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A Retailer’s Guide to Thriving During The Post-Holiday Returns Season

A Retailer’s Guide to Thriving During The Post-Holiday Returns Season

Congratulations, your business made it through the holidays. Hopefully, it was both profitable and smooth-going, but let’s be honest—those...

February 01, 2024
Did You See These Red Flags with Your 3PL?

Did You See These Red Flags with Your 3PL?

It happens to the best of us. You do extensive research, you carefully gather requirements and evaluation criteria from...

January 08, 2024
Supply Chain Dynamics: Weighing Specialized vs. Diversified 3PL Expertise

Supply Chain Dynamics: Weighing Specialized vs. Diversified 3PL Expertise

Gone are the days when you could afford to look at 3PL (third-party logistics) providers as mere intermediaries responsible...

October 16, 2023

Frequently Asked Questions:

We have a team that has helped leading e/omni-commerce retailers create supply chains that enable growth. Standvast’s experience with a three-node e-commerce fulfillment network located in key locations gives 95+% of your customers access to two-day delivery using standard ground last mile services. Additionally, the distributed network reduces risks and defects while increasing promise accuracy, resulting in improved customer loyalty. This creates new opportunities for various shipping guarantees and pricing alternatives otherwise unavailable in a single or even two-node networks. We have seen customers create additional growth of 20-30% while improving margins and reducing their total costs to their customers.

Standvast’s Fulfillment network is engineered to help you get your products closer to your customers. With the standard zone shipping of US carriers, you save by using standard ground last mile capabilities with reduced zones, complexity, and costs associated with most fulfillment models. This creates significant cost savings versus a single-node solution by reducing the average zones shipped from 5+ to ~3, which saves 15-20% on shipments under 25 pounds and 30-40% for heavier shipments. Further, the Standvast Fulfillment Center network and quality of service reduces the number and cost of customer returns, reduces risk/defects that cause higher customer service costs, and creates the optimal balance to grow your business at higher margins.

Standvast’s Fulfillment Centers, driven by our industry-leading proprietary technology, builds on the lessons learned from Amazon and other leading omni-commerce. This includes ensuring we can receive your inventory into our FCs and systems within 1 to 2 business days from arrival and fill e-commerce orders within the same day for orders receive before noon or no later than the following business day for the remainder of orders. For orders to distribution centers or retail customers, we will fulfill the orders in the agreed time windows and ensure transparency of information back to you to avoid chargebacks or other penalties. Finally, our lessons learned over the last decades in e-commerce have driven an appreciation for inventory control and operations excellence, which results in quality levels that are superior to what you have experienced. It is our ability to operate, supported by our technology, that has won and kept clients by relentlessly exceeding their expectations.

From delivering best-in-class fulfillment services and technology, to our pricing models, to the ability to use our composable offerings to optimize a solution for each client, we seek to display our Care for Customers First value. This carries over to our SLAs and client success management capabilities to provide a transparent level of service at the highest level so you can treat your customers with the care they deserve. We are committed to relentless improvement and building a network of services and technologies that allow our clients to scale their supply chain with minimal risk and resources.

Standvast seeks to be both simple and flexible with our pricing model. We charge our customers a variable fee only based on the size of the unit handled (item/case/pallet) at each process stage at the time the unit is handled.

Our rate tables break out the cost for various sized items at receive, storage, and outbound processing. This allows us to receive an item as a carton or case and to ship out as an item to a consumer or carton to a distribution center. We can receive, store, or ship at the item, carton, or single SKU pallet level. This allows us to adapt to what you need, while keeping pricing simple and easy to understand. This is different from most standard 3PLs or even your own operations but aligns our services to your needs allowing us to help you grow your business as your needs change over time.

If we are handling at an item level (e.g., for Direct to Consumer), we expect most of those items to fall into the small or medium category price tier.  When we are handling cases or cartons at receipt to ship to a Distribution Center/IXD, it is not the individual item size that determines the pricing tier, but the size of the case or carton handled that would indicate the unit charge (For example: a case of 18 units at 1lb a piece would be forecasted as the larger tier unit handling cost). In addition, we could receive a case or carton as a large tier unit and then ship the items as smaller individual units as small tier “each” transactions.

Our storage is even simpler and more aligned for our customers, albeit different from most pallet charge rate structures. A storage fee by cubic foot (based on an agreed catalog with dimensions and weights) is charged based on the daily snapshot of the actual cube in our Fulfillment Center for our client’s product and invoiced on a weekly basis. This is not a pallet or bin fee; rather, it is the actual cube in storage based on the items in inventory and the dimensions of the items that are stowed (whether at a pallet, case, or individual item). We do not penalize you for pallets utilizing on average less than 60% or bins that are half empty.

Our variable unit and storage pricing methods align our costs with how you request us to handle the units now and in the future. If there are any questions, we are happy to discuss.

Significant packaging materials (pallets, boxes, dunnage) are tracked during the packing, and outbound process and charged based on agreed pricing (aligned to cost plus) based on your requirements. There isare also the costs of last mile transportation to either your consumer or retail customers. For each of these elements, you can also choose to use your own vendors or accounts versus using Standvast’s packaging or transportation vendors.

