As demand for the optimal customer experience continues to escalate, companies continually must seek out better ways to deliver in order to ensure customer satisfaction – and retention.
Many companies are finding that value-added logistics services can help to give their supply chain a competitive edge. Once limited to services such as shrink wrapping, display building and rainbow pallets, value-added capabilities now include everything from inscription and embroidery to configuring kits for ecommerce or inserting coupons or brochures in packages.
Wondering if it’s time to add value to your supply chain? Here are 10 ways that value-added services can benefit your business:
- Expand product offerings. From building gift baskets to creating twin-packs, value-added services help to give your customers more buying choices.
- Enhance customization capabilities. Personalization is one of today’s hottest trends. Want to offer a choice of embroidered logos on apparel? Allow customers to choose the face plate for their cell phone? Value-added services will help you deliver.
- Better manage inventory. With the ability to customize products, you’re able to stock fewer SKUs, thereby reducing the cost of carrying and managing inventory.
- React faster to changing business needs. With value-added operations close to the end customer, you can delay product configuration until the last possible minute, so you can respond more accurately to customer demand.
- Increase speed to market. Eliminating the need to send products to a jobber or contract packager enables you turn orders faster, so you can get them into customers’ hands more quickly.
- Get products shelf-ready. Value-added services like price marking, tagging and display building services help to streamline the process of getting products on store shelves – and to the cash register.
- Manage transportation costs. The closer packaging facilities are to manufacturing operations, distribution centers or end destinations, the more cost effectively products can be transported.
- Control labor costs. With automated solutions and careful review of supply chain processes, value-added services can help to eliminate downtime and reduce the number of touches required in the packaging process – ultimately saving money on labor.
- Reduce number of suppliers. By asking your existing partners to perform more value-added functions, you can reduce your number of suppliers and streamline your supply chain. Even materials like cardboard for displays can be shipped to a 3PL to be built and sent out with customer orders – eliminating a step in the process.
- Ensure continuous improvement. Your 3PL can assist with process reengineering, packaging needs assessment, component purchasing, and supplier evaluation to ensure that value-added services are delivering what customers demand.
Incorporating value-added services can be challenging for companies to handle on their own – balancing dramatic peaks and valleys in sales volume, accommodating the need for extensive customization, securing a flexible labor pool, committing the required overhead investment, etc.
In those situations, an experienced third-party partner can be a valuable ally. They offer the flexibility and resources (labor, space, technology) to accommodate unique requirements, seasonal fluctuations, business growth, and more. Today’s 3PLs approach value-added services with a spirit of entrepreneurship and collaboration. They’re open to long-term partnerships and often are willing to make capital investments to support your specific business needs.
Ready to rise above the competition? Contact us to talk about leveraging value-added services today.