Third-party logistics – commonly known as 3PL in business jargon – is a term used to describe a specific type of value-added services that can help start-ups and small businesses grow and thrive. But some 3PL services, including kitting, assembly and fulfillment, aren’t just for small companies today.
Even enterprise-level organizations can reduce operational costs and improve service delivery by leveraging these versatile services, in combination with warehousing and storage.
What Is Kitting & Assembly?
In the simplest possible terms, these services involve pulling (from storage) and assembling multiple items into a single package, known as a kit.
One of the examples of kitting is the pet product subscription service, BarkBox. Each month, BarkBox sends a box of products to customers who have signed up for a subscription. These products typically consist of samples of pet foods, pet care products, toys and other pet-related items.
Although this example is specific to a retail business model, businesses of all types use this approach for grouping products, promotional materials or other items, in preparation for shipping to the customer.
What Is Fulfillment?
Fulfillment is the term used to describe the overarching process of fulfilling an order (typically for a customer or end-user).
When an order comes in, businesses must undertake whatever processes necessary for getting the requested items to the customer. That’s typically where kitting and assembly comes in. Once the desired items are pulled from the warehouse, they are assembled and packaged for shipping.
The final stage of fulfillment is the shipping or delivery stage. In your business, you might use a commercial shipper (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.) or, depending on the product and where it must be delivered, you may require the services of a trucking company.
How Third-Party Logistics Can Benefit Your Business
Now, imagine what would happen if your company did not have to physically store your products, pull and assemble customer orders, or prepare orders to be shipped or delivered.
Third-party logistics providers are set up with warehouse space, to store products on your behalf. When you receive an order, you simply forward the details to your 3PL partner. Their personnel pull and assemble the kit or order, pack or crate the items, and complete fulfillment in the desired manner by shipping or delivering the kit.
In the Mountain West region, Mesa Moving and Storage has more than 500,000 square feet of secured warehousing across our seven convenient locations. In Colorado, Idaho, Utah and Montana, we have the capacity to provide warehousing and storage as well as professional kitting, assembly and fulfillment services.
If you would like to learn more about how these value-added services can benefit your business, contact us today for a personalized price quote.