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Third Party Logistics Help Inventory Management

5th January 2017 | In Business Transformation
Inventory management can be a costly and, often demanding, task. Ensuring the right kit is in stock, in the right quantities, at the right time. With the ability to transport it to the location needed, all within short timeframes… This is no small feat. Using a third party logistics provider can remove the challenge and pressure from inventory management by delivering a fully managed, SLA-driven service to improve operational efficiency and performance. Based on a fixed monthly cost, this ‘virtual warehousing’ service delivers a responsive, opex alternative to the large capex overheads of running an in-house warehousing facility. Additionally, this flexible opex model means the service can be easily scaled up and down as business demand dictates. Consequently, the result is a strong and efficient logistics service that supports your company’s business operations. Let’s explore the 6 key benefits of Hardware’s’ third party logistics and virtual warehousing in more detail:

1. Inventory management gives peace of mind

With a multi-million £ insurance limit and high level security in place, Hardware Operations Centre offers secure storage along with the guarantee of accuracy in the handling of your equipment. Goods are checked upon arrival and when picked. And a daily stock check and cycle count along with inventory and stock reports gives you peace of mind that your equipment is in safe hands.

2. Reliable delivery and timescales

With a full global logistics operation shipping to over 140 countries, we can guarantee delivery to your tight timescales. Delivery options can be as little as same day to UK and some EU destinations. This meaning potential downtime in the event of equipment failure for your or your customers can be minimised.

3. Full end-to-end traceability of stock locations

From the minute goods are received into our operations centre, the serial numbers are captured and goods are racked and stacked. Daily stock counts and reports ensure you know what equipment you have where at all times. When ready for shipping, goods are packed or palletised and picked up by a freight agent. At which point they will be monitored until proof of delivery is received. Should goods need to be returned, we can arrange collection from the customer premises and process the full return from the customer back to supplier ensuring full traceability throughout ownership of the product.

4. Immediate rejection of substandard or damaged goods

Equipment is quality checked upon arrival. Not only do we look out for faulty equipment, we also check the product received matches the expected part number. A particularly important step when processing returns. Such quality checks minimise mistakes and delays by eliminating any DOA equipment before shipping.

5. Real agility and speed to order

Enabling you to effectively manage your inventory with minimal overheads, virtual warehousing and third party logistics give companies real agility to store and call off goods as and when required, either to their own premises or direct to the customer. We can also provide additional services such as configuration, testing, staging, re-spraying or re-packaging to provider further flexibility and speed of service.

6. Economies of scale

Hardware already operates an extensive operations centre with full warehousing and global logistics capabilities. Therefore, we are able to provide secure storage with far fewer overheads than a business setting up their own warehousing facility from scratch. Equally we have strong relationships with our freight partners and benefits from large economies of scale in freight costs, be in same day, next day or worldwide shipping. We also hold extensive experience in shipping to global markets. And we offer customs and export license services along with all country-specific documentation. In conclusion, for many IT providers, warehousing and logistics remains a challenge that detracts from their own core competency. By outsourcing inventory management to a third party logistics provider, businesses are left free to focus on delivering their own specialisms to the best of their ability.