Every potential successful business has a robust supply chain. But this element is not complete without the availability of warehousing. This factor is the central point on which other components are hinged, including inventory management and product/service delivery. All through the years, the fundamentals of warehouse storage has remained the same.
Surprisingly, it is a different ball game for various solutions that address this platform. What has changed? It is worth noting that new technologies and strategies have changed the way businesses handle warehouse logistics. In today’s world, warehousing is not limited to just storing goods in a contained environment. It is more than that. And this guide is the key to unveiling this business-changing element.
What Is Warehouse Storage?
On a basic level, warehousing is the storage of tangible items before sales or distribution. It includes the presence of a secured building or an enclosed environment, which serves as a warehouse. With this structure in place, it is easy for operators and other authorized personnel to track and monitor the inflow and outflow of physical goods. But this is not done manually, not anymore – thanks to the evolution of technology. Assigned workers can identify the type of product available, its quantity, and many more.
In the eCommerce world, the warehouse serves as a holding facility for goods, pending when they are ordered. Once, a customer places an order, the product leaves the vicinity, bound to the individual’s pickup location. Established companies have a warehouse management system that keeps track of item availability and movement. For start-ups, having a gigantic storage building may not be mandatory.
Often, upcoming business individuals use their offices or homes as a storage location for products. Others may resort to renting storage space or hiring a third-party logistics company until they come up with better warehousing solutions as their businesses expand overtime.
The Financial Implications of Running A Warehouse
Operating a warehouse is no walk in the park, as it is with running a business. Several factors come into play, which can influence business flow. In identifying the cost of owning and running warehouse storage, the following key points become indispensable:
- The yearly cost per square foot for the storage facility’s space
- The hourly rate of warehousing operators
- The annual maintenance cost of a warehouse management system
- The annual pay of storage management staff
- The business profit
The average cost a business owner is meant to foot in terms of space is $7.79 per square foot. Operators’ hourly rate sits at an average cost of $13.32. The storage management staff may have an average annual take-home pay of $50,524. These figures are not exact and are subject to change, depending on several factors, including corporate profit.
Managing A Warehouse
Warehousing storage management tends to come with several undertakings. Business owners have to secure their goods, preserve them under the right climate condition, and optimize space to accommodate enough items. Even though the business operation counts in creating seamless logistics, the warehouse layout also plays a significant role as well, especially in the area of inventory. It is easy to monitor items in a well-designed warehouse, compared to a poorly constructed one.
Business representatives can take stock of products for shipping, address logistics requirements, and even perform inventory control, including cold storage.
Merits of Operating Warehouse Storage
Several benefits come with owning and operating a warehouse. They include the following:
- The constant flow of items: Not all items undergo year-round production. What does this mean? For example, perishable goods have specific harvest seasons, in which they are produced en masse. These products need an adequate storage system that makes them deliverable at any time of the year. A robust warehouse provides a platform for food delivery.
- Protection and preservation of items. Warehouses are not just there to keep the constant flow of goods, they serve as protective and preservative mechanisms to ensure that such items are intact. As such, even when there is no order, the goods are in one piece. This platform helps business owners to curb wastage, resulting from spoilage, deterioration, and poor handling.
- Accessible location. In most cases, warehouses are close to road, rail, and waterway networks. Hence, manufacturers can easily convey raw materials from their sources to the storage facility. But that is not all. Such proximity reduces transportation cost, saving the business more money in production.
- Adequate handling. In recent times, warehouses come with technological machines that aid material handling. Manual labour is almost non-existent in this area. Heavy-duty tools and appliances are available to load and unload heavy and bulky items. This implementation reduces handling costs and wastage incurred from poor handling.
- A great platform for start-ups. Upcoming business persons need not worry about investing heavily in constructing a mega storage facility at the early stage. Third-party logistics companies are available to take the burden off one’s shoulders. By paying a small fee, manufacturers can preserve their raw and finished goods.
- Increased employment rate. Warehouse storage tends to create more job opportunities for individuals. Both skilled and unskilled personnel can contribute to the success logistics operation of a business. This platform provides a win-win situation for both employers (manufactures and business owners) and employees. The former enjoy more revenue, while the latter gets a steady income.
- Improved product sales. Before a good leaves the warehouse, it undergoes various checkpoints – inspection, grading, branding, packaging, and labelling. All these activities are possible in a warehouse and with the right team. Once a customer has placed an order, the company can easily transfer product ownership to the buyer. This process involves the transfer of the warehouse custodian’s warrant.
- It curbs loss. A warehouse is not just a structure. This facility comes with the right security and safe-keeping systems to ensure that goods are not missing, stolen, spoilt, or damaged. There are precautionary measures and contingency plans in place to address any circumstances.
- It provides a gateway to business financing. Business owners can easily get monetary assistance from financial institutions, against the security of their keeper’s warrant.
Warehouse storage provides business owners with the platform to undertake warehouse management and inventory management. It implies that they can store inventory, distribute goods, ship and receive items, and manage returns. Every serious business owner needs a warehouse to ensure smooth business operations, especially when the business process involves the buying and selling of items.