At every level of the logistics industry, the goal is to maintain and grow supply lines while keeping customers happy, which can be a daunting task. At the same time, balancing out inventory and costs can be a real challenge. For some companies, a solution can be found at the warehouse level with value added services that allow customization for a customer’s specific needs. Ideally, when paired with other value added services, the combination works to strengthen the bond with customers and keep a company going strong.
Warehouse Added Services
Inventory control is one of the main challenges that logistics companies face. It isn’t as simple as keeping a large supply of items on hand at all times. When it comes to things like food, it can be tough to balance out the right amount of inventory with meet customers’ needs and avoid spoiling and waste. By setting up warehouse value added services, it is possible to maintain a solid inventory and meet the needs of the individual customer.
These customizations come in a variety of different forms. For some, it means creating products in kits as opposed to individual items. Restaurants may not be happy with a huge load of products being delivered. Instead, they are looking for similar items to be grouped together or even partially processed, making them easier to move from delivery to their own customers. While some industries, such as those dealing with technology or electronics, will thrive with the kit model, the transition might be a challenge for others.
In some cases, customers want their own private label. This change at the warehouse level takes things like foods and puts them under the name of the customer. While this is an extra step along the way, companies usually pay more to have their name on the items eventually set to reach their own customers. This is another example of personalization that goes the extra mile to keep the supply line intact while increasing the bottom line.
Another customization often involves each customer’s specific order. Instead of offering packages that include a set amount of products, some businesses have transitioned to allowing a customer to choose exactly what he or she wants and needs for the upcoming cycle. This means that prepackaging items to await shipping may no longer work. Instead, a customer’s request is processed as directed. While this can be more time consuming, it can help a logistics company to maintain the necessary inventory and create more consistency.
What happens when a customer has an urgent order that needs to be processed and sent out right away? This warehouse value added service can make a real difference for businesses that find themselves stuck in a bind. Logistics companies that offer help with urgent delivery requirements can stand out from the competition, earning the trust of their supply lines. At the same time, keeping customers constantly informed about shipments and arrival times can provide peace of mind to everyone along the supply line.
Each industry has its own options when it comes to warehouse value added services. Ideally, the goal is to meet the request of the customer while maintaining inventory in a cost-effective manner. Many times, these value added services can set one company apart from another, creating an influx of business. Customers want to know that logistics companies looking to keep or gain their business can address their requests and concerns.
Other Added Services
The warehouse isn’t the only space for value added services. This is especially true when it comes to the food industry. It isn’t just about ordering food anymore. With things like sustainability, organic vs. non-organic, and health issues a constant source of concern, the supply chain often comes with lots of questions when placing an order. One of the best ways to increase business is to offer value added services that help customers choose the right product to meet their needs.
This often entails going the extra mile to find out more about what a customer needs and making suggestions to ensure that the right combination comes together. Advice on ingredients and ideal combinations helps the logistics company solidify its relationship with the customer, and the customer comes to depend on the logistics company to meet its specific needs. This advice might seem like a simple addition of services, but it can go a long way toward keeping customers happy.
Because there are so many questions about the differences and benefits of certified organic items versus conventional foods, customers want to know what is best and how to fit it into their budget. A value added service might entail discussing the difference with customers and helping them make the best decision possible for their situation. As an added bonus, this helps maintain inventory levels as customers discuss what they want now and what they might need in the future.
What happens when a shortage of certain foods is imminent? By alerting customers in advance, a logistic company can weather the challenge. Customers who know in advance can start to select alternatives early on. As the inventory of one item decreases, it is possible to pick up more of something else in order to keep the supply lines open during a shortage. It is also possible to update customers on any current trends that are starting to pick up. This communication and advance notice can also work to strengthen the customer/company relationship.
While many logistics companies are starting to offer value added services, it is important to always keep in mind what will most benefit the customers along the supply line. The goal is to offer something of value, whether it is at the warehouse level or any other part of the processes. When done correctly, it takes into consideration customer satisfaction and can be used to maintain inventory levels, reducing operating costs and preventing waste. At the center of everything, customization and even personalization are what will set one logistics company apart from another.