Warehousing isn’t just one step in your supply chain. It’s an entire industry employing an estimated 3.4 million American workers.
Why does this matter to your business? It indicates that you have plenty of warehouses to choose from and that you should make your choice carefully.
What should you take into consideration when choosing a warehouse? How can you find the best of the best in the vast warehousing industry?
Read on to learn more in our brief guide that makes choosing a warehouse simple.
Location and Access
The easiest way to narrow down your initial warehouse choices is by narrowing down acceptable warehouse locations. Ideally, you want a warehouse that is centrally located between your production site and customer base. If you have to choose one over the other, pick a warehouse that’s close to your customer base to ensure quick shipping.
Access can also play a key role in things like shipping times. You want a warehouse that has good highway interconnectivity. You may also want to consider things like road clearance (do they plow after a snowfall?) and traffic patterns.
When you’re establishing a reliable supply chain for your products, consolidation is ideal. In other words, you don’t want to contract tons of different companies to take care of each individual step in your supply chain. Instead, look for companies that have diverse and versatile capabilities that can take over more than one job.
What does a warehouse with diverse and versatile capabilities offer? For starters, they may offer a wide range of storage solutions beyond the typical warehouse layout. This ensures that all of your products, regardless of necessary storage conditions, will remain in good condition while warehoused.
In addition, many warehouses now offer shipping and delivery services, as well. This not only cuts down on the contractors you need to keep track of but also makes it easier to track your inventory and catch mistakes early on.
Experience and Employees
Warehousing requires experience and expertise. As you look into choosing a warehouse, take a look at the operational dates of any warehouses you’re considering. What you want to find is a warehouse that has been in use for several years but continues to update its technology and practices.
In addition, take a look at the employee base. Are they full-time or contracted? Many warehouses are opting for a contractor model that saves money but doesn’t guarantee the best care.
Regardless of the status of the employees, one thing is always true: a large warehouse should have a large employee force. Make sure there are enough employees to keep up with the demands of the warehouse before adding it to your supply chain.
Choosing a Warehouse Takes Careful Consideration
It’s easy to assume that all warehouses are alike. However, the warehousing industry is vast and it’s important to take your time when choosing a warehouse.
Technology is rapidly changing the way we run businesses and complete supply chains. Take a look at our tech content to find out what’s happening in this fast-paced world.