Supply chain management is a rapidly changing market, and today’s 3PLs need to have the flexibility to adapt in order to keep up. Manufacturers and retailers are demanding more from their 3PLs. To meet these expectations, it’s necessary for 3PLs to offer value-added services to stay competitive. These value-added services are ones that make order fulfillment easier for their clients, reducing costs and increasing visibility throughout the supply chain. Many businesses will actually choose a 3PL based on the value-added services offered. Here are four main areas to consider when selecting a 3PL:
No matter how streamlined a 3PL’s system is, there will be unforeseen and unexpected issues from time to time. 3PLs should have a variety of value-added services to make sure they are ready for the inevitable. Having the ability to efficiently pull, test, track and possibly repair products is key. Your 3PL should also be able to process orders quickly and on short notice.
Potential for Growth
Today, your business may have basic storage, order fulfillment and transportation needs. But, the addition of products into your inventory or changes in your customers’ buying behaviors, may require you to make substantial changes to your supply chain. You need to partner with a 3PL that is scalable and quickly able to accommodate you without causing any supply chain disruptions.
A 3PL that is adept at understanding asset recovery management is a good partner to have. Especially if they are able to repair your products on-site. Some 3PLs even house extra sets of your packaging material so that damaged or return items can be resent looking brand new without causing a kink in your supply chain. A good 3PL can handle physical product returns and also has software capabilities to update inventory reports as items come and go.
Quality Inspection Services
It’s essential that your 3PL has a tried and true, uniform method for implementing quality control inspections. All materials must be individually inspected to ensure they adhere to their customers’ mandated standards. When products are found to be substandard, they are removed from inventory. Approved items should be marked with an indicator that shows the product has been inspected and approved. Appropriate record keeping of each inspection is also critical for the highest degree of customer satisfaction.
Value-added services are key for 3PLs to stay competitive. They are a make or break addition, in fact. They help retailers and manufacturers save time and money while increasing end-to-end visibility and lead times. 3PLs like JIT Services have several value-added services designed to provide their customers with simplified supply chain management solutions. Their inspection services are second to none. For more information, contact the professionals at JIT Services.