Choosing a warehouse can be a difficult and confusing process especially when it involves perishables. It can be an overwhelming and confusing experience to sort through all the complicated lingo and sales pitches to determine which warehouses are genuinely a suitable fit for your organization.
This guide will undoubtedly assist you in your search for the ideal warehouse for your company.
What Is Warehousing?
Credit: WSI Supply Chain Solutions
Warehousing is a critical link in the retail industry. It refers to the storage of items in a secure and well-organized area before they are sold or shipped.
Warehouses help companies in properly storing products before shipping them to be delivered to customers. The warehouse staff organizes these items and keeps track of the following:
- The location of each item.
- When it was received.
- The number of products stored.
Retailers store their products in warehouses before transporting them to a physical location to be sold. Online store owners, on the other hand, store their products in warehouses and ship them directly to customers after an order is received.
What Are the Different Types of Warehouses?
Warehousing can take several forms, including the following:
Private Warehouses: These are warehouses that are owned by private companies and used to store their own products or equipment.
Public Warehouses: They are owned by the government. Private businesses can rent them to store their goods.
Co-Operative Warehouses: These are warehouses owned by a cooperative where commercial businesses can rent storage space.
Distribution Centers: Distribution facilities receive shipments of commodities and move them quickly from point A to point B.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Warehousing?
Credit: Food Logistics
Aside from product storage, warehousing has a number of benefits. These are some of them:
1) Warehousing Helps in Meeting Demand
One of the most significant advantages of storing food in a warehouse is that it allows the producer of these commodities to meet the needs of their customers, regardless of how urgent or large the order is. This not only assists you in meeting urgent demand for your products but also ensures that your customers' needs are satisfied on time, resulting in customer loyalty.
2) Warehousing Helps To Keep Your Goods Safe
Food warehousing protects your products from weather elements such as rain and high heat from the sun, which can damage your products if not addressed. It's only a matter of time until your food starts to go bad if it comes into contact with rainwater. Many individuals prefer to keep their perishables in warehouses because of this.
Food stored in a warehouse is also less likely to be stolen because most warehouses are heavily secured and monitored by cameras 24 hours a day.
3) Warehousing Prevents Your Food from Going Bad
Keeping your food safe from pests and preventing it from going bad is a huge difficulty in food storage, especially when it comes to perishables. This necessitates the use of warehouses for food storage.
With the use of refrigerators and cool rooms, warehouse storage ensures that your food does not rot while in storage, saving you money. While in storage, your products can be sun-dried and heated, and this extra service ensures that your food is safe to eat.
What To Look For When Selecting a Warehouse
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Shipments are delayed, products get spoilt, and delivered incompletely as a result of bad warehousing management. As a result, knowing what to look for when choosing a warehouse for your company is crucial.
1) Product Type
When selecting a warehouse, it is critical to evaluate the kind of products that will require storage. When storing perishable commodities, the warehouse may require an air-conditioned or cold storage facility. In some cases, a warehouse with heating capabilities may be required. With the right warehousing facilities, you can keep your products in good condition for longer periods of time, especially during off-seasons.
2) Warehouse Locations
When it comes to choosing a warehouse, location is crucial. To ensure timely and cost-effective deliveries, ensure that your warehouse business is located close to your customers.
Check transportation costs from the warehouse to the most typical ultimate destinations for your clients' orders before choosing a warehouse. You'll be able to fulfill (and even exceed!) your clients' expectations if you locate a warehouse in the proper area because you'll be able to deliver their purchases in a couple of hours or days. This will also reduce shipping costs.
3) Safe Storage
The warehouse space must be properly equipped to handle products with rigorous safety criteria, such as perishable food items. To ensure safe storage and handling, warehouses should include alarms, secured entrance, sprinklers, and risk management protocols, as well as the essential credentials, people, and equipment.
4) Warehouse Size
Does the warehouse have enough storage space? Is it sufficient to meet your existing storage requirements? Is it a co-located warehouse? Is it too big or too small? These are some of the questions you'll need to answer before choosing a warehouse. It's crucial to think about your future business potential as well as any additional storage you could need when your business grows. You should be able to expand warehouse space without a problem.
5) Experience of Warehouse Personnel
The warehouse space may be excellent, but without a reliable and experienced workforce, the entire warehouse facility maintenance process might fall apart. As a result, before choosing a warehouse, you must consider the experience of the warehouse personnel.
6) Availability and Efficiency of Warehouse Processes
Shipping, docking, picking, storing, and putting away are just a few of the processes that a warehouse must execute. It can be difficult to find a warehouse that offers all of these facilities in one location. As a result, you need to choose a warehouse that can provide you with the most features. In addition to having these warehousing services, the warehouse should be able to employ them efficiently.
Warehouses form a very important part of the supply chain network. Shipping carriers deliver products to warehouses and then pick up orders to ship to the consumer from there. The warehouse serves as a hub for both shipping and distribution. They are used for temporary storage prior to shipment to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers.