Warehousing is a vital part of the supply chain and can be an invaluable asset to your business. So, it is important to ensure that your external warehouse and distribution supports your business effectively. There are a few things that you need to consider to get this right.
Successful businesses may find that in-house order fulfilment is no longer possible due to a requirement for increased storage capacity. Commercial warehousing offers excellent locations, simplifies distribution logistics and could be just the solution you’re looking for.
Where does warehousing fit within the supply chain?
A great external warehouse will have expertise in storing and organising your stock safely. This may sound simple, but warehousing is at the centre of the distribution network and is incredibly important.
Warehouses are often responsible for distribution or have a distribution partner. Therefore, they are located strategically to provide access to major trade routes so you can ship products and materials anywhere in the world.
What are the benefits of outsourcing your warehouses?
Warehouse and distribution partners are a great solution if you do not have your own storage solution. Alternatively, your business may experience seasonally fluctuating stock levels, or you are a growing business that requires more space than offered by your own warehouses.
Outsourcing to a third-party warehouse is an excellent way to store and distribute your products. However, the right distribution partner for your business can provide many more benefits than you might expect.
Manage high-volume online orders
Warehouse and distribution partners remove the stress of managing your stock and orders. Receiving a very high volume of orders could lead to mistakes such as slower shipping or incorrect orders.
Distribution services have an expert team equipped to handle large volumes of orders. This means that no matter the volume, orders can be packed and delivered quickly and accurately to meet customer expectations.
Fast shipping, which meets client expectations, will increase sales for your business. Consistent, quick shipping can strengthen customer relationships, leading these customers to buy from your company repeatedly.
As well as improving your customer relationships, outsourcing to a third-party logistics service allows you the freedom to scale up or down in response to market fluctuations and seasonality. This ensures you have enough stock available to meet increased demand in busy months, and you can save money by scaling down for quieter months.
Resilient supply chains
Logistics services streamline your supply chain by using a combination of SOPs, technology, and automation. This reduces the likelihood of mistakes and allows problems to be addressed and solved swiftly, maintaining consumer confidence as they still receive their order on time.
An expert distribution service requires infrastructure and equipment, which your business may not have access to. Your distribution partner should possess the following:
- Suitable warehousing space
- Warehouse equipment
- Free packing supplies
- Inventory management tools, e.g. barcodes and scanners
- Automatic order processing and inventory updates
- Real-time inventory tracking capabilities
These facilities allow for efficient storage and distribution, saving your business time and money.
This is because you do not have to spend money on increasing your own warehouse space, purchasing additional equipment, management software, recruitment and labour or liability insurance. You also save massive amounts of time as you do not have to arrange distribution or build fulfilment infrastructure. Instead, you can use your time and money on marketing or developing new and existing products.
When would it be beneficial for your business to have a warehousing partner?
Now that you understand the significance of warehousing and distribution services, how can you decide whether your business should invest in commercial warehousing? Here are some factors to consider which suggest it is the right time for your company to seek a logistics partner:
Your business is growing
When your business started, storing and distributing yourself was relatively easy. However, as your business becomes more successful, this approach becomes limiting. Now you have perfected your products, are fully stocked up, your website is live, and your order volume has increased rapidly, it is time to start looking at your logistics solution.
You need to ship internationally
International shipping can be costly and time-consuming. You have to consider import duties, customs, regulations and more. Distribution partners are familiar with the complexities of international shipping and can provide you with strategies to ensure quick, cost-effective global distribution.
Your current shipping is slow
Most customers and suppliers need fast delivery to keep up with demand, so you will likely receive complaints if orders are delayed. To retain customer loyalty, it is imperative that shipping is quick and reliable. Distribution services offer businesses of all sizes options to achieve this shipping standard affordably.
You require better supply chain logistics
Commercial warehouses are a terrific way to avoid potential errors such as accidentally miscounting inventory, which could cause significant problems and lead customers to receive their orders late.
Partnering with a warehousing and distribution partner means you can access knowledge and technology to streamline your supply chain. Many warehouses can automate the order fulfilment process and offer real-time inventory tracking. This streamlines your workflow, reduces the likelihood of errors and ultimately improves customer satisfaction.
Keeping your assets safe with secure warehousing
Commercial warehouses are designed with security in mind. They often feature 24/7 CCTV, secure perimeter fencing, regular inventory checks and onsite security to keep your products safe.
It is imperative that when choosing your warehousing provider, you check what security measures they have in place.
GWS, as well as providing all of the above, operates with a state-of-the-art fire detection system to protect your goods from fire risks. We also have the latest cloud-based WMS to help you keep control of your stock.
Choose the right warehousing and distribution service for your business
The perfect warehousing and distribution service should communicate with you regularly, offer support, resolve issues and effectively store, handle and transport your products.
GWS, Global Warehousing & Storage, has 23 acres of secure warehouses and external storage spaces within 1 mile of Immingham Port. Quick transportation of goods is simple and efficient and can reach 75% of the UK within 2 hours. GWS’s site also provides international access.
GWS will also supply you with a bespoke cloud-based warehouse management system to receive live updates on your stock. In 2022, GWS achieved a 0% loss record while distributing over 100,000 pallets across the UK.