What ARE Value Added Services?
Businesses outsource their logistics to a third-party logistics provider (3PL) primarily for fulfillment services like shipping, transportation, and warehousing. However, to adapt to today’s fast-paced and ever-changing market, 3PLs are starting to offer a wide variety of amenities called “value-added services”. As consumer demands and preferences vary, the customer experience and value you provide from fulfillment and delivery can provide a competitive advantage. Value-added services can include everything from specific distribution, to custom packing materials or final assembly. 3PL’s can easily incorporate these services into their client’s fulfillment process, depending on their business needs. Below we’ll go over some of the more popular value-added services and how they can help your business.
Types of Value-Added Services
Kitting involves combining multiple products into one SKU, making it easier to pick, pack and ship. For example, bundling two of the same items together as part of a 2-for-1 sale or combining similar or frequently purchased items as a set. Grouping these items in one package makes fulfillment quicker and more efficient.
Blister packs are a type of packaging where a sheet of plastic is heated and molded to form a bubble or “blister” over the product. Blister packs are often used for fragile, perishable, or valuable products. Having your products put into blister packs by a 3PL at or near fulfillment reduces the distance the products need to travel. Therefore reducing shipping costs and the potential for the product to be damaged in transit.
Retailers, governments, and regulatory systems often require specific labels on products. 3PLs have the resources available to quickly add custom labels according to your needs, saving you the time and money of doing it yourself.
Destruction of Damaged or Obsolete Products
Value-added services extend to more than just packaging. Sometimes products are damaged, defective or simply outdated and need to be disposed of or recycled. These value-added services provide a cost-effective, safe and secure way to remove them.
Reverse Logistics Services
3PLs can work with you to set guidelines to determine if a returned product needs to be returned to inventory, recycled, or discarded. Not only can they manage returns, but they can also repack refurbished units and flag frequently returned products to determine if there is a manufacturer defect.
Postponement Packaging & Assembly
With a postponement packaging strategy, products are shipped and received in bulk along with a separate shipment of packaging materials. Once received, the 3PL will assemble the product and packaging into a retail-ready package. Not only does this save you on labor and shipping costs, but also makes it easier to make adjustments to the packaging on the fly depending on retailer needs.
Ecommerce has created more opportunities to sell products globally. However, expanding your customer base overseas can often require a lot of time and resources to understand international trade requirements and legal compliance. 3PLs have experience importing and exporting, making them a powerful partner to help navigate through the different regulations and requirements of doing business internationally. Not only can help they help ensure you are in compliance, but they can also provide suggestions to improve efficiency or reduce costs.
How Value-Added Services Can Help Your Business
One of the major benefits of using a 3PL is its flexibility. With their own warehouse, labor and equipment, 3PLs can adapt to changes in the market quickly for your business. As a value-added service, they can offer additional inventory space during peak seasons or additional labor for larger or time-sensitive projects.
In addition, they have the equipment on hand with a trained staff that allows them to quickly add other value-added services according to your business needs. Utilizing a 3PLs resources frees up your own to pursue other profit-driven activities sales and marketing.
3PLs have dedicated staff focused on providing value-added services. These employees are specifically trained to provide a high level of quality control and efficiency. They work closely with clients to establish a scope of work, ensuring the project is completed accurately and on time.
Single Point of Contact
3PLs act as the single point of contact for all the client’s logistics needs. They can help manage transportation, warehousing, value-added services and legal compliance making it easier to make adjustments to your supply chain. As a result, they analyze each step in the process to ensure it is running efficiently while making recommendations on how it can be improved.
Value-Added Services for Your Business
3PLs offer more than picking, packing and shipping. They work with you to understand your business and cater value-added services around your needs. The benefits outlined above are only a few examples of how a 3PL can add value to your business.
If you’re considering outsourcing your fulfillment or utilizing the value-added services of a 3PL, C2W Distribution can help. We offer tailored 3PL & 4PL solutions to help meet your needs. With value-added services ranging from product kitting & bundling, custom labels & packaging or reverse logistics management; we have a solution for you. Leave the logistics to us, while you focus on your core competencies.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today to see what we can do for your supply chain.