Warehousing is an essential service for most supply chains, especially with the widespread adoption of e-commerce models by many modern businesses. However, properly maintaining a warehouse is a different business altogether. For small businesses especially, managing inventory while handling loading, and shipping can take too much time, effort and money that would have otherwise been spent on business expansion.
While different businesses have different outsourcing needs, most of them can find plenty of value in warehouse fulfilment services to boost their scaling efforts. We will dive into the basics of warehouse fulfilment services, who uses them and how they can support your business growth.
What are Warehousing and Fulfilment Services?
Warehousing and fulfilment companies receive and store the products of other businesses on their behalf. By outsourcing your warehousing and fulfilment needs to such a company, you can have your products delivered or shipped out elsewhere after giving them details such as the products that need to be delivered, where they need to go and when they should go.
Which Businesses Require Warehousing and Fulfilment Services?
Any company, regardless of size, can find this service valuable to its operations as long as it holds inventory. In fact, many online businesses currently use warehousing and fulfilment services to meet their shipping and storage needs.
How Can Small Businesses Scale-up Using Warehousing and Fulfilment Services?
Small businesses stand to gain significantly from warehousing and fulfilment services. For instance, small businesses can use these services to store documents, raw materials, finished products or even handle order fulfilment. Here are some ways small businesses can scale up using warehouse fulfilment services.
Increased Order Fulfilment Capacity
By partnering with warehousing operations in different countries or cities, small businesses can quickly and affordably penetrate new markets. For instance, a business in Georgia interested in pursuing opportunities in California could partner with a warehouse fulfilment company based in California.
Rather than shipping products from Georgia to clients in California, this business can notify its warehouse and fulfilment center to handle the delivery. This will not only increase the business’ capacity for order fulfilment but also reduce the costs involved and shorten the lead-time.
Controlled Overhead Costs
Essentially, warehousing and fulfilment agreements involve renting out portions of space in warehouses, with the occasional shipping services. Businesses that enter such agreements end up spending far less than they typically would staff, equipment, warehouse rent, and utilities needed to store and deliver products by themselves. Such savings are crucial for small businesses since they can invest them in areas more essential for their growth.
Scaling According to Deman
Businesses that rely on warehousing and fulfilment services never underutilize their storage and logistical capacity. Matching business growth to current demand becomes easy by scaling down during low seasons and scaling up during high seasons. Such flexibility assures your small business of extra warehouse space on demand without the costs of running a warehouse.