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Subscription Boxes Meet 3PL Logistics

Today’s consumer market revolves around convenience. Audiences are leaning towards purchasing systems that allow them to buy and forget about the purchase, only to be pleasantly surprised by a perfectly packaged subscription box delivered to their door. A payment will be collected monthly without the consumer having to enter card details or visit a website.

This surge in subscription popularity has created dozens of new businesses, particularly in industries such as clothing, literature, technology and food. 

Who Is Handling the Distribution?

As it turns out– we are! The rise of subscription boxes is the perfect challenge for 3PL logistics management companies. A properly operated 3PL warehouse and distribution center will have ways of customizing the fulfillment process to match a client’s needs. Using advanced logistics management software (often proprietary among 3PL warehouses) clients can rest assured the logistics and billing aspect of their business will be well tended to. 3PL logistics management software makes it possible to track raw materials and completed kits using barcodes, making it easy to account for the goods and services leaving the warehouse.

The Biggest Challenges for Assembly and Kitting

  • Inventory Management: Curating a different subscription box every month can be time consuming and can potentially disrupt the order fulfillment process. With an effective inventory management solution in place, businesses can stay ahead of schedule and pre-design monthly boxes to suit consumer trends. This flexibility protects a business from unexpected future delays due to manufacturing. If a business plans on providing the same subscription box per month, they can still benefit from a 3PL inventory management solution, which can prevent order delays or supply shortages. 
  • Assembly: It might not seem like an arduous task to assemble one subscription box, but imagine wrapping regular products with an appealing aesthetic and inner bubble wrap– at a massive scale! When deciding on a 3PL logistics management team to assemble your product, it is important the company exhibits excellent quality control. 
  • On-Time Shipping: If products are not shipped and delivered at the time the customer was promised, it can destroy customer and company relationship as well as business reputation. When delivering a refill on food, healthcare supplies or grooming products, this becomes noticeably more important.

Checklist For 3PL Fulfillment of Subscription Boxes

Are you or your business thinking of transitioning to subscription kits? Has your business been selling subscription kits, but struggling with a seemingly impossible order fulfillment process? Here is a checklist to consider when selecting a 3PL logistics management system to assemble and process your subscription kits: 

  1. Does this 3PL company have experience with kitting and assembling?
  2. Does this 3PL have the staff required to effectively process your products?
  3. Is there information technology in place to monitor the inventory of raw materials, finished goods and packaged kits?
  4. Can this 3PL provide you with visibility of order and shipping information?
  5. Will this 3PL de-kit if necessary? 
  6. Does this 3PL have reverse logistics capabilities (exchanges/returns)?
  7. Is this 3PL logistics management solution known for providing customer service and seamless customer experience?
  8. Does this company have the information technology in place to operate in a highly flexible manner in order to meet the ever-changing consumer demands?
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