- Kewill and LeanLogistics, which merged last year, recently rebranded as BluJay in order to better focus on smoothing the flow of global trade, American Shipper reported Monday.
- 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.