Do you need help managing your incoming or outgoing inventory? Then start taking advantage of modern options like outsourcing your warehousing. What is warehousing, and what can it offer you? Learn more with this short guide to this potential money-saving resource.
What Is Warehousing?
At its most basic, warehousing is simply the act of storing goods in bulk between the point of receipt and the point of shipping. Many businesses keep some sort of warehouse within their own property, but outsourced warehousing services use bulk to their advantage.
With a warehousing service, your goods are stored along with many other clients’ in large, specialized storage facilities. These services receive shipments, organize them for storage, maintain them in proper condition, and send them out as you request. Warehouse providers offer standard facilities as well as targeted storage options for more sensitive inventory.
Is Warehousing Just Storage?
As the warehousing service has grown as part of the logistics industry, it has expanded the services offered. Many warehouses provide fulfillment. They process your orders and send them to customers. A warehouse may even offer a more detailed service that separates out items in your shipments and sends them on to various recipients.
Along with preparation and shipping, a warehouse provider may be able to take on various inventory-related tasks. For instance, your logistics partner may do the work of transferring goods between modes of transportation (known as cross docking) or even doing the final assembly of smaller goods into larger units for sale.
How Can You Use Warehousing?
Warehousing can benefit your business both before and after products are produced. A business might store extra supplies and ingredients that will eventually be made into their own products. This can reduce breaks in the supply chain by creating a buffer between what you need right now and what you have on hand. It can also help a business scale up their supplies in preparation for seasonal production.
On the other end of the chain, many businesses — particularly those selling business to business — use warehousing to store finished inventory before it’s sent to customers. Because warehouses often provide fulfillment of orders as well, they can handle everything once the product has been made. This includes tracking it, storing it, preparing it for shipment, sending it to customers, and even dealing with returns.
Does Warehousing Save Money?
Of course, your company will pay for these services. Does that mean, though, that it’s not a cost-effective strategy? For many small businesses, it does save significant money. How?
First, you no longer have to pay the overhead to maintain your own inventory. The cost of outsourcing may be less than the cost of leasing or buying space, paying warehouse employees, securing inventory, insuring it, and shipping items at your own negotiated rates. You also save time and money in the administration of inventory, shipping, and receiving processes.
In addition, logistics providers have the training, experience, and a large network on their side. They can negotiate better rates for shipping and labor than most small companies. They use state-of-the-art inventory processes. And by grouping customers together, more clients share the cost of a single service — from warehouse space to inventory management to room on the trucks.
Where Can You Learn More?
Do you think that a warehousing facility might be able to help you save money and time? If so, start by learning more about all the options available to you. Tri Star Freight System, Inc., is a full-service logistics provider that can assist with all your warehouse and transportation needs. Call today to speak with our experienced team.