Overcome Supply Chain Complexities By Optimizing Value-Added Services

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Supply chains involve the efforts of multiple parties in the supply chain network to operate successfully in tandem. While new technologies provide large chunks of supply chain information in real-time, information overload can cause us to overlook some operational areas. Managing a supply chain business is challenging because you have to work with several vendors and suppliers and plus, you are required to use several different tools to efficiently handle the operations.

For most supply chain managers, working with a mix of suppliers and vendors means that they have to optimize their services to meet customer demand. Not every logistics provider is the same, and companies have to compromise on specific aspects of their supply chain operations. Optimization is all about striking the right balance with resource management, such as people, time, and costs.

In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to optimize your supply chain and minimize supply chain complexities, while giving you an idea of value-added services that you can look for when choosing a 3PL partner.

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Value-Added Services (VAS) Bring Efficiencies Into Your Supply Chain

Today, 3PLs exist to provide specialized logistics services to help businesses organize their supply chain activities more efficiently. 3PLs like Logos Logistics offer a range of logistics services for proficiently delivering your products, allowing you to focus on other core business activities.

Value-added services have been an essential part of supply chain operations. They help companies meet the needs of customers by directly handling and streamlining certain tasks that aren’t core to their main business functions. These services include inspection, quality control, repackaging, and more. They don’t necessarily provide a direct benefit to customers; rather, they support other functions within the supply chain so that companies can offer a better customer experience.

The value for the customer, if you choose to optimize these services for them, is the reduced effort needed to meet a specific item delivery. Hence, value-added services save time and money, increasing the likelihood of your customers becoming loyal to your brand. They also make deliveries easier since you do not have to worry about tasks that are either too mundane or complex for your staff.

Value-added services offered by 3PLs include:
  • Packaging: Putting client’s products into a box and classifying it for warehouse storage
  • Warehouse Space & Management: Allocating storage space for your inventory
  • Custom Labeling: Adding pricing or SKU labels to the package
  • Kitting: Packaging two or more different products in a specific way at a client’s request
  • Tracking & Inventory Management: Software options for tracking your shipments and inventory in and out of a warehouse
  • Product Repairs & Refurbishing: Handling damaged or old products for clients or their customers
  • Dunnage: Handling customs requirements for preventing damage during shipping
  • Specialized Handling & Packaging: Premium services for sensitive or fragile materials
  • Reverse Logistics: For handling product returns

Each of these services allows you and your customer to overcome a specific challenge in your supply chain.

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5 Tips to Supply Chain Optimization with a 3PL in 2022/2023

Here are some ways to make your supply chain more efficient based on your unique needs and company requirements.


Outsource labor and storage to a 3PL

3PLs can offer to package and store your goods in a safe place. By outsourcing packaging and warehousing services, you can reduce your expense on logistics personnel. You won’t have to worry about additional compensation for packing staff, some of which are usually available on a seasonal basis. Logistics providers usually have trained staff for the job who can carry out your task with very little human error.

Using a 3PL warehousing facility also means that real-estate rentals and security expenses are minimized. In case your business needs extra space for scaling up its operations, you can seek advice from your 3PL partner.


Reduce transportation costs

Rising fuel costs are a big concern in the logistics business. Experienced 3PLs have contracts with oil suppliers to reduce fuel costs, meaning they can deliver your goods with lower overheads than you can and you won’t need to worry about procuring fuel at favorable prices on your own. Additionally, 3PLs can provide you access to fuel-efficient vehicles as well as recommendations for the shortest routes.

Some 3PLs might also have a fleet of electric vehicles, helping you to build a supply chain with sustainability as the key driver. That is a win-win for everyone involved.


Optimize inventory storage

Managing inventory is another major challenge for many small businesses, especially those new to the supply chain business. Any supply chain manager needs to have complete visibility of their inventory so that they can understand how items move from the supplier to the customer, and which items are underutilized. High levels of supply chain visibility require tracking and inventory management software, which can be expensive to license.

The good news is that you can ask your 3PL service provider for access to their inventory management and tracking tools, usually at an affordable price. These services will equip your managers with the information needed to identify key inventory items, while also minimizing the potential risk of ending up with large stockpiles of unwanted items.

Best-In-Class 3PL in the Midwest
3PL warehousing, automotive logistics, trucking & transportation, e-commerce order fulfillment, contract logistics, and freight brokerage in Michigan

Accurately fulfill orders

Complex orders may require you to deliver multiple items to multiple locations. You might be serving many clients in your state, requiring locally-specialized delivery services. Or maybe you have a long list of clients all over the place and want a general-purpose partner who can deliver everywhere. Delivery processes can become challenging especially when multiple orders are involved.

With 3PL’s custom labeling and package consolidation services, you can put multiple items into a single package instead of them being delivered individually. These value-added services allow your business to benefit from saved shipping costs as well as have the ability to efficiently handle complex orders.


Reduce time on your processes

Every supply chain operates with a process from the beginning to the end. Each process has a few standard control elements that you need to deal with and most of the time, these controls involve documents and approvals from the right personnel. The whole process can be time-consuming in situations where there are too many controls, or in cases where document standards are incompatible. There’s also a physical element involved in the supply chain, as goods have to be moved around.

You should work with your supply chain partner to identify all time-consuming processes and work on reducing any downtime. Look for services that provide a solution for your documentation, thus, requiring fewer approvals to complete (automation is useful here), and skilled movers who can transport items quickly.

Best-In-Class 3PL in the Midwest
3PL warehousing, automotive logistics, trucking & transportation, e-commerce order fulfillment, contract logistics, and freight brokerage in Michigan

The Bottom Line

Supply chains today are more complex and fragmented than ever before. This results in limited visibility, shorter lead times, and an inability to react quickly to changing market conditions. Companies need to be more agile and innovative in their thinking if they want to stay relevant and competitive in the market.

As you can see, optimizing your supply chain using value-added services is a great way to improve your overall business operations. It can help you to reduce costs, improve inventory management, and provide better customer service while increasing the likelihood of improving your cash flow, sales, and revenue.

The next generation of supply chain trends will only make things even more challenging for manufacturers. However, this also presents a great opportunity for you as a manufacturer to take your operations to the next level by optimizing value-added services.

Do you find your supply chain processes tricky to handle? Consider an expert 3PL service provider like Logos Logistics to overcome your supply chain challenges with access to our value-added services. At Logos, we provide customized contract solutions to simplify and connect your supply chain from end to end with our value-added logistics solutions being highly efficient and economical to connect your business to all corners of the world.

Request a quote today!

Logos Logistics is the leading logistics service provider based in Michigan that offers various logistics solutions including automotive logistics, trucking, and transportation with capacity freight operations. We help you operate your order fulfillment and distribution operations more efficiently and cost-effectively than an in-house logistics team.

Our custom solutions will meet your unique trucking, warehousing, and order fulfillment services while saving tons of time and money for your business. Get a quote now for the best trucking solutions in the Midwest.