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Value-Added Logistics Services
Motivational Fulfillment & Logistics ServicesMay 30, 2023 10:18:49 AM4 min read

Your 3PL can add value where you didn’t expect it

Is your third-party logistics (3PL) provider meeting your expectations? If so, that’s a great start. But are you setting your expectations high enough? Your logistics partner may be able to offer additional value in areas you haven’t thought of. Beyond pick, pack, and ship, a great 3PL partner can provide tailored solutions to help you save money, shorten delivery times, and improve your end-customer’s experience. These services can yield surprising dividends – and make your life a lot easier!

Value-added services go the extra mile—and then some

Some 3PLs offer value-added services that would be hard to manage on your own or require a separate outsourced provider, essentially serving as a “one-stop shop.” Be sure to talk to your eCommerce or retail logistics partner before looking for an additional source for things like custom kitting, returns management, reworks, and even product assembly. Your 3PL may have the staff, space, and expertise on hand to tackle these projects, so just ask. You may be surprised by the extent of services they can provide, such as:

Kit Assembly

Kitting is a great option when you’re selling bundled products, subscription boxes, or other curated product offerings. With kitting, your items are packaged and shipped as a single box, often in attractive, decorative packaging that reflects your brand. Not only does this create an elevated experience for your customers, it can also simplify inventory management and improve efficiencies. Since everything is pre-bundled with a single SKU, the pick and pack process is shortened and the chance of errors minimized. What’s more, kitting less popular SKUs with your hot sellers can be a great way to move slow-moving inventory.

Product Assembly & Rework

Maintaining, upgrading, and reworking inventory can be a hassle – and an expensive one — but not if your 3PL partner can do it for you. If your products need parts replacement, software updates, refurbishment, reprogramming, and testing, check to see if your logistics provider can take it off your plate. You may think of 3PLs only in terms of packing and shipping, but some can work directly with your products to get them in sales-ready condition. You might be surprised at their capabilities! 

Quality Inspection

Your eCommerce or retail logistics provider can help streamline your quality assurance process if they offer product inspection services. Incoming or outgoing products can be checked according to your specifications to ensure they make it to your customers in the right condition. If your 3PL partner offers reverse logistics, they can inspect returned items to determine their next steps - placed back into inventory, refurbished, or sold at a discount, for example.

Display Design and Assembly

For products that are going to retail stores, standing out is hugely important. In fact, some studies estimate that anywhere between 40-80% of purchases are impulse buys. The appearance of your product and strategic placement in point-of-purchase (POP or PDQ) displays are two ways to encourage customers to purchase a product (whether they had planned to do so when they arrived at the store or not!). 
A 3PL partner experienced in retail logistics can ensure that your product is displayed in a way that stands out and meets strict retailer compliance guidelines. Ask about personalized design capabilities, material sourcing, and assembly services to find out if this is something your current provider can handle.

Returns Management

Logistics doesn’t stop at delivery, especially in eCommerce where it’s expected that a significant percentage of products will be returned. Reverse logistics requires several moving pieces to keep customers satisfied - without breaking the bank for your business. A third-party fulfillment company can help find solutions to those challenges, from providing return shipping labels to swift processing and back-to-stock to product rework and refurbishment.  

A good fulfillment provider can even replace your post-sales service and support teams entirely. At Motivational Fulfillment, our agents receive two weeks of brand training for each company and its products in order to provide support for customers, whether that’s via phone, email, or live chat. This helps you to seamlessly integrate into new distribution channels and frees up more of your time to generate new sales.

Discounted Shipping Rates

Third-party logistics companies often have existing partnerships with multiple parcel carriers and can offer shipping discounts based on their overall volume. They can help you select the best carrier for your business based on your volume, shipping destinations, and product dimensions. A great partner will even help you find the right packaging for your products to optimize your shipping spend.

In short, a 3PL may be able to offer more than value than you realized. Working with an experienced partner means you are working with a team of experts who already know the pitfalls and challenges of your industry and can offer expertise on how to improve the fulfillment and delivery experience for both you and your customers. 

Curious about how we can rise to meet your challenges? Reach out to Motivational today!

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