03 March 2017

Why Your Warehouse Is More Important Than You Think

To most minds, a warehouse is just a space to store finished products before they’re shipped or moved to customers. While that is a somewhat accurate description, it doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

Warehouses have a crucial role to play in maximising organisational efficiency, and in turn, revenue. They have perhaps the biggest role in the supply chain, and the management of your warehouse can have a significant impact on your bottom line – so it really does pay to give it the attention it deserves.

A worthy investment

There are many ways for businesses to boost profits – marketing, increasing scale and introducing new products are three popular methods. Increasingly, though, companies are focusing on their warehouses; tweaking processes, expanding picking teams and even opening more space in their attempts to meet demand and get ahead of the competition.

Online retailers in particular are carrying this trend – Amazon, for example, has 12 fulfilment centres in the UK alone, covering more than five million square feet. Realising the importance of effective warehousing, the company has invested more than £4 billion over the last decade to optimise this part of its supply chain.

Figures like that might only apply to mega-retailers like Amazon, but they do prove just how crucial a warehouse can be.

More than just sales

A warehouse is, as mentioned previously, a place to store goods before they can be sold or shipped to paying customers. The purpose doesn’t always stop there, though.

Your warehouse might also be used to process returns, for example. When people send or bring items back to your business, they need to be processed before being reintroduced to the sales stock. With the right people and technology in place, this will usually happen in the same warehouse environment.

Supplies come into this too – your warehouse will no doubt be used to store non-sales goods, such as consumables and raw materials destined for use within the business. With deliveries coming from suppliers regularly, items must be accepted and stored safely.

Getting the most out of your warehouse

It’s clear that operating an effective and efficient warehouse is key to keeping customers happy and the business running smoothly. Doing so needn’t be such a daunting task anymore, either – there are plenty of products and technologies on the market that have been specifically designed to help organisations get the most from their space.

Robust mobile computers, for example, allow warehouse staff to stay productive on the go, recording and accessing data as necessary. Rugged barcode scanners can also prove invaluable, helping companies save valuable time as they track the movement of products to, from and within the warehouse.

Then you have the software that brings it all together – programs that can be carefully designed to meet a specific business’s needs, ensuring it can benefit from the huge volumes of data generated day-to-day.

Warehousing as a concept has existed for centuries, and the general premise has remained largely unchanged. That said, it’s clear that we’re moving into a much more efficient era, where businesses can use technologies like those mentioned above to really get the most out of their spaces. The equipment on offer is already hugely impressive, and it will no doubt improve in the coming years.

If you think these solutions could benefit your business then get in touch with us today.