Over the past few years, the landscape of the transportation, logistics, and warehousing industry has radically changed, including the impact on consumer demand and buying behaviours and managing this demand efficiently has become a critical success factor for companies across various industries and has ultimately changed the future of warehouse management.
One key element in achieving this goal is an optimised and well-managed supply chain, and at the heart of every successful supply chain lies a well-organised warehousing, storage and haulage partner. These distribution centers play a pivotal role in ensuring products are available when and where customers need them to enhance the customer experience and create a positive customer journey, while also contributing significantly to a company’s growth and profitability.
Investing in warehousing services can help you create a solid bridge between your production and distribution phases, boost product safety and consumer trust, and scale up your operations. In this guide, you’ll find what you need to know about the role that warehousing services play in any supply chain.
How cutting-edge technology improves warehouse management
When comparing a modern day warehouse to a traditional warehouse, advancements of technology and new technology solutions integrated into their processes is a huge differentiation in inventory management, including inventory visibility and ensuring the reduction of misplaced inventory.
Investing in warehouses equipped with cutting-edge technology can yield numerous benefits for businesses. Advancements in technology, such as barcode scanners, RFID, sensors, and inventory management software, enable warehouses to operate more efficiently and improve inventory control.
With real-time inventory tracking and visibility, warehouses can reduce the risk of disorganized inventory and misplaced items. This, in turn, leads to smoother production and distribution processes, ultimately enhancing customer service and satisfaction.
Effective Warehouse Management System (WMS)
To achieve customer satisfaction and overall success in warehouse management, implementing an effective warehouse management system (WMS) is essential. A WMS is a software solution that automates and streamlines various warehouse operations, such as inventory tracking, order processing, shipment management and efficient product delivery.
An integral warehouse management system can provide real-time visibility into inventory levels, allowing companies to better anticipate customer demand and ensure products are readily available when needed. By minimizing inefficiencies and errors, a WMS can enhance supply chain efficiency, leading to improved customer satisfaction.
New technologies in the supply chain
Due to the spike in consumer demand over the past years, the global distribution system has been stretched thin, which has left it exposed to significant threats. In particular, according to statistics by the OECD, fake goods now account for 3.3% of the world’s trade, and the risk of counterfeit, adulteration, and product diversion has never been more significant.
On the other hand, surveys conducted on nearly 400,000 consumers show that consumers’ trust in brands has reached an all-time low.
That is where advanced warehousing services can help. Thanks to advancement of technology such as NFC tags, RFID labels, QR codes, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence and enabled devices, the future of warehouse management is bright, helping you to gain real-time product intelligence, including stock levels and visibility into your supply chain and track your products throughout their journey to and from the warehouse, either using a piece of technology in isolation or by using a combination of technologies. In turn, this can help you reduce the risk of counterfeiting and fraud.
Role of human warehouse workers
While technology plays a significant role in modern warehouse management, human warehouse workers remain integral to the process. A well-managed warehouse should strike the right balance between technology and human expertise. Some benefits of warehouse management teams include maintaining a well-run warehouse and day to day operations.
Warehouse managers should invest in training and empowering their human workforce to work in synergy with the warehouse management system. When human workers are equipped with the right tools and knowledge, they can enhance overall warehouse efficiency, contributing to customer satisfaction through accurate and timely order fulfillment.
Supply chain warehouses should have a warehouse management team to ensure orders are fulfilled accurately and on time, and also ensure that goods received and distributed from the warehouse facility are in good condition.
Facilitating smooth production and distribution
According to estimations by the Office for National Statistics, the transport and storage sector is the fastest-growing broad industry group in the UK, expanding by over 20% in the two-year period between 2019 and 2021.
One of the reasons for this unprecedented growth is the radical shift in consumer demand and behaviour during the Covid-19 pandemic. Over the past few years, consumers have become used to same-day and next-day delivery options, as well as high levels of immediate accessibility and availability of international products.
For businesses looking to thrive in this new scenario, investing and using a good warehousing partner can make a difference in their future success. A good warehousing partner will work with you strategically to put in place Just In Time (J-I-T) strategies and support your LEAN Management practices, making your business more efficient for you and your customers.
Ad hoc warehousing solutions to boost business growth and scalability
Whether you have started a home-based business during the pandemic or you are looking to level up your established company, scaling up your operations without a warehouse can be extremely challenging and cause you to compromise on quality.
With ad hoc storage, logistics, and distribution services, you can hold your stock in a central location, manage your orders from a single interface, and rely on a team of experienced managers and technicians.
Protection and secure storage
Throughout the distribution system, your inventory can become exposed to a multitude of risks. Extreme weather, natural disasters, fires, water damage, and cybercrime can all impact your stock and cause significant financial and reputational damage to your company.
That is why it is crucial to work in partnership with specialised warehousing services that can provide customised storage solutions for your goods.
The right warehouse will also be designed to store and manage specific goods (such as pharmaceuticals and food) which will have different storage requirements that need to be met to safeguard public safety and avoid costly recalls.
Packaging and correct labelling
Labels and packaging can truly make a difference in how your target audience perceives your brand and how recognisable your products will be in a crowded market. But packaging also has a second and just-as-important role: it is created to protect items from damage and ensure that they are delivered to consumers as expected.
When working with a professional warehouse, you’ll also be able to tap into the benefits of smart packaging. With technology-enhanced packaging solutions, you can gain insights into the location, life cycle duration, and use of each item.
If you have large products that require local or international shipping or you are running a B2B enterprise, storing your stock in a single, central, and convenient location can facilitate long-distance haulage. In turn, this can help you cut your logistics costs and improve your business’s operational efficiency – especially if you are looking to grow internationally!
Choosing the right warehouse to drive your business’s growth
Choosing the right warehouse for your business’s needs isn’t easy. And it can be even more difficult for small-to-medium enterprises that are operating on a tight budget. However, by outsourcing your warehousing facilities you can close the gap between production and distribution while safeguarding your capital.
Here are some must-haves your warehousing services should offer:
- Adequate facilities for the products that need warehousing and shipping, especially in the case of items that have special storage requirements (i.e. medicine or food).
- A central or convenient location allows you to shorten shipping times and reduce costs, while also providing an even better service to your customers. A warehouse located near an international pot or airfield might be a convenient option if you are looking to expand globally.
- Adequate experience and knowledge in storing, handling, and shipping certain goods
- Flexibility in terms of prices and services as your business scales up allows you to better manage your budget.
- A well-organised supply chain with a reliable warehousing partner is essential for success in the modern business landscape.
- Warehousing services can bridge the gap between production and distribution, enhance product safety, quality including proper labeling and packaging to ensure positive brand perception and product protection and consumer trust, and enable scalability.
- Modern warehouses utilise advanced technologies and software to streamline logistics and provide unprecedented visibility into the supply chain.
- Warehousing services offer protection and secure storage for inventory, safeguarding against various risks.
- Central warehousing facilitates long-distance haulage and can improve operational efficiency, especially for international growth.
- When choosing a warehousing partner, businesses should consider factors such as facilities, location, experience, and flexibility.
When it comes down to entrusting a warehousing and logistics company with your inventory, experience and reputation truly matter. At TEPS, we can have the facilities, fleet, knowledge, and expertise to help you grow your business, meet the growing customer demand, and level up your operations. to discover our services and warehousing packages. Get in touch with our team.