Inevitably, as your eCommerce venture expands, you’re going to need to find a warehouse space to store all of those goods you’re pushing out to the waiting public.
A good warehouse space is one thing, but the best warehouse space, the one that really gets things moving along for you, is truly going to be the key to your success. So how do you find a warehouse space that’s best for your brand of eCommerce?
A Few Elements of Your Ideal Warehouse
When you’re looking to contract with a fulfillment service for warehousing and e-Commerce fulfillment, it’s important to get it right the first time.
This isn’t a situation where you can just pick the first warehouse that you see and then adjust as you go, too many changes in warehousing can result in real disruptions in your supply chain. So, take it slow and keep and eye out for the warehouses that really seem to have your business in mind.
Here are other items to put on your must-have warehouse list:
- Central location. Sure, that warehouse in Seattle may be offering a cut-rate deal, but if you think about it, how much more will you spend sending packages to your many customers on the east coast?
Choosing a warehouse and distribution center with a central location not only means faster distribution, it also means cheaper shipping rates to more customers. Central locations optimize your dollar and keep your shoppers happier with faster deliveries.
- Fully software-driven and data-informed. Some warehouses are still pretty old-school, doing manual inventories and not worrying too much about how long it takes to move a package out the door. Then there are the ones that will save you more money over the long run.
The more data that can be collected, the more streamlined the process and the better you can respond with adjustments to your inventory. If you want this sort of warehouse to reorder your inventory for you, they’ll know just how much will keep you in that optimal zone between being expensively overstocked and customer-frustratingly back-ordered.
- Automated and computer-assisted. Tools like bar code scanning can speed up picking and virtually eliminate errors, as can other types of warehouse automation.
These systems are also easily configured to help intelligently rotate any of your delicate stock so that the oldest is sold first, long before the expiration date is met and you have to figure out how to dispose of it. Faster, smarter and more accurate, that’s a modern warehouse and one you can partner with confidently.
Ultimately, the best warehouse space for your eCommerce operation is going to be a balance of a number of elements, from cost to convenience, as well as reporting capabilities and the ability to negotiate a fair shipping rate on your behalf. As long as you’ve thoroughly reviewed each potential suitor, you should be very happy with your arrangement.