exceptional customer support and strong training programs, we make sure that your operations run smoothly and efficiently.

Choose Apex Real-Time Solutions for a reliable, efficient, and adaptable WMS that enhances your logistics capabilities. Contact us today to promote your 3PL warehouse management to the next level.


What integration capabilities should a WMS have for 3PL warehouses?

A WMS for 3PL should seamlessly integrate with ERP systems, inventory management tools, shipping solutions, and e-commerce platforms. It should support real-time data exchange, providing accurate and up-to-date information across all systems to improve decision-making and operational efficiency. Compatibility with existing software and hardware is required to minimise disruptions and ensure a unified workflow.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a WMS for Your 3PL Business?

When choosing a WMS, consider:
○ Scalability to accommodate growth
○ Integration capabilities for seamless data exchange
○ Customisability to fit specific needs
○ Automation for efficiency and strong analytics for informed decision-making
○ Customer support and training services to ensure smooth implementation and ongoing operation.

● Why does scalability matter when selecting a WMS for 3PL warehouses?

Scalability is important because it allows the 3PL WMS to adapt to your business’s growth without significant overhauls. It assures that the system can handle increased order volumes and operational expansion, maintain efficiency, and minimise troubles, thereby supporting long-term business objectives and sustaining competitive advantage.

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