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    May 18, 2023

    What are the Best WMS’ for 3PLs?


    Finding the Best WMS for Your 3PL

    Using an inadequate warehouse management system can cost 3PLs clients. The wrong software can cause inefficient fulfillment, a lack of inventory visibility, and insufficient integration—just some of the things that will cause a 3PL to underperform for its clients. 

    The last thing 3PL logistics managers want to hear is that their clients have lost customers due to the 3PL’s inability to keep up with customer expectations. That’s because those clients will eventually take the next logical step: Searching for a new partner to manage their fulfillment. 

    To keep a competitive edge, 3PLs should always be on the lookout for ways to improve their operations. Upgrading warehouse management software is one way to do it. Let’s look at ways to decide if a 3PL’s WMS needs improvement, and the criteria managers can use to pick the best one.

    Challenges That Send Clients Seeking a New 3PL

    The whole purpose of outsourcing to a 3PL is so that companies can sell more products while avoiding having to handle warehousing and fulfillment on their own. They need to trust that the 3PL will deal with their products and customers effectively. If the 3PL can not provide consistent support, it will eventually have a negative impact on the client’s reputation and bottom line. 

    When a 3PL does not have the best warehouse management software, their clients will notice some of the following troubling circumstances:

    • Inefficiency, inaccuracy, and delays in the 3PL’s fulfillment process will chip away at customer satisfaction.
    • A 3PL’s inability to reduce its own costs will trickle down to higher charges for its clients.
    • A lack of data visibility leaves a 3PL’s clients in the dark about the status of its inventory and fulfillment capabilities.
    • Without adequate reporting and analytics, clients are limited in their ability to make informed decisions.

    3PLs need to be aware of these client pain points, and how warehouse management software can improve them. The goal is to implement better WMS for a 3PL to prevent unhappy clients from going elsewhere. 

    See 3 Success Stories

    WMS Criteria to Consider

    Shopping for WMS for a 3PL must take into account the distinctive nature of 3PL logistics. Third-party logistics companies handle a diverse set of clients, selling a multitude of products, on a variety of platforms. The software must not only satisfy the 3PL’s needs but the needs of all of its individual clients too.

    The chosen WMS must give the 3PL the ability to address the following criteria for its clients:

    Automating and Optimizing for Efficiency

    A 3PL must be doing absolutely everything it can to be as efficient as possible. Managers need to take a hard look at any tasks that are still being done manually.

    WMS can optimize the warehouse space by determining the layout and slotting protocols. Fulfillment practices are streamlined by machine learning that finds the best picking method and pick paths. And barcode scanning and cartonization tools will improve accuracy and speed which will in turn save money. All of these automations are particularly important for a 3PL as there can be multiple workflows for different clients and products operating simultaneously.

    Data collection and analysis is another area ripe for automation. Data analytics can help managers anticipate changes in demand and staff up or down as necessary. 

    Efficient operations in a 3PL warehouse mean faster and more accurate fulfillment, and in turn, happy customers. It is a top priority of any warehouse management software worthy of handling 3PL logistics.

    Real-Time Data

    In the fast-paced world of third-party logistics, old data is useless data. Real-time inventory numbers are the only ones that matter, giving the 3PL and its clients an accurate and timely count of how much is on the shelves and where to find it. 

    But the best warehouse management software can do even more than track inventory status at any given time. WMS for a 3PL should have the ability to write restocking rules and give automated alerts when it is time to reorder. By doing this, the 3PL can react to the client's needs as the demand for items ebb and flow. Backorders and stockouts can be reduced considerably with the right software. 

    Visibility and Transparency

    Real-time data is not only useful for the 3PL. Automated data collection, report compilation, and analysis, when shared with the 3PL’s clients, become valuable for their corporate decision-making. 

    Clients should be able to access the data they need easily and whenever they need it. Tools like Infoplus’ self-serve report builder allow clients a level of autonomy as well as transparency. Clients can generate reporting for insight into data points like product velocity, speed of delivery, and returns. Not only is this valuable for them to make decisions, but it is also a good barometer of how well their 3PL partner manages their inventory and operations.


    Warehouse management software helps to centralize all data and operations into a single hub. The best systems share that data seamlessly through integration. In some ways, a 3PL is like a translator, using integration to make sure there is clear communication with various shopping carts and trading partner EDIs, billing and accounting software, subscription services, barcode scanners, etc. 

