Over the years, the meaning of “fast” in shipping has changed greatly. It has gone from “allow four to five weeks for delivery” decades ago to just days. Unprecedented parcel and shipment volumes brought on by e-commerce and other online sales mixed with many disruptions in the supply chain to slow down the velocity of “fast.” Consumers have started to realize and accept that “fast” is not quite as “fast” as it used to be a few years ago. A BOX poll survey showed that more than half of consumers (57%) opting for free shipping consider delivery in five days to be “fast” or “acceptable.” In a poll the year before, fewer poll respondents were willing to accept five days as “fast’ or “acceptable.”
Even with that slight lessening of consumer expectations, there is still a significant demand on the supply chain to deliver things at a rapid rate. This has left companies trying to think of any strategy to streamline operations and expedite shipping. One of those ways is through reworking the product. But reworking can make it difficult for businesses to do in-house. This means companies are turning to 3PLs that provide reworking as a value-added service. Let’s now take a closer look at product rework, the challenges of going that route, and what a 3PL service provider can do to streamline the reworking process.
What is Product Rework?
In the overall scheme of the supply chain, product rework sits in the background. But it does have an important function. Product rework refers to the tasks required to alter, correct, or repair products to meet the standards needed to return the product to the market — for example, products that have been damaged or compromised. Product rework requires a highly skilled and experienced team to ensure the work is done correctly.
Here are some examples of product reworking:
- A product needs repackaging due to mislabeling.
- An imported product arrives with evidence of mold or mildew that requires remediation.
- A production error means a product needs to be modified. Fixes can include things like sewing alterations, adjusting footwear to meet a brand’s color stipulations, or replacing faulty components.
- While not defective, a product might need rebranding to give it better visibility or highlight a particularly special feature that could set it apart.
Three Challenges of Product Rework
Product rework can turn around a problem, allowing a company to save money and keep a product from being disposed of or destroyed. But some challenges must be faced for product rework to be successful. Let’s look at three of those challenges.
Warehouse Labor Shortages Mean Smaller Staff for Product Rework
In the middle of a time when faster delivery is in demand and shipment and parcel volumes are rising, another concern has hit the supply chain world — a warehouse labor shortage. An Instawork survey from last year showed that 73% of warehouse operators said they have problems attracting employees, which was almost three times higher than the response the year before. When there are fewer employees, that means less can be done by the current workforce and decisions have to be made on where certain services have to be limited or dropped altogether. Product rework falls into that category, making it difficult for companies to do any of it in-house and restricting their ability to find reliable, on-demand rework services.
Product Rework Demands Prompt Logistics
Because product rework is a response to when something isn’t right with a product that has gone through initial production, the logistical steps needed to solve that problem must be determined and enacted promptly. Turnaround time is usually crucial to putting the product on the right path. A company can be in dire straits without an experienced logistical team to execute that transformation.
Product Rework Requires Logistics Expertise
Countless problems can fall under the product rework umbrella. It takes someone with expert knowledge to handle those many varied situations adeptly. They need not only to assess those situations and determine how they need to be solved but also to have the connections to find a partner to execute what needs to happen to make the project right.
How Does a 3PL Service Provider Help Streamline Product Rework Processes?
Few combinations are more effective than experience and knowledge. Few facets of the supply chain depend as heavily on experience and knowledge as product rework. Because product rework problems can run the gamut of troubles, the ideal response is to have someone with a background in dealing with it and the smarts to be prepared for anything. That’s where a 3PL service provider comes in handy. A 3PL with value-added rework services can help businesses focus on increasing profits while leaving time-consuming, expensive rework processes to the logistics professionals.
A reliable 3PL service provider can help solve the three challenges mentioned above. Rather than having employees who have to add another concern to their already full plate, a 3PL comes with a guaranteed workforce dedicated to solving the problem. A 3PL also has a greater capacity, both in staff and resources, to understand and quickly turn around a product that is being reworked. Along with that, you have someone overseeing a problem that is well-versed in the logistics of solving unique problems.
Want a Product Rework Process That Sings? Find Harmony With Port Jersey Logistics
While product rework is certainly not the star that grabs the spotlight in the supply chain world, it definitely plays a crucial part. Product rework breathes life back into a product and sometimes saves it from becoming waste. While reworking a product can be costly and complex, it has shown it can be a successful approach. But it’s often not easy to understand and follow through on. The expertise and experience of a 3PL service provider can make a world of difference. When it comes to that expertise and experience, Port Jersey Logistics has loads of both of them. Since 1954, Port Jersey Logistics has offered expertise with state-of-the-art systems and facilities to meet a broad range of logistics requirements. Among its many value-added services is product reworking. Visit our website to learn more about Port Jersey’s product reworking and other value-added services.