BluJay’s birth parallels growth of 4PLs, full chain solutions
Kewill and LeanLogistics, which merged last year, recently rebranded as BluJay in order to better focus on smoothing the flow of global trade.
Formerly, the two were engaged in transportation management systems (TMS) and warehouse management systems (WMS) software.
BluJay told American Shipper its intent was not to dive deeper as a 3PL, but rather to become a resource for other service providers via its products, execution services and a wider pool of associates with which to join purchasing and other forces.
Kewill and LeanLogistics, alone, were 3PL providers with technology — WMS and TMS — to automate logistics processes. Together, however, the companies are looking to provide a more complete service, and transition to a 4PL, offering full supply chain solutions to those who need it.
The difference between a 4PL and a 3PL, per APICS' dictionary, is in large part derived from the services offered to a client. In one portion of the definition, APICS writes "ideally, all aspects of the client's supply chain are managed by the 4PL organization;" noting a 3PL organization can provide 4PL services, or a 4PL can be born out of a joint venture between a client and 3PL.
Regardless, the merger and rebranding shows how as supply chains become more complex and interconnected, large logistics providers, too, are moving to provide supply-chain-as-a-service. In this case, it is a WMS and TMS provider who partnered, but previously shipping lines, consultants and trucking companies have been seen entering this space.
The rise of these services, above all, demonstrates a market need for full supply chain solutions. Supply chain managers should take note: the skills most in need are no longer limited to just warehouse management, logistics management or materials management, but a full understanding of the chain. After all, a change in one aspect has a ripple effect throughout the company — knowing how can help amplify savings throughout the organization.
March 7, 2017