    The best WMS will be able to integrate with a multi-channel environment. Failure to integrate both within the warehouse and in the marketplace can eliminate a 3PL as a viable partner for some clients. For example, if a client secures a contract with Walmart, and their 3PL’s WMS doesn’t support Walmart’s EDI, that client will be shopping for a new 3PL. (Infoplus EDI Module handles this with ease.)


    The trickiest part about 3PL logistics is that every client needs something different. Third-party logistics companies will naturally standardize their operations as much as possible so they can run efficiently. But they must also be flexible enough to accommodate their clients’ unique needs, last-minute requests, and emergencies.

    Creating custom workflows, or allowing clients to customize dashboards and reports is the type of flexibility that a good WMS can provide. 

    Responsiveness and Customer Service

    Training on any new system can be challenging, so it is important for 3PLs to find a WMS that is intuitive and has a user-friendly interface. Ideally, the software and dashboard should be easy enough to learn so that even temporary workers can pick it up quickly.

    3PLs need a provider that is responsive to their ever-changing needs and can fix problems fast. WMS updates need to happen promptly so the 3PL isn’t forced to use workarounds just to get orders filled.

    See 3 Success Stories

    Top WMS Options for 3PLs

    When it comes to WMS for 3PLs, the field is crowded. There are several software choices that will get the job done and offer similar features. Finding the best one to invest in requires knowledge of what warehouse management software is capable of, and how it matches a particular 3PL’s needs.

    After reviewing 3PL software solutions, spotlighted its top choices, as well as other popular options. Infoplus ranked high among their favorites. Following are some pros and cons of some of the best known WMS softwares on the market:



    • Logiwa WMS can handle an unlimited number of warehouses and clients.
    • The system can be customized to fit a company’s specific branding.
    • It boasts 100% inventory accuracy and double the number of orders shipped after implementing the software.


    • Some users wish there were more reporting capabilities. 
    • The pricing structure has many feature add-ons costing extra and can be expensive for small businesses, especially those that do not have a high volume of orders. 
    • While Logiwa is user-friendly, there is still a learning curve involved in using the software, which may require additional training and support. 
    • Logiwa's customization option may be limited, making it difficult for businesses with unique warehouse operations to tailor the software to their specific needs. 

    Extensiv (formerly 3PL Central)


    • Extensiv offers a high degree of customization for users.
    • Extensiv can support multiple sales channels to manage their inventory and orders from one central location.
    • Extensiv integrates with various third-party softwares. 


    • Extensiv can be expensive for small businesses.
    • Some users have reported that the reporting capabilities of Extensiv are limited and difficult to use.
    • The user interface of Extensiv may not be as intuitive as other WMS options, which may require additional time for training and getting used to the software.



    • Infoplus WMS puts data at your fingertips, with real-time reports, Good Morning reports that outline the days’ activities, and with alerts for almost everything.
    • The software can manage multiple integrations, along with the appropriate credentials.
    • Omni-channel retail support.
    • Limitless customization options
    • Optimize important warehouse aspects such as slotting, floor space, and cartonization


    • There is no in-software accounting module to send invoices, but customers can prepare any billing report to import into an accounting system.
    • Smaller 3PLs may balk at Infoplus’ price point, but the ability to control so much of the warehouse makes the ROI worth it for established 3PLs.

    demo cta v2

    How Infoplus WMS Measures Up

    Infoplus 3PL WMS is a comprehensive cloud-based system that provides automation and machine learning, inventory management, fulfillment, quality control, and data and reporting. In addition to the “pros” listed above some of the other features that make Infoplus stand out from the competition are:

    • Customizable and easy-to-navigate processes and dashboards
    • 3PLs can allow access to data in real-time, with built-in security
    • A user-friendly Customer User Portal and Dashboard
    • Many automated protocols like cartonization, rate shopping, etc.

    This is just a short list of all that Infoplus warehouse management software can do for a 3PL. 

    The unique purpose of a 3PL requires a powerful software solution. The right WMS should be able to juggle the requirements and logistics of every one of the 3PLs clients, whether that is two companies or 200. It must be flexible and able to adapt and allow the 3PL as well as each client to scale when they are ready.

    Is it time to upgrade your warehouse management software? Contact us to learn more and request a demo.


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