Warehousing is an essential service that allows businesses to manage the distribution of goods to consumers. Nevertheless, warehousing involves more than just the holding of goods in a storage facility. Here are some of the other services offered by most warehousing firms:
A firm that runs a warehouse could offer order fulfillment services to its clients. This includes order processing, packaging and labeling, and shipment. Businesses use order fulfillment to reduce operational costs associated with running own infrastructure, focus on core functions, as well as reach consumers across multiple channels.
Businesses can use warehousing services to control inventory. For example, a company can utilize warehouse cycle counts to analyze delivery of goods to consumers. Armed with this information, the same company could take steps to improve its cycle count. Inventory control also makes it easy for companies to eliminate and reduce receiving errors. A good example of a receiving error is any product that employees receive and fail to label. If another employee is sent to retrieve the same product, he/she may pick a different one.
Contract warehousing is a service given to companies desiring to establish distribution centers in certain regions. This means a business can set up a warehouse facility overnight and start delivering goods to consumers within a few days. This service can span several months or years. It is popular with startups and businesses experiencing fast growth. Such companies may lack the financial resources to set up their own warehouses. In addition, building a warehouse from the ground up takes time. In today’s competitive business environment, businesses must reach their consumers as fast as possible before competitors infiltrate the same niche.
In simple terms, cross docking allows clients to route products from one or multiple manufacturing sites to a strategically located distribution center. In most cases, these centers are located near end consumers. When goods arrive from manufacturing centers, they are deconsolidated (broken down) into multiple shipments and then delivered to consumers. This service makes financial sense to manufacturers who do not have the physical space, equipment, and labor required to undertake special order fulfillment. This is in addition to manufacturers who require unloading and merging of bulk shipments.
A warehousing firm can also offer transport services to its clients. Depending on a client’s needs, this could include ocean, rail, road, or air transport services. Some of the companies that offer this service allow their clients to track movement of goods from one location to another in real¬-time. This service can make the difference between success and failure of a small business or startup.
Transloading is the transfer of goods from one mode of transport to another, for instance, the transfer of goods from a truck to an airplane. Some warehouse firms provide this service to their clients.
In conclusion, warehousing firms generally offer essential services to businesses that deliver physical goods to consumers. Some of these services include transloading, order fulfillment, inventory control, cross docking, and transport.