Selecting logistics value added services (VAS) to improve efficiency and flexibility
As consumer demand continues to rise, retailers must find new ways to further improve and refine their service in order to attract and retain customers. With a shift in shopping culture towards e-commerce, consumers now have their pick of a vast number of different retailers and products all from the comfort of their own home, putting customer choice at an all time high.
What are logistics value added services?
Logistics value added services can include product modifications which can increase the level of personalisation to a consumer, this could include specialist packaging, returns processing and reticketing as well as services to make items compliant.
What are the benefits?
With the move from a product-centric model to a more consumer focused one, customer needs have also become more complex, with convenience, speed and a personalised approach now at the forefront. To stay ahead of the curve, specialist fulfilment and logistics companies are supporting retailers to help fill this gap in their offering. Fulfilment is central to the customer experience, and logistics value added services offer a way for retailers to greatly improve both their efficiency and flexibility, giving them a major competitive advantage in today’s
Types of logistics value added services
Products and packaging can be subject to changes over time, and different countries can also have different packaging or labelling requirements, which need to be met before items can be distributed within the local market. Reworking as a logistics value added service focuses on a range of services from repacking to relabelling finished items. This could be to meet sudden changes in demand or to provide country product compliance requirements.
Reworking products allows businesses to react to such challenges, avoiding potential delays and maximising sales. Finished products are often reworked to support upcoming promotions and sales by adding new swing tags, price tickets or stickers. Items can also be repackaged when new branding or updated packaging is rolled out to get the most from older products, or when custom packaging is required for a promotion with a specific outlet.
By avoiding the need to ship stock between a number of third-party sites or back to manufacturers to achieve this, on-site reworking as a warehouse value added service can be highly time effective and cost efficient for businesses. The flexibility it allows also means retailers are able to move quickly to take advantage of new sales opportunities as they happen.
The way a parcel arrives and a customer’s first impressions of it play an important role in creating a positive experience with a product. Packaging is a powerful way to convey a brand's image and values. It can shape the way in which a consumer views the product and sway how they feel towards a brand, both positively and negatively. Poor packaging can not only give the impression that a product is of low quality or has less value, but also makes for a poorer experience for the customer overall. As a logistics value added service, specialist packaging can include everything from branded shipping boxes, bags and tissue paper, to more custom pieces such as high quality gift boxes and garment bags. This allows retailers to reproduce a similar shopping experience which a consumer would receive in-store, and harness this to assert the brand’s values with consistency across multiple channels.
Quality control and compliance
The role of quality controllers is to ensure that all products which come into or leave a warehouse are in saleable condition, are free from faults and include all of the correct components. This makes quality control as a warehouse value added service highly beneficial, as any issues with a shipment of products can be spotted early on, and appropriate action taken before it becomes a major problem. When combined with repairs as a warehouse value added service, these faulty items can be fixed, cleaned and repackaged on-site without the need for costly shipping back to the manufacturer, or faulty items being distributed to stores.
High standards of quality control help to improve customer satisfaction and can reduce the likelihood of returns too, as customers are less likely to receive items which are faulty, of poor quality or that don’t meet their expectations.
Compliance is another aspect of quality control that can be undertaken and managed within the warehouse as a value added service, for example products requiring specific labelling for different international markets.
To ensure international shipments reach their destinations on time and without issue, retailers need a logistics partner with an extensive knowledge of worldwide customs regulations and compliance. This service ensures that each shipment includes the correct documentation and declarations for customs clearance and helps minimise the many risks associated with moving goods across borders. These extra checks provide businesses with independent assurance and peace of mind, knowing that their products will arrive at the right place and without any unexpected delays due to compliance issues.
When an item is returned by a customer, it must go through a series of actions to check its condition and complete the returns process, before it can be reintroduced back into the stock pool.
Handing this task over to a trusted logistics partner as part of their returns value added service streamlines inventory management for retailers and allows items to be put back into circulation before they become old stock and then need to be heavily discounted.
Sometimes products will be returned by the customer to the returns centre unclean, with faults or in an otherwise unsatisfactory condition. The ability to clean and rectify these faults means products can be quickly processed and reintroduced into the stock pool. Being able to complete this task on-site not only saves time but also means businesses are able to effortlessly maximise the profits of their inventory, as well as cutting down on waste and transport costs too.