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Every warehouse is different. Coming up with a successful strategy for your facility all depends on the needs of your clients and potential business partners. There were 18,741 total warehouses in the U.S. in 2019, so the competition can be stiff. You have to find a way to leverage your existing resources while outperforming the competition at every turn. Here are just some of the warehouse distribution services that may be right for your business based on the current landscape.
Reliable, Safe Shipping and Storage
This is the bread and butter of most warehouses. Some facilities focus more on storage while hiring a third-party logistics provider to handle the shipping, but doing both can put you at an advantage in the industry. When offering these services to potential clients, you need to show them that you will handle their merchandise with care. Your facility should be able to handle a wide range of products and goods, including smaller items, rare or fragile goods or even temperature-sensitive items like food and medicine.
When it comes to shipping and storage, the main goal is to protect the item in question. Use industrial metal storage bins to keep your inventory secure as it moves from one destination to another. They protect against the elements and turbulence that could put your products at risk. Unlike a cardboard box, the metal bin will safeguard the contents from everyday drops and spills. Find the fastest, cheapest way to move your products around without putting these items in harm’s way.
Speed should be top of mind when configuring the space. Before you start setting up racks and aisles for your products, learn how to organize a warehouse based on the latest industry trends. Your team should have plenty of room to move around without putting themselves in danger. Use lift trucks and hand carts to reduce the physical demands of the job. Your workers can move large quantities of goods without breaking their backs in the process.
Product picking tends to be the most expensive, time-consuming aspect of the order fulfillment process. If your workers can’t find what they need on the shelf, there’s a good chance these orders won’t go out on time. Use a cost minimization model for warehouse distribution systems to come up with the ideal layout for your space. Keep the most popular products close to the loading dock to keep your inventory moving.
It’s also a good idea to keep your inventory visible to further reduce picking times. Use industrial wire baskets to store large items. Your workers will be able to see the contents from several yards away so they can find what they need in record time.
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To gain a foothold in the local warehousing industry, use an automated warehouse management system (WMS) to better track incoming orders and packages. The system will automatically scan packages and goods as they go out for delivery and come into the warehouse. Your employees won’t have to worry about picking the wrong product. The screen will show them whether they grabbed the right item for less confusion on the floor. This also makes it easy to analyze your operations over the long-term. You can go back and search for missing items or late deliveries to see what went wrong. Everything you could ever want to know about your business will be right in the palm of your hand.
Once you start collecting data on your operations, you can start analyzing the success of your warehouse. Identify key performance indicators, such as the average cost per order, time to fulfillment or delivery timeline, and look for ways to improve these statistics. Potential business partners will want to see these numbers before requesting your services, so make sure your warehouse can compete with the best of the best. You may decide to add new technology, adjust the layout of your products or change the overall nature of your business as you learn more about your operations.
Succeeding in the warehouse business takes time. Use these tips to follow the trends and find the right distribution services for your business.