JDA’s “Roadmap” for Third-Party Logistics Providers Featured in Leading 3PL Study and Textbook

Professor John Langley of Penn State University cites JDA customer service guidelines in 2016 20th Annual 3PL Study, as well as 10th edition of Supply Chain Management textbook

SAN DIEGO & SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--()--CSCMP's 2015 Annual Conference – JDA Software Group, Inc., has developed a six-step “roadmap” that can help third-party logistics (3PL) providers form closer, more strategic relationships with their customers. This roadmap for improving collaboration - discussed in JDA’s white paper, “Closing the 3PL Technology Gap: The Single Biggest Challenge for Staying Relevant in Today’s Marketplace,” - has been cited in the 2016 20th Annual 3PL Study, published by Professor C. John Langley of the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University, Capgemini Consulting, KornFerry International, and Penske.

Langley, a clinical professor of supply chain management, initiated this yearly study in the mid-1990s to capture the evolution of 3PL companies as they worked to transition from vendors of individual services to logistics partners offering integrated services and building meaningful, collaborative relationships with their customers. The Annual 3PL Study has become a widely anticipated, heavily referenced index on the state of the 3PL industry. Each year, Langley and his colleagues gather insights about 3PLs and research publications on the 3PL industry. This year, Langley identified JDA’s white paper as an important resource.

“One of the objectives of the 2016 20th Annual 3PL Study is to identify and track key issues and topics that are central to the relationships between 3PLs and their customers,” said Langley. “Included in this year’s study are excerpts from the excellent commentary by JDA on the topic of ‘Closing the 3PL Technology Gap.’ Consistent with JDA’s characterization of the technology gap as being the single biggest challenge for staying relevant in today’s marketplace, JDA outlines a number of steps that 3PLs may take to leverage technology and to progress from a vision of strategic partnership to the reality of having necessary information technologies in place. These thoughts and comments represent a very thoughtful addition to the coverage of technology trends and the ‘IT gap’ that are covered in the each of the Annual 3PL Studies.”

Additionally, Langley will also include JDA’s six-step roadmap in the 10th edition of Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective, a university-level supply chain textbook that is scheduled for publication in early 2016.

The roadmap from JDA includes six steps 3PL providers can take to become valuable strategic assets to their customers:

  • First, gain as much information as possible about what systems, technologies and cloud platforms are available in the marketplace. The supply chain technology industry has made great strides in capabilities to address the pressing needs of the rapidly exploding omni-channel marketplace, as well as with cloud platforms that speed deployment at lower costs.
  • Second, hold executive-level meetings with customers to learn what their strategic objectives are, not just their tactical needs. Look for synergies between their objectives and what you can potentially provide, and sound them out for their willingness to consider outsourced options to support their strategies.
  • Third, do an honest assessment of internal capabilities and capacities, and compare this with what is needed to support customers’ strategic objectives. This assessment should include processes, people, expertise, equipment and technology.
  • Fourth, engage outside experts and/or technology vendors to identify options, costs and timeframes for filling the gap between current capabilities and customers’ strategic visions. Include customers in these discussions to ensure proposed solutions will actually fulfill customer expectations.
  • Fifth, implement the new solutions as quickly as possible, considering the best financial arrangements and deployment options, such as cloud platforms, that meet both your financial objectives and customers’ strategic needs.
  • And finally, repeat these steps on a regular basis, at least once per year, to make sure your capabilities continue to support customers’ strategic objectives. Typically, this process is started with a pilot program for one key customer who both is open to change and stands to realize significant competitive advantage by implementing the new capabilities and services. Then expand the program out to other customers in a well-planned and controlled process.1

“Many of the world’s top 3PL companies rely on JDA solutions — including eight of the top 10 global 3PL providers on the Journal of Commerce Top 50 Global 3PLs,” said Todd Johnson, global vice president, 3PL Business Unit, at JDA Software. “Based on our work with these leaders, JDA has developed deep insights into the key factors for success in this industry. We’re delighted that Dr. Langley is sharing those insights with the world in his prestigious annual study, as well as his upcoming textbook. It’s truly an honor for JDA to be included in these important resources for the 3PL industry and for logistics professionals worldwide, and is a testament to our domain expertise in warehouse management, transportation planning, and logistics event management for 3PLs worldwide.”

Additional Resources:

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1 “Closing the 3PL Technology Gap: The Single Biggest Challenge for Staying Relevant in Today’s Marketplace,” JDA white paper

About JDA Software Group, Inc.

At JDA, we’re fearless leaders. We’re the leading provider of end-to-end, integrated retail, omni-channel and supply chain planning and execution solutions for more than 4,000 customers worldwide. Our unique solutions empower our clients to reduce costs, increase profitability and improve collaboration so they can deliver on their customer promises every time. Using JDA, you can plan to deliver. www.jda.com

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“JDA” is a trademark or registered trademark of JDA Software Group, Inc. Any trade, product or service name referenced in this document using the name “JDA” is a trademark and/or property of JDA Software Group, Inc.


JDA Software Group, Inc.
Jolene Peixoto, +1 978-475-0524
Director, Corporate Communications


JDA Software Group, Inc.
Jolene Peixoto, +1 978-475-0524
Director, Corporate Communications