The warehouse industry was always considered very safe and open for newcomers. The volume of various goods being traded all around the world is, generally speaking, on the rise. All these items need to be moved around and stored somewhere. But, despite the favorable climate, the warehouse market is not without its obstacles and the harsh competition present in the entry segments doesn’t make this story any easier for aspiring entrepreneurs. As you go through the process, you will find that the 3PL warehouse management software is among the best and most effective for this type of task.
In other words, the necessity for careful planning and prudent business moves is just as present as in any other competitive industry. Let’s see if we can cast some light on this issue.
Put more effort into inventory management
Proper inventory management is one of the biggest challenges of overall warehouse management. Even so, performing this difficult task correctly ensures that the stock is monitored properly, helps owners maximize the available storage space, lowers the overhead costs, and what’s most important, saves time. All these things make one business existing in the industry where maneuvering space is pretty limited and there’s a greater need for efficiency. The key, of course, lies in trained staff, proper labeling, good arrangement, adaptable layouts, and cross-docking.
Own the best tools in the industry
By tools, we don’t exclusively mean the physical industrial tools used to relocate the stock around the premises, although they are crucial for achieving the necessary level of productivity. In this case, we mostly refer to the WMS (Warehouse Management Systems) design to address numerous tiresome tasks like scheduling, stock planning, labor allocation, inventory management, customer service, etc. Although these duties can be assigned to human labor, the lost time, productivity, and efficiency will put your business behind the competitors.
Take care of the lighting
The way your premises are lit may seem like a negligible entry on the list of requirements you need to check to ensure optimal work conditions, but this assumption can’t be further from the truth. Dated lighting systems ramp up energy bills, produce excessive heat, require expensive maintenance, and finally need to be refreshed very frequently. When combined, these mentions put quite a heavy pressure on an average SMB budget. Fortunately, the simple solution to this common problem can be found in the widespread usage of industrial luminaires that feature none of the aforementioned issues.
Pay attention to the staff and labor management
Staff and labor usually account for 50% of the costs of an average warehouse business. By looking at things from this perspective, we can easily observe that labor-management is an issue that requires a far closer examination than we usually like to admit. Of course, part of these challenges can be addressed by the WMS systems we have mentioned above. The rest of the tasks largely boil down to timely HR actions, collection, analytics of relevant data (received tasks, inventory handled, cases unloaded per hour, etc.), and honing of standardized processes.
Don’t neglect the marketing
The warehouse industry is largely driven by necessity – potential customers will opt for your services or choose to ignore them based on several parameters that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your portfolio (e.g., location). That, however, doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to edge out local competitors with proven marketing tactics like referral programs, social media engagement, SEO, content marketing, and blogging. Combined with attractive pricing and loyalty programs, these assets can do a lot to help you grow out of the local anonymity.
Follow the latest warehouse and supply trends
Although they might give a stale and monolithic impression at first glance, the warehouse and supply industries are in a state of constant flux. These changes are usually dictated by the type and the volume of the items that are being moved and followed by the adaptation of the warehouse layouts and refinement of standardized warehouse processes. If you want to stay on top of the game, you need to be aware of these trends and be able to process the type of goods currently in demand. Getting in touch with high-end suppliers can provide you with some valuable insights into the matter.
Get in touch with high-end suppliers
Last but not least, we would like to point out that establishing a firm relationship with local and nation-wide suppliers is not useful only for collecting the info about the current freight manifests. Finding the allies in this complementary industry opens the doors for joint marketing actions builds a mutually beneficial business relationship (guaranteed storage space vs. guaranteed influx of goods), and gives you an advantage over the competitors that are still working independently. The wider the network of your associates is, the better.
We hope these few tips gave you some general idea about the methods you can use to put your warehouse company on a healthy foundation and, hopefully, grow a nationwide enterprise. This business sector is generally considered to be safe and open to newcomers. That, on the other hand, doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in some effort to succeed. Now, you know where to start.
About the author: Mike Johnston is an avid blogging enthusiast and experienced freelance writer. He’s a regular contributor to numerous online publications, where he writes about business, finance, technology, and management.