If you own an e-commerce business, picking the right warehouse is essential. The stock that you keep at a warehouse plays a considerable role in your success. As such, it is important to find a warehouse that can store your products and goods safely before they can be shipped to your customers. The process of securing the right warehouse provider can be confusing and overwhelming especially if it is your first time. You need to find a warehouse provider that is reliable and capable of meeting the needs of your business.
Tips for picking the right warehouse
Consider the needs of your business
In order to find the right warehouse for you, you need to secure one that is best suited to your business. Although a warehouse is designed to hold your stock, you also need to look further at any additional services that the warehouse can provide to make your job easier. Some of the questions that you need to ask yourself include:
- Is the layout of the warehouse good enough to handle the way that you operate your business?
- Can the warehouse handle over seized pallets?
- Is the warehouse large enough to offer sufficient storage space for the growth of your business?
The warehouse that you pick should be able to reduce any logistical burdens that you may have so that your deliveries can be made on time. When asking about a warehouse’s storage capacity, don’t just ask if they have available space. Instead be specific and find out how much space presently available will be offered to you. Find out also if the warehouse anticipates any expansions in the future that can accommodate possible growth.
The location matters
The location of your warehouse is a prime factor when it comes to picking the right warehouse for your needs. Where the warehouse is located geographically will play an essential role in how you run your business. You want to pick a warehouse that is centrally located so that your workers can pick goods easily when they are ordered by your customers. Furthermore, the location of your warehouse will determine how easily you will receive goods from your suppliers and how effectively you can distribute them to your customers.
If yours is a small start-up business, it is generally advisable to select a warehouse that is in close proximity to your headquarters. Alternatively, if yours is a large business operation, you will need to investigate whether the warehouse’s location is capable of meeting your regional demand.
The cost of renting
Obviously, every business wants to curtail its spending and save money. However, when you are looking for a warehouse, the price should not be your biggest consideration. Keep in mind that just because a warehouse is cheap does not always mean its better and vice versa. Remember to factor in your spending for receiving and delivering goods before making your final decision.
The right warehouse is easily accessible
Any warehouse that you are thinking of contracting for your business should be easily accessible especially from all major highway routes and road arteries. Additionally, if you need to store perishable items before transport, you want to ensure that the warehouse is situated in a traffic free zone so that your goods are not damaged en route.
The warehouse’s client profile
Make sure you ask the warehouse provider how many clients the warehouse works with. Also be sure to find out the total square footage occupied by some of the clients. If the warehouse incapable of handling a large number of clients, it may be a sure sign that the warehouse does not have the experience or the square footage required to attract large companies.
Please note that a small warehouse is not necessarily a bad thing. If you run a small business operation, you may be better off working with a small warehouse provider instead of a large one because it is more likely to offer you personalized service.
Be sure to find out the year that the warehouse was established to make sure that it is a wonderful balance of age, which shows that the warehouse has survived hardships and modern technology that can enable efficiency. A warehouse that is too old can imply antiquated processes while one that is too new can mean that the warehouse is still figuring it all out. You should also investigate the type of goods that the factory has experience with. For example, if you are storing food in the warehouse, you should look for a warehouse that can meet strict food grade requirements.
Does the warehouse have established processes in place to ensure that inbound and outbound traffic is managed effectively? How many doors does the warehouse have? Do they offer additional services such as packaging, labeling, inspections, inventory or dispatch?
It is very important for a warehouse to invest in quality technology that can make operations effective. The technology used in warehouse includes warehouse management systems, advanced robotics, web-based platforms that you can access, and so on. It is also essential to ask what type of handling equipment or machinery that the warehouse uses to minimize human error when loading or offloading freight trucks.
Picking the right warehouse for your needs requires that you conduct your research so that you can select a warehouse that matches your needs. If you are still overwhelmed and do not know how to get started, let Sidoman help. Our group of experts has years of experience in warehousing and everything that comes with freight forwarding. Get in touch with us and we will help you figure out the best solution for your warehousing needs.