With the massive volume of products shipped in this burgeoning e-commerce era, it is no wonder that sometimes defective items slip through the cracks. That is where sorting and inspection services come in. As a last line of defense, these services can prevent customers from encountering missorted or faulty products, help catch would-be returns before they reach the stores, and ensure that customer satisfaction is not harmed while avoiding what can be a costly mistake.
The problem of labor shortages — 73% of warehouses cannot find enough labor, according to an Instawork survey — makes performing the sorting and inspection services in-house a difficult, if not impossible, task. As a result, shippers are turning to 3PLs to provide vital sorting and inspection services.
This blog delves into sorting and inspection services, how important they are to shippers, and how a 3PL can take over those services for a shipper.
What is Sorting and Quality Inspection Service?
Although sorting and quality inspection is not a standard value-added service, it is crucial. It’s a weeding-out process that involves examining all products and removing units that do not meet a quality standard. Here are some reasons why a unit is removed:
- Missing parts or components
- An unwanted color variation
- Coating irregularities
- Cracks, chips, or scratches
- Other damages, such as mold
The manufacturer often handles these services but can turn the product parts over to a fulfillment provider for assembly. A 3PL can have the space to store the parts and the workforce to inspect, sort, and reconfigure the units. Not only can having these services done by a 3PL save time and money for the shipper, but they can also keep the image of all involved at a high standard by keeping products of inferior quality from reaching retailers or customers. Plus, the 3PL can provide the shipper or manufacturer with an accurate account of how many units were defective and how many non-defective units were transported and distributed to retail outlets.
How 3PLs Help Shippers Improve on Quality
The sorting and inspection services are clearly a necessary part of the supply chain, but they have a high overhead and can sap a workforce that could be better off dealing with other issues. Labor shortages have meant the remaining workers are often overwhelmed with extra work in addition to their usual jobs. So any added work can adversely affect the employee’s attitude and the quality of the service because they are moving more quickly.
Shippers have begun realizing that only so much can be done in-house and that the best option to solve that situation is to outsource some services to a third-party logistics provider. Sorting and inspection services, including quality control, are a perfect example of this. Let’s look at the advantages of warehouse quality control inspections:
- Consistency of quality: While most manufacturers have stock checked for quality assurance, it’s essential to know that a product can go through a wide array of places where something can affect it between the manufacturer and its destination. With an in-warehouse quality inspection using a 3PL, there is the ability to catch any damage along the way and save a poor-quality product from reaching the retailer and damaging client relations.
- Reduced turnaround time: If a product is defective and can be fixed or replaced in the warehouse before it reaches customers, it saves one step of redistribution, saving time and money.
- Lower return and replacement rates: When there is a problem with a product that has already reached the customer, it is substantially more difficult to make repairs. But when a 3PL’s quality control inspection team finds the concern, it can make repairs without the added wear and tear problems during the rest of the product’s journey and eliminates costs for return and replacement shipping.
- Optimized customer experience: Having 3PL quality control solve a problem in the warehouse means your product will avert a substandard customer experience, saving the time and money needed to salvage a customer relationship.
If You Want More Quality in Your Quality Control, Link Up with Port Jersey Logistics
Sorting and inspection services give the shipper another chance to avoid the hindrances and hassles that come with allowing a defective product to reach the customer — return or replacement costs, employee time to solve the problem, and a poor customer satisfaction image. But shippers are often in a bind because they lack the resources needed to provide those services. Fortunately, they can hand off those services to a 3PL service provider that specializes in that field. Port Jersey Logistics offers sorting and inspection services and over seven decades of experience using state-of-the-art systems and facilities. When it comes to quality control, there are none better. If you would like to have another line of defense that can help enhance your company’s image, please visit our website to see the many services we provide.