As we noted above, our services and pricing structure provide you the flexibility to receive and ship how you need while providing the simplicity to understand what that will cost.

Yes, each of our Fulfillment Centers is equipped to manage returns.  As part of the solution design or integration process, we seek more information on how you want us to process the returns and manage the disposition. We then agree on pricing per unit or as a project depending on your requirements and solution needs.

Yes, we handle these for existing clients as ongoing unit priced efforts or as special projects where we charge you for the time it takes to complete the efforts based on a set of agreed requirements. These are handled within our existing agreements and through a project request portal that is managed by our client success teams.

No, Standvast works with the client’s ongoing sales and unit forecast information as part of the partnership process to ensure we collectively enable the highest levels of services, while providing the flexibility needed in fast growing e/omni-commerce businesses. Our pricing does not limit your growth or seek to penalize you with fixed costs or hidden payments. We invoice on a weekly basis for services rendered during the week.

Our contracts and services are not structured with minimums, caps, or penalties. Our pricing model is a variable cost structure designed to reduce the burdens and to align our incentives for your growth and service to your customers. You “pay as you go” and receive a weekly invoice for services rendered in that period. You get composable solutions to meet your services, technology, and product needs at the right price for the services you have asked us to perform for you or your customers.

Yes, we can help provide guidance on where to allocate inventory and then help you ensure the orders are sent to the right FC. We have also helped clients improve their existing systems via professional services. We will provide a technology offer via our composable offerings, or we can provide a service to help you allocate both your inbound purchase orders to Standvast and outbound shipments to your customers. While this may be new to you, it is something we know how to do well. Standvast wants to help your supply chain move to next the level, to help your business grow, and to create a loyal customer base for your products.

Yes, our systems are designed to be flexible and simple to use. Our teams are here to help you determine the best path for you to integrate with Standvast now and over time. Let’s start a discussion on how we can make this work for you and your teams – contact us here.

Yes, our professional services can provide a technical assessment of your current systems to evaluate opportunities and gaps within your current supply chain software and make recommendations for improvement. We can provide Standvast technology or services that seamlessly integrate with existing systems. For larger efforts, Standvast can help drive improvement efforts through professional services, where we scope and define new product features to existing client systems. We have use cases where both methods deliver a significant return on investment to:

  • Improve ordering and allocation of inventory to ensure the right product is at the right FC at the right time
  • Optimize real-time order fulfillment decision systems to reduce split shipments, optimize service and costs minimizing zones, and continue to balance inventory across the network
  • Provide closed loop data feedback systems to continuously learn and optimize future inventory decisions utilizing advanced algorithms and machine learning capabilities
  • Integrate technology within your warehouse management systems, returns/liquidation efforts, or your customer promise and order management systems to improve efficiencies and quality of services. 

We have yet to find a system we can’t work with and our systems are designed to provide you what you need. Our technology is real time with every movement tracked within our systems to return near-real time transparency and the operational controls we both need to excel. This allows us to provide the highest levels of reliability while providing you the information needed to support internal processes and communication with customers. Our integration efforts will help you ensure you have what you need to succeed. 

We measure integration project in days or weeks not months, because Standvast is designed to be simple and flexible. Our simplified integration capabilities combined with our composable service offerings make a pilot or full solution low risk with virtually zero opportunity costs for our clients. Our client integration teams coordinate the project planning efforts. We have well-documented integration frameworks that range from Rest-APIs, flat file methodologies, and customer portals depending on the client’s near- and longer-term needs. This enables the ability to start implementations in a matter of days or weeks for some and then provide the flexibility for the solutions to grow over time. We are ready to serve our clients’ growth and margin objectives, improving the quality and robustness of your offerings to your customers, who we treat as our own.

Yes, we have a customer portal and a few other simple ways to get started with us. You can email one of the Standvast Integration Specialists here, who will get in contact with you to get the process started.

As part of the integration process, we will define the methods for you to retrieve the most timely and important inventory information. This can be done through REST APIs, flat files, or our customer portal based on how your current systems are managing inventory processes. The underlying data is both near real-time and of a quality level that exceeds 99.8% bin-level accuracy, so we just need to work out how best for you to access this as you need to update your systems now and over time.

We learned early on at Amazon (2000), that inventory quality is a driver to sales, quality, and efficiency. Standvast has built technology and processes that create a relentless improvement process to deliver defect free results wherever possible. We measure and drive performance different from most – it is not good enough for us to have the product; we must also know where the inventory is at each moment. As such, we seek and achieve bin-level (every item in a location must be exactly correct) accuracy in excess of 99.8% of the time. This by nature means you will be comfortable that our in-stock levels and orders are accurate to a standard that most do not even seek let alone achieve.

While this may be new to you, it is something we know how to do well. We can help make your existing systems more effective, provide technology to augment, or make some of these decisions as part of our service offering. Standvast wants to help your supply chain move to next the level to help your business grow and create a loyal customer base for your products.

No, we want to be simple and flexible. We can easily use your accounts or as is the case with many larger retailers use your customers’ accounts as they demand. This is part of the simple integration that can also change over time.

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