The right warehouse can be the difference between an efficient supply chain and a logistics black hole. If your products are high value or liable to damage or theft, then your business must rely on a supply chain solution that minimises loss.
Here are five important criteria for choosing a warehouse:
- Location. The location of your stock affects accessibility. A warehouse in the Highlands of Scotland wouldn’t be suitable if most of your orders go to addresses in London.
- Security. Theft from warehouses is a real threat. Choose a warehouse with CCTV, security staff and body scanners.
- Safety. Many warehouses operate according to targets of speed. If pallets are moved too quickly and too often, there is a risk of damage to stock or injury to personnel
- Skills. Have you seen the staff in the warehouse? Do they operate in a professional manner?
- Value. Whilst pricing shouldn’t be your main concern when it comes to looking after your stock, make sure it’s priced appropriately
The facility itself needs to be appropriate for the products you wish to store. There are very few items that are not susceptible to damage or theft. It is not only the value of the items that is lost when stock is written off. Orders that are delayed or shipped incomplete have a business relationship cost. Do you want your reputation with a big customer to be that of an unreliable shipper?
Some companies use a warehouse matching service to help find the right warehouse for the requirements and restrictions of their company. Any business relationship is the result of two parties finding a common ground where supply, demand and value work for both. Such brokerage services are funded by the selling party, so the company looking for warehousing wouldn’t need to pay.