For small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses, 3PL services can be the difference between success and failure. Without this type of logistics service, you will be spending time, money, and resources that can help put better use elsewhere. You can not get caught without a reliable warehouse partner while considering your e-commerce business.
Define Your Needs
Before any warehouse renovation, there is a period of self-reflection. Begin by asking yourself some questions:
- What do you need your warehouse to accomplish right now?
- What do you think you will need in the future?
- Is your current space equipped to facilitate all of these needs?
If the answer is no, consider how to use your space effectively. Once you have defined what your warehouse space should be doing for your company, it is time to evaluate whether or not it can meet those goals. Look