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Manufacturing Support Logistics Explained

Manufacturing Support Logistics Explained

As a manufacturer, your supply chain is your lifeline. Any weaknesses in your supply chain can not only cost you time and money but can bring your manufacturing processes and production to a halt.

Manufacturing support logistics plays an important role in the organizational efficiency of a supply chain. Manufacturing support logistics is a relationship a manufacturer creates with a third-party logistics (3PL) provider with specialized experience to support specific parts of a company’s manufacturing supply chain.

Having a support logistics team takes a lot of the guesswork out of improvements and allows you a quick and easy way to evaluate your strategies and make adjustments to shorten lead times as well as improve your overall efficiency. Many manufacturing support providers will help you to analyze your process and point out the areas that need improvement.

Value-Added Manufacturing Support Services

The right 3PL provider will offer a range of value-added support services for manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers, including:

  • In-plant lineside replenishment: Delivering the required parts and materials to a manufacturing location timely for point-of-use, oftentimes sequenced to the required specifications
    • This frees up the cost of storing and handling products within the company’s manufacturing facility.
  • Sub-assembly and parts configuration: Assembling parts into the components used in a manufacturer’s products
    • Not only are space and labor savings key benefits to the manufacturer, but coordinated preparation of parts for effective and efficient final use is critical to maximizing the assembly process.
  • Kitting and packing: Combining finished products with additional accessories and other parts, as well as final packaging
    • Done “post-production,” these value-add-services remove the burden of work that is often not a core competency of the manufacturer, focused on consolidation of like-items for final use and quality-focused packaging to ensure the customer “open box” experience is well received.
  • Sourcing and purchase order management: Can include procurement of consumable, packaging, or any material that is part of the manufacturing process
    • Quality partners will have processes and technology that minimize sourcing costs and lead times of products at each stage of a manufacturing supply chain, while leveraging core procurement processes coupled with supplier setup standards.

Other value-added services that 3PL providers often offer to support manufacturers include courier and last-mile logistics, contract packaging, contract manufacturing, supply chain consulting, and distribution services.

Benefits of Outsourcing Manufacturing Support With a 3PL

Now more than ever, manufacturers are relying on 3PL providers to act as partners of their company. As a manufacturer, outsourcing certain tasks to 3PLs can help you scale your operation and provide you with increased flexibility.

Relying on a 3PL for manufacturing support can help save you time and money, as well as increase efficiency and productivity by:

Reducing Inventory

Inventory levels are minimized through planning and optimized through the systems and process of your provider. The result is a streamlined inventory of parts and supplies with no interruption to your operation.

Decreasing Labor-Intensive Projects

Manufacturing support also smooths out variable costs, such as labor, by making it easier to ramp up for peak or slow down during quiet seasons. The result is optimized labor costs year-round.

Employing Just-in-Time (JIT) Delivery

The required parts and sub-assemblies required in your operation are delivered as they are needed, which reduces the cost of paying for parts and labor before you really need the products.

Delivering Full Visibility With Real-Time Alerts

You likely are reliant upon accurate, real-time visibility to make proactive decisions, and need to know where your items are at, when they are shipping, and how day-to-day operations are flowing. Supply chain visibility provides you with real-time updates so that you can increase your speed-to-market, as well as reduce your capital expenditures and efficiently manage your inventory and risk.

Manufacturing Support Logistics in Action

Generally speaking, having a streamlined process with a manufacturing support services provider like ODW Logistics is often the best way to provide parts to your manufacturing operation. The result is a continuous flow of products while eliminating production interruption and also normalizing inventory and labor.

From the time a part arrives at the warehouse from a supplier to the time finished goods are prepared for shipment, ODW Logistics implements a Lean-based, flexible logistics solution that delivers cost and service efficiencies throughout your supply chain.

ODW Logistics partners to deliver value through your supply chain to meet your customer’s expectations. The 3PL provider does it by utilizing a seven-step process:

1. Inbound From Supplier: ODW Logistics coordinates the inbound delivery of your products through a vendor-managed inventory system

Inbound From Supplier

2. Inventory Management: ODW Logistics receives your materials and performs any unique product identifications, sequencing, and quality assurance at its facility and brings you real-time visibility throughout the entire inventory process.

Inventory management

3. JIT Delivery: Aligning to your lineside delivery needs, ODW Logistics coordinates the delivery of your materials “Just-in-Time” to meet the demands of your production.

JIT Delivery

4. Inbound to Your Facility: Materials are delivered and received by ODW Logistics at your manufacturing facility and prepared for lineside delivery.

Inbound to your Facility

5. Point-of-Use Delivery: ODW Logistics manages the lineside delivery of your products through a Kanban system, keeping your production line running efficiently.

Point-of-Use Delivery

6. Packaging and Labeling: ODW Logistics packages, labels, and prepares your final products for delivery.

Packaging and Labeling


7.Shipping: ODW Logistics coordinates and manages the final transportation of your products to your customer.



This results in:

  • Improved efficiency
    • Improved lines per hour
    • Reduced handling
    • Increase inventory turns
  • Decreased costs
    • Frequency of orders
    • Inventory carrying costs
    • JIT delivery
    • Labor

Outsourcing manufacturing support to ODW Logistics will enable you to boost productivity and focus on your core business processes. Learn more about manufacturing support logistics and how ODW Logistics can provide an end-to-end solution for you.


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