Warehousing is one of the less-talked-about components of the supply chain process, but it’s one of the most important. The right warehouse can make your entire production and distribution strategy more efficient and convenient for your business.
Effective warehousing, inventory management, and distribution processes can increase productivity and lower costs.
The Importance of Warehousing in Your Supply Chain
Storing goods is a vital component of a smooth and efficient supply chain. Warehouses are places where raw materials, semi-finished, and finished products are stored and managed. That means that warehousing should be a priority in your entire business strategy.
Suppliers may own and operate their own warehouses or outsource the storage and/or distribution of their products to a third-party warehouse. There are two main types of warehouses, and the one you choose will impact its role in your supply chain:
- General warehouses store and protect your goods until you need them, typically for long-periods of time. These kinds of warehouses are commonly used to store seasonal products or large quantities of backup inventory. They typically offer limited handling and transportation services.
- Distribution warehouses offer a wider range of services, including options for short-term storage in addition to transportation, handling, and order-fulfillment and distribution services. Distribution warehouses play a unique role in a supply chain, handling every component of the process from the time a product arrives from a supplier to its delivery to a retailer or customer.
The Advantages of Warehousing
There are many benefits to incorporating warehousing into your supply chain process. Here are just a few:
Storing raw materials and products in a warehouse makes keeping track of and managing your inventory simple and easy. When you store semi-finished or finished products, warehousing also ensures that you always have adequate supply to meet demand, which allows you to more easily manage your levels of production.
Opportunities for Expansion
Outsourcing your storage and distribution to a warehouse means you can keep anything you don’t need immediately off-site. That means you’re not hindered by the need to store all of your materials and finished products at your manufacturing facility. As you grow, your inventory can grow with you without the constant need to buy more space.
Centralizing storage and distribution in one location by taking advantage of warehousing can lower your operation costs and increase profits. You need fewer employees, less equipment and technology, and fewer buildings, which will reduce the cost of utilities and transportation.
The right warehouse will increase the efficiency of your operations by offering flexible short- and long-term storage, fulfilling orders accurately and quickly, and making it easy for you to monitor your inventory data. These services all save you time and money, freeing you up to focus on what you do best.
You should never have to worry about your valuable materials or products being damaged, lost, or stolen. Keeping your goods in a warehouse minimizes the potential of inventory loss and transfers risk to the warehouse.
A good warehouse should offer reliable, 24-hour security to ensure your goods are stored safely. At Bridgetown Trucking, you can rest assured your inventory is secure in our warehouses, which are protected by state-of-the-art video monitoring, cell-connected security systems, and patrolled yards.
What to Look for in a Supply Chain Warehouse
You need to be able to rely on your warehouse to treat your inventory as if it were their own. Here’s what you should expect from a good supply chain warehouse:
- Order fulfillment and distribution: Third-party warehousing can increase the efficiency of your supply chain by not only storing your goods safely, but also fulfilling orders and distributing your products.
- Storage capabilities: Make sure the facility you select can accommodate your specific needs. For example, if you need to store imported goods, look for a customs bonded warehouse that can store your imported items until they’re inspected and released for delivery. If you need to store food products, you’ll want to find a licensed food grade warehouse that can safely store your items and meets FDA regulations.
- Security: Whether you’re storing raw materials or finished products, it’s important to look for a warehouse that has a robust security system with alarms, security cameras, and patrolled yards to ensure the protection of your valuable inventory from damage or theft.
- Inventory accountability: You should always have access to your inventory data and a good warehouse will provide you with inventory management technology that allows you to monitor the status of your goods in real time.
Looking to improve your supply chain with state-of-the-art warehousing and logistics?
Bridgetown Trucking offers a variety of services to help you streamline your operations, from warehousing, to transportation, to order fulfillment. With top-of the line security, detailed inventory management technology, and a dedication to efficiency and accountability, we offer unique warehousing solutions that can optimize your supply chain process.
Whether we’re storing, transporting, or delivering your goods, we always treat your items with the care and respect they deserve. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your supply chain and improve your logistics management in St. Louis or Portland.