Yes. Amplifier supports a variety of customization options. They include:
- Custom Packaging (use of client-supplied shipping containers)
- Custom Presentation (arrangement of delivered goods)
- Outbound Value-Add Service (Per Item/Per Shipment/Per Source changes)
Because of their exceptional nature, each requires strict adherence to our policies governing these services.
- Custom Packaging support is available to Amplifier Standard and Pro accounts.
- Custom Presentation & Outbound Value Added Service support requires a longer-term commitment. Please contact us to discuss.
Rules governing Custom Packaging/Presentation apply at the Order level. That is, each service must apply to all items in a given order or not at all; they cannot apply only to some items in an order but not to other items in that order. It is all or nothing, at the order level.
Additionally, Custom Packaging/Presentation is not equivalent to Custom Gift Wrapping. Amplifier does not support custom gift wrapping at the order level as it is labor intensive, difficult to track as inventory, and, given seasonal spikes, very uneven in terms of demand.
It may be possible to utilize Amplifier’s Make Ready and Assembly services at the item level to achieve certain desired effects. Amplifier personnel could, for example, bag t-shirts in custom bags that could serve as gift wrappers in a sense, and transfer this inventory to unique SKUs to keep them separate from “unwrapped” shirts. Contact Client Service if you would like to discuss such possibilities.
Per the Item Eligibility Policy, Amplifier must approve Custom Presentation materials and Custom Packaging, so please check with Client Service early in the design phase of any such project.
Early input and collaboration will help both Amplifier and our clients. Please contact Amplifier’s Client Service team before the design phase of your custom packaging project. Amplifier Client Service can, for example, show you the usage statistics of your current, non-custom packaging types to help you focus your efforts where they will make the biggest impact.
Per these policies, clients can provide custom shipping containers like bags or boxes. This service covers the shipping container itself, i.e. the box or bag that will hold shipped items, on which we will affix the postage label, etc.
As long as these custom packages are "Standard," Amplifier will support them for the Custom Packaging rates in a client's pricing schedule. Please see here for a list of current options for “Standard” Custom Packaging types and dimensions.
“Standard” means that, while employing custom graphics, these packages require neither different material flow nor additional labor or handling relative to standard Amplifier-supplied generic or "Standard" packaging options.
Regarding non-“Standard” Custom Packaging:
- It is possible that Amplifier will find it cannot economically or operationally support non-“Standard” Custom Packaging, and Amplifier reserves the right to refuse to support non-“Standard” Custom Packaging.
- If Amplifier decides that it can support a custom package that is not currently listed as a “Standard” Custom Packaging option, clients should expect that in such instances it may take Amplifier three to five weeks minimum to add support for this new Custom Packaging option because such an addition requires creating new package types in WMS; establishing and testing containerization rules; and sometimes acquiring and incorporating new carts, bins, and other physical gear for managing material flow. Clients should also expect a testing period of an additional two to three weeks.
- If a client requests a more elaborate package design that involves more labor or handling, Amplifier might be able to support it at rates higher than “Standard” Custom Packaging, such rates to be subject to mutual agreement with our client.
Amplifier's WMS assigns packaging volumetrically, so it will automatically use standard non-custom boxes for large orders that will not fit in the client-supplied custom packages.
Amplifier will use the custom package(s) as long as we have inventory of them. If we run out, we will automatically shift to generic packaging supplied by Amplifier at the rates in place for that client. That is, custom packaging does not hold up fulfillment unless the client separately and specifically requests a stop ship.
If Custom Packaging is not listed in your pricing schedule, please contact Client Service.
Amplifier can also pack ordered items in a particular way that is slightly more involved than simply using a custom shipping container. This work typically must be handled at a shipping station after all items have been picked. We refer to this service as Custom Presentation.
Rates for Custom Presentation are typically negotiated on a case-by-case basis because volume and complexity can differ considerably. They also require at least a one-year commitment with a monthly minimum of at least $1,000 per month in First Item Fulfillment charges.
Amplifier sometimes charges $1.25 for the first Custom Presentation item handled + $0.50 for each additional custom item handled. For example, for one ecommerce client we have used Custom Shipping Containers with a custom scarf (placed first in the bottom of the box and then wrapped around any picked inventory) and a custom chip clip (that clips the 4 corners of the scarf around the ordered items). This service would cost $1.25 + $0.50 + $0.50, or $2.25 per shipment. Neither the scarf nor the chip clip are considered Picked Items w/r/t Fulfillment Fees. Additional Fulfillment Fees would apply to all the items picked as part of the shipment, e.g. t-shirts or books or DVDs etc.
In addition, when Amplifier is asked to print a small card (separate from a custom message on a packing slip), this is sometimes handled at $2 per shipment. If that card must be placed in a custom envelope, then it might be charged $2 for the card + another $0.50 for the Custom Presentation item handled.
If Custom Presentation includes a custom shipping container, the volumetric containerization of our WMS can help assign Custom Presentation only to orders for which it fits. If Custom Presentation involves placing items in a custom gift box or bag which is then placed inside a different shipping container, the containerization rules may be trickier to apply.
For this and other reasons, please coordinate any desired Custom Presentation exercise with Client Service at least several weeks before a desired launch date and expect a smaller scale trial or pilot period for at least a couple weeks before full launch.
Outbound Value Added Service
Outbound Value Added Service refers to work requested for shipments that cannot be programmatized and thus falls outside of Custom Presentation. These may include:
- Item-based - Requests to perform item-based customization prior to shipping
- Shipment-based - Requests applicable to a particular shipment prior to shipping
- Order Source-based - Requests for changes based upon the Orders' source
Because these can vary greatly, Outbound Value Added Service requests needs to be reviewed by our operations and pricing must be determined.
Q4 Holiday Plans
If you have Custom Packaging or Custom Presentation plans for the Q4 holiday season, please contact Amplifier Client Service and share all pertinent details no later than October 1. Involving Amplifier Client Service by October 1 is particularly important for Custom Presentation and non-“Standard” Custom Packaging. Amplifier generally does not alter its packaging support or material flow during November and December given the annual holiday rush. We want to coordinate with you well in advance of this period.