The Definition of Third Party Logistics (3PL)
Before we get to Databot’s background, let’s discuss first what Third Party Logistics means. It is the term used for the method of how an organisation uses third-party businesses to outsource products in distribution, warehousing, and fulfillment.
What is the background of the company bringing us Databot?
DataBot is a young Australian company, founded by Kathleen Black. Kathleen has many years experience running IT projects in the banking and finance industries, where reliable messaging is imperative.
When Coconut Consulting highlighted a gap in the market saying many inventory systems do not have 3PL connectivity, Kathleen seized the opportunity and built the DataBot platform.
Naming some misconceptions
A common misconception in the industry is that to have 3PL connectivity, you need to go to the more expensive inventory systems like Cin7. However, DataBot provides 3PL connectivity for DEAR, TradeGecko and Unleashed inventory systems.
Another misconception is that customers will accept longer delivery timeframes for their purchases from smaller businesses than those of bigger businesses. This is not the case. Customers expect that their purchase will be on their doorstep within days regardless of the size of the seller’s business. This can only happen with automated integration, so small and medium businesses need to have the right integrations in place to help them achieve this.
There are so many cloud inventory systems on the market, what makes you different? DataBot provides a platform consisting of pre-built, configurable, task automation bots. The bots can be configured by a rules engine so it can adapt easily to match the client’s business processes and can adapt with ease even when a new change has been implemented into it.
Key features of Databot that make it stand out from the crowd
- Existing integrations to multiple inventory systems and 3PLs
- 3PL status visibility
- Inventory system feature gap filler
- Pre-built, configurable bots
- Flexible rules engine
Existing integrations to multiple inventory systems and 3PLs.
DataBot currently integrates directly with DEAR, TradeGecko and Unleashed, and an ever growing number of 3PLs. The platform is designed in such a way that we can integrate any inventory system to any 3PL.
3PL status visibility
As soon as 3PL provides picking, packing, and shipping status updates. Including the final carrier and tracking numbers, DataBot can push the information into the inventory system keeping it as the primary source of order information giving the client complete visibility about the status of orders.
Inventory system feature gap filler
When a client’s inventory system doesn’t quite fulfill the client’s needs, a workaround solution is required to fill the functionality gap.
Some of the gaps that DataBot is currently filling include Cartoonization, Order Splitting, and Report Data exporting.
DataBot engages with our clients to determine if there are any manual processes that should be automated. If the inventory system is up to the challenge, DataBot can fill the gap.
Pre-Built, Configurable Bots
Because we have easily developed customisable bots, we are able to get clients up and running very easily and quickly. Our standard bot suits most of the clients and once the setup has been completed, we only need to add the rules that supports the processes and workflows of the client.
If a client has a particular requirement which our standard bots don’t meet, we will make the changes necessary to support them.
Flexible Rules Engine
DataBot’s rules engine is comprehensive and applies across many places across the integration:
- At the Order level
- Fulfilment level
- Product level
- Customer level
- Transaction level and more
This makes it easy for DataBot to configure the integration.
Where this industry is going
There are a growing number of businesses that are focused on being serviced by applications and platforms in the cloud. This enables them to expand and grow their business easily and quickly. From my viewpoint, there is only growth for this sector for the foreseeable future.
If you are a business user, consider cloud migration. A huge number of businesses are undergoing adoption and cloud migration embarking on digital information for their data management.
Digital transformation projects are expected to drive broader in the computer age.
Databot’s plans for the future
We plan on adding many more Australian 3PLs to our platform and becoming the number one 3PL integrator here in Australia.
We aim to further grow our platform to 3PL business partners in New Zealand, the UK and beyond. Secondly, we plan on adding more inventory platforms. Currently we have integrations for DEAR, TradeGecko and Unleashed. In the future, We will add Cin7, Vend, Locate, Xero and the other ones in the future.
Thirdly, we plan on extending beyond 3PL integrations and adding EDI integrations to enable businesses to sell their wares into the big companies e.g. Target, David Jones, Myer, Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings, Anaconda, Super Retail Group etc. Watch this space!