If you run an ecommerce business, you'll need a warehouse to store your goods before selling them to potential customers. Warehousing is a key element of an e-commerce business; no wonder many e-commerce business owners sweat over choosing one for their business.
While the right warehouse can save you money, boost productivity, and make customers happy, the opposite can make you lose customers, plummet your productivity, and ultimately ruin your business.
Here are some factors that will guide you when selecting the right warehouse for your business.
The warehouse location is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a warehouse for your business.
How close is the warehouse to the region you intend to serve? It’s important you store your products close to the area of your target customers. For instance, if your target market is businesses in Illinois, you should get an Illinois distribution center for the sake of proximity.
In addition to the proximity to your customers, you should also consider its closeness to courier companies. How close is the warehouse to courier companies? If it's not close enough, you'll lose money on transport and vice versa.
Warehouses store various products, ranging from perishable goods, conventional goods, non-standard sized goods, special goods, hazardous materials, flammable products, etc. Before selecting a warehouse, you need to determine if its facility is well-suited to handle your products.
Do you sell flammable materials like deodorant, cooking oil, paper, hand sanitiser, or plastics? You must ensure that the selected warehouse has facilities to accommodate such materials. The same applies if you sell frozen or refrigerated items. In that case, the warehouse should have functional and adequate cold storage in place.
You need a handful of workers in your warehouse to ensure that things are up and running. But, finding the right workers may be difficult if the warehouse you choose is located in a remote area.
Of course, choosing a remote warehouse could save you money. But how do you find the best workforce for your warehouse needs In such a location? How do you find workers skilled in inputting data into software systems, scanning, and processing stock products, performing inventory controls, etc.?
To ensure your warehouse has the workforce it needs to function optimally, you need to research the area you are considering. Dig into the general education and skill level of individuals in the area. Plus, find out how many qualified workers are in the area, including any competing businesses close by that may reduce the available workforce capacity.
Warehouse theft is rampant. Unfortunately, it is an issue that doesn’t often make the headlines like cybercrime, bank robberies, and other related theft cases. In fact, according to a warehouse theft stats by loss prevention magazine, cargo theft is a $15-$30 billion problem annually in the U.S.
So to ensure you don't lose your investments to thieves, you need to get a warehouse that boasts top-notch security. The warehouse should have modern alarm systems and video cameras to prevent theft and break-ins. It should also have well-guarded entries and exits, including staff dedicated to monitoring surveillance systems.
A warehouse is an important extension of your business. Thus it's important that you take your time to choose one that'll contribute to the success of your business. The goal is to select a warehouse that helps you cut costs, boost productivity, make the delivery chain seamless, and make your customers happy.
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