What do Product Rework Companies Do?
When you’re looking for logistics services such as warehousing, one word that you might see pop up regularly is “rework.” In short, rework is a value-added service provided by many third-party logistics providers (3PLs). It’s also an umbrella term that encompasses a wide variety of distinct services. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of those services and examine what product rework companies can do for your business.
What is rework?
Rework most commonly refers to the reconfiguration of products to make them suitable for delivery to your end customers (e.g., retailers). For example, let’s say your product is manufactured and packaged in China, and is shipped to you in the U.S. for distribution here. Unfortunately, however, there is an issue with the product in its current configuration and your customers won’t accept delivery as-is.
When this occurs, you have only a few options. You can ship the products back to China to be reconfigured and then shipped back to the U.S. again – while incurring substantial costs of both time and money in the process. Or, you can entrust the reconfiguration of your product to one of many product rework companies in the U.S. These companies can then perform the necessary product or package updates in the U.S., and work with you and/or your end customers to ensure compliance with all requirements.
Problems that rework companies can solve
A product component needs to be replaced. If your product has a part that needs to be replaced, your product rework company can handle that replacement – along with the resealing and relabeling (if necessary) involved. You would simply provide your 3PL with the replacement part(s) and directions as to how to proceed. The 3PL will then perform the necessary upgrades and prepare the products for distribution.
A product instruction manual needs to be replaced. In addition to parts, it is also common for instruction manuals to need to be replaced. A 3PL that provides rework services can print new manuals (either in-house or outsourced), replace the old manuals with the new ones within the product packaging, and reseal and/or relabel for distribution.
Product labeling is inaccurate. Sometimes, the contents of your product packaging will be fine but the labels on the outside of the packages will need to be replaced. This can happen if an item number changes, if labels were mistakenly placed on the wrong side of the box, or if the existing label barcodes will not scan for some reason. Your 3PL can print and affix new labels or affix new labels that you provide. It can also provide ‘blocker labels’ to cover up the old labels if necessary.
You want to sell products in a new configuration. If a product isn’t selling, a common response is to remarket the item in a new configuration to boost sales. Examples of this include combining two low-selling items into one discounted package or removing an item from one configuration and placing it in another – or selling it on its own. To get this new configuration out to market, you can work out the new packaging details with your 3PL and provide the company with the new SKU that the reconfigured product will use. Your 3PL will then handle the packaging and labeling from there.
This solution also applies when there is a problem with only some of the items in a product configuration. For example, let’s say that you’re selling 6-packs of widgets. However, you realize that 2 of those 6 items are flawed. You can work with your product rework partner to reconfigure those 6-packs into 4-packs for re-entry into the marketplace.
An item is missing from your packaging. Have you ever assembled a piece of furniture only to find that there aren’t enough nuts, bolts, and screws to match the instruction manual? When items are mistakenly left out of packages during production, you can simply provide those items to your 3PL for insertion into product packaging – and save amateur furniture builders from headaches in the process.
A product and/or box is damaged. If your product or your product’s packaging is damaged during shipment (e.g., boxes are wet or ripped), your 3PL can repackage your products, apply new labeling and get them back out for distribution.
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