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Is a Public Warehouse Right For You?

Posted by Robin Siekerman on Jan 17, 2019

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If I’m a manufacturer or a distributor, how am I going to affordably store and distribute my goods to consumers? I need a warehouse facility that is capable of managing my inventory and shipping orders for on-time delivery to my customers. But do I want to invest in buildings, systems and hire employees to perform this function or do I want to let someone else do it for me? My main business is to distribute the most popular gadgets that improve the daily lives of my customers, and I want to be able to invest in enhancements to my gadgets that will keep my customers loyal to my company. What do I do?

There are three basic options for warehousing. You can invest in private warehouse operations on your own or secure public or contract warehouse services. There are many advantages of public warehousing. Public warehouses are open to multiple clients and are generally focused on storing goods with similar characteristics. For example, one public warehouse location may be mainly focused on handling food and consumer goods without any need for temperature control, while another is focused on the same for goods that need temperature control such as frozen foods. Some public warehouse companies are not food grade and handle roll paper, automobile parts, chemicals or agricultural products. So if you’re interested in utilizing public warehousing, you want to find a provider whose facility matches your storage needs. 

Public warehouses are scalable to meet your storage needs as your business needs change. That means that as your business grows, your public warehouse provider can grow with you. It also means that if your business experiences seasonal peaks in business that the warehouse facility is likely able to expand the amount of space you need for the seasonal period and contract when the season is over. This way you are only paying for the space you use when you use it. Multiple clients store their goods in public warehouses. Therefore, you benefit from shared resources. You only pay for the labor needed to perform the warehousing functions when the work is done. Service commitments are much shorter for public warehousing with agreements ranging from as short as thirty days.

You’ll want to find a public warehouse provider with a good warehouse management system. Inventory control is key to customer service success and without good systems to manage your inventory, your ability to meet your customers’ order requirements is at risk. In a public warehouse you will benefit from shared IT resources and technologies that improve the efficiency of operations and help manage product safety and control labor costs. Public warehouses generally have a combination of bins, rack and bulk storage to be able to accommodate a variety of customers who are shipping e-commerce and traditional retail. These operations are trained and equipped for handling individual piece picks, case picking and full pallet picking for small parcel, less-than-truckload and truckload orders.

For more information about the public warehousing locations of The Shippers Group, please contact us here. 

Topics: Warehousing, Insider