#2 Benefit: Menu of Options
Selecting a 3PL partner who has a multi-client environment can address your current needs but also had depth of service offerings that is positioned for your future growth. A real benefit to a multi-client warehouse partner is that you will be offered a MENU OF OPTIONS as you develop your outsourced business profile.
While a 3PL provides a variety of services, customers can select which services they require and put aside the ones that aren’t applicable to their organization.
MILAN’S SERVICE MENU OF OPTIONS:
Inventory Management – Handling and storing products by sku is a normal process for a 3PL. However, now with sophisticated warehouse management systems, your inventories can be tracked by categories, vendors and lot information. Your inventories can be dissected in a variety of ways, cycle counted and physically inventoried as often as required.
Quality Inspections – A priority for all clients is to ensure that their valuable customer is getting product that is not damaged, is not aged and is labeled exactly as required. Inspecting product as it enters the warehouse AND as it departs the warehouse is a common practice. However, specific needs can be addressed for packaging quality, labeling quality and product quality.
Rotation and Lot Control – Some products require rotation of product via LIFO, FIFO or manufacturing dates. These types of services can be handled systematically and reported via EDI and WMS reporting. With algorithms, notifications can occur showing aged or out-of-rotation products.
Storage – In a multi-client environment, a variety of storage options are available. Bulk storage versus Rack storage are 2 basic approaches to storage. However, depending on requirements, shelving, and other racking options can be purchased and available for your business. The intent of the 3PL is to have full buildings so efficient storage methods are key to accomplishing that goal without adding buildings.
Order Fulfillment – There are a variety of pick methods that a 3PL can apply. The obvious handling methods are in units of pallets, cases and eaches or a mixture of them all. Batch and Order picking are example pick approaches that a 3PL can take depending on the order characteristics and the capabilities of their WMS. Again, a 3PL will determine the best methods of handling your business to be efficient and cost effective.
Ship Methods – Transportation can be one of the most expensive areas for logistics. Selecting the best shipping method is necessary to keep costs contained and eliminate damage. Shipping in truckload, less-than-truckload or small package are common options that are available.
Shipment Delivery – Many 3PLs provide a transportation option for delivery on their assets or through a non-asset source. They control the freight for clients and ease the burden of this service from the shipper. This option can come in a variety of ways with LTL, Truckload, Containers and other delivery options.
Outsourcing to a 3PL can provide you a menu of service options that you can customize exactly how your business is managed. The key for any 3PL is to be effective in each of these options to provide value and cost savings to clients. At MILAN, our menu of options in distribution and transportation gives expertise, offers value and supplies innovation to our clients.
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