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Running a 21st Century Warehouse

  • Written by Diana Smith


Some people believe that the only thing you need in order to run a warehouse is to have enough space. This however is hardly accurate since being in charge of a warehouse takes a lot of skill and effort. Running a warehouse is not the same as running your household basement where you can just pile out items until you run out of room. In a warehouse, you need to have a detailed description of the inventory, a mapped schematic of the room, as well as an efficient way of both storing and shipping goods. Naturally, everything becomes easier with the help of technology, so here are a few tips that may help you run a true 21st century warehouse.

Inventory Layout

First thing you need to think about when organizing your warehouse is an inventory layout. Here, you can use several methods and the choice is yours. For example, if you know that several items always get exported in a bundle, you can store them in this manner as well. Furthermore, you can also organize items by the demand and place those that are the most popular in a place where they can be easily reached. This way, you can save a lot of energy. A traditional manner of solving this problem is to keep it all on a piece of paper, but there is a better option for this as well. For example, you can always make a table in Microsoft Excel or if you are interested more in a graphic approach, you can even make a simple layout with programs such as SketchUp.

Help with Shipment

Another problem with having a warehouse is the issue of shipment. Luckily, in the 21st century with numerous online maps and GPS devices, this has been made substantially simpler. This way, you will have the opportunity to find the optimal route for express delivery, which will raise your quality of service to a whole new level. Furthermore, it also allows you to create a detailed plan of delivering items that are meant for the same (or nearby) area at once, which can practically cut your shipment expenses by half.

Matter of Security

The thing about warehouses is that they usually store items of great value, which is why they are an especially interesting target to thieves and burglars. While these kinds of danger are easily preventable, it is quite unfortunate that in-house thefts are a common occurrence in the warehouse business. The larger the warehouse is, the tougher is to spot this since a cunning thief steals in small portions over the course of years and this deficit usually gets noticed long after they are gone from the company. Luckily, there are several ways to heighten warehouse security, like limiting access, CCTV monitoring and keeping the most valuable items in special containers.

Outsourcing

Another reason why the warehouse business in the 21st century gains a new depth is because of the numerous options that are now available. One of them is outsourcing. Even the biggest warehouse can run out of space and when that happens, you have only three options. The first one is to stop receiving items, which can be disastrous in the long run. The second is to build, purchase or lease another warehouse building, which is a great long-term solution, but it is not always cost effective. Finally, if all else fails, you can outsource to a nearby warehouse. According to people running a prestigious storage, a surprisingly large percentage of their clients are other storage companies.

What all of these tips have in common is a goal to utilize the 21st century technology and gadgets in order to raise your warehouse business to a next level. They aim to do so by reducing your costs of running a business, by making the goods in your warehouse more secure and of course by making storage business more convenient. Luckily, in 2016 all of this is no longer as big of a problem as it was in the past.

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