Warehousing is a tough market. Right now,businesses are struggling to find warehouse space around the world. The supply chain has probably been in the news more in the last six months than in the previous five years combined. That’s because there have been significant issues with the overall supply chain for months now. From a lack of space in warehouses to backups at the ports, it’s been a nightmare for businesses and consumers alike. When you run a business, you want things to go smoothly. One way to do that is by investing in inventory management software that enables business owners to manage, track, and optimize their entire warehouse stock all at the same time.
Businesses for decades would need to own or rent warehouse space. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Thankfully there are more packaged solutions these days, including things like public warehouse spaces. This allows you to hand over this part of your business to someone else to handle in part or entirely, depending on your needs.
First, let’s talk about what the role of warehousing is in supply chain management.
The entire goal of a supply chain management system is to ensure that a product goes through production to consumption smoothly without interruption. That means it starts when the product is being produced and goes all the way to the final delivery of the product to either the shelves of stores or to the customer.
The first step is procuring the materials. Raw materials are delivered to the manufacturer. After the product has been manufactured, it has to go somewhere for storage. That’s warehousing, and picking the right warehouse might be the difference between a successful business and one that fails.
Location, Location, Location
When they say location is everything, they really aren’t kidding.When trying to find a warehouse,the location is the primary concern. When you’re discussing this with your logistics management company, things that you want to ask include questions on how close it is to something like ports?If you are shipping items internationally,you do not want to take longer than necessary to get things from the warehouse to the port.
Another primary thing to consider is how close it is to a major highway or airport? Suppose the price is excellent, but it’s a hundred or more miles away from any significant mode of transportation. In that case, the savings won’t be worth the problems it will cause you down the road.
Your objective is to ensure that your product gets from the warehouse to the customer in the fastest manner possible. So if you have to pay a little more for a prime location, it can be worth it in the long run rather than having the distance interrupt the distribution of your product.
Everything to do with warehousing and logistics is about keeping things moving and moving smoothly.
What Services are Included in the Cost of Warehousing?
Next, you want to consider what type of warehousing package you need. Some offer nothing more than storage. That means you’re getting the bare bones a place to keep your products.
Some warehousing packages also have requirements that you must meet, such as having a specific number of goods stored at all times and for a set length of time.
One type of warehousing available is public warehousing. In general public warehouses do not have minimum requirements for how much you need to store or how long you need to keep it. They’re generally just a space rented out to companies for storage and distribution needs. These may or may not offer other distribution assistance, so be sure to check into it before you make any agreement.
Packing services and repacking services are another way your business may be able to speed up your distribution process. Some warehousing solutions also come with fulfillment services. They will take care of the packing and shipping of your product. Just be sure that they can meet any demands your business may need. You also want to know how long their turnaround time is on the packaging and shipping portion of their services. You don’t want to end up with disappointed customers because they can’t meet the needs of your business.
Inventory control is another service that is often offered by warehouses. This means that the warehouse will offer to help manage the inventory of a business.
Another thing to look for when choosing which warehousing space is right for your business is their security. Many offer 24-hour security services like gated entry and security cameras, ensuring that your product will be guarded.
From Small To Large Warehousing Services can Be a Huge Benefit
Megacorporations have known for years that access to warehouse storage is critical to a successful business. They’ve also had access to these types of services for decades, having the capital to invest in owning their own storage facilities.
However, warehousing can be necessary for many midsized businesses all the way down to small businesses that have outgrown their own spaces. One of the best ways to go about this is to work with a company that offers warehousing, logistics, and distribution options for your smaller business. This can be a massive help with a challenging to navigate a portion of the business world.
Whether you are business to business or business to customer, small or large, there are warehousing solutions that will help you grow your company and keep your customers happy.
These companies understand the ins and outs of international shipments and the different types of warehousing spaces available. They also understand what serviceseach type of warehousing space can offer, from just storage to those that do part of the distribution process. They can help businesses understand what services they actually need vs. what services are available.
Remember that it’s okay to ask questions when working with one of these companies. They have likely helped hundreds of other businesses get started. They’ll be ready to answer your questions and guide you to a warehousing distribution and supply chain management plan that will suit your individual business.