What Are Supply Chain Services?

Supply chain services encompass every stage in getting a finished product from its producer to the consumer, including procuring raw materials, manufacturing the item in warehouses and transporting it directly to retailers or distributors – while providing customer service when returned goods come back into play.

An efficient supply chain helps companies reduce inventory costs while simultaneously keeping production running smoothly, by making sure key suppliers deliver required parts in sufficient quantity to the company.


Logistics services companies strive to ensure that goods arrive at their designated destinations at exactly the right time and place. This involves purchasing materials and parts needed for production, transporting them to distribution centers for storage until needed, and shipping finished products directly to customers.

Sales and Operation Execution (S&OE) in supply chains is the on-the-ground methodology that teams use to address any incidents that affect service levels – from late shipments to production issues that lead to part shortages. Without an S&OE process in place, supply chains risk becoming overwhelmed with outdated information, slow response times, and costly last-minute expedites.

Logistics services also serve a crucial function: procuring materials and parts. This may involve making sure manufacturers have access to raw materials they require for manufacturing their final goods, or procuring parts and supplies for repairs via third-party logistics (3PL).


No matter whether your business manufactures tangible goods or provides services, an effective supply chain management (SCM) function is critical to its success. An SCM typically encompasses purchasing, production planning, inventory control management, demand planning logistics and customer service as core functions of production to finished product conversion.

Metal fabrication companies take raw pieces of scrap metal and transform them into finished goods for other companies to use in creating their final products. A metal fabricator must collaborate with departments like sales, marketing and finance in order to deliver these finished goods at reasonable costs to end-users.

As an example, it is crucial that metal fabricators properly manage their inventory by reporting completed goods into project-specific inventory. When the work order has been completed, reporting its completion to Purchasing will trigger the creation of an outside processing purchase order based on details stored within an outside processing blanket agreement.


Distributors are the final participants in a supply chain who deliver goods directly to end consumers. Distributors may ship finished products directly to retailers or wholesalers who will redistribute them through retail channels; or directly sell to end consumers at retail locations directly. Often their distribution network can include warehouses with refrigeration facilities for perishable goods.

An effective distribution system requires close cooperation from its supply chain. This involves purchasing raw materials, scheduling production, and distributing finished goods at the correct location and time. Furthermore, an ideal distribution system must include robust quality control and customer service processes.

An effective distribution system requires support from third-party logistics partners that specialize in warehousing and distribution services. These providers usually maintain warehouses strategically placed to serve regional markets more effectively; providing more options than can be offered within an organization itself; they may even handle returns in case something goes wrong or customer disapproves of what was purchased.


An exceptional returns experience is one of the key drivers of customer loyalty, as evidenced by customers being 71% more likely to shop with brands that make returns convenient for them.

Companies often integrate returns operations within their outbound logistics management operations, which adds additional costs and lowers supply chain efficiencies. By outsourcing parcel return services instead, companies may reduce costs significantly.

Companies using parcel return services can help avoid losing products and revenue by quickly returning them back to the warehouse before they depreciate or become difficult to resell. A parcel return service provides all the processes, technology and facilities required for an efficient reverse supply chain; furthermore it saves on employee resources by eliminating manual vetting of return requests as well as cutting time and cost associated with printing return shipping labels for each customer; instead consumers can use self-service portals to check on their return statuses and print appropriate labels directly themselves.