Warehousing for Small Business
Your distribution management starts at your warehouseIf you have inventory, you have a warehousing issue. Storing goods safely and efficiently is key to running a profitable business. Whether you will be best served by a self-storage facility or a full-service commercial warehouse will depend on your needs and your ability to spend time and money keeping your inventory in check. When making a decision, consider:
- How much space you need and how your goods need to be stored. Do you need air-conditioned space? Loading docks? Will you require shelving? How frequently will you need access to the items?
- Will you be able to receive the items and take them to a storage area or do you want someone to receive the items for you at a warehouse?
- Do you want to manage the inventory or have someone else do it?
- Do you want to ship directly from the warehouse? If so, will you handle it or will someone need to do it for you?
- Do you need to be near your warehouse or can you save money by locating it away from your central office, and more in an area conducive to your shipping and receiving needs?
Locate the right warehouse space for your business
Find a specialized warehouseSome companies offer climate-controlled warehouses or offer harder-to-find features like hazardous-materials storage.
warehousing and distribution management providers and bonded warehouses at Business.com.
Determine how to handle warehouse managementA warehouse can be integral to tracking inventory and shipping and receiving goods, and can even serve as a place to show your goods and run your business.
inventory software from one of the vendors listed at Business.com.
Understand the different types of warehousesA warehouse can be as simple as a garage-like space at a self-storage facility or as complicated as a vast facility where the operators not only store your goods, but accept shipments, maintain and track inventory and send materials out.
Consider alternativesWhen it comes to warehousing, it may a good idea to think outside the box.
- Not all warehouses are created equal. Check the company out with the Better Business Bureau.
- Ask for references and check them.
- If you belong to a trade association, talk with members about how they meet their warehousing needs. Some warehouses cater to specific types of businesses.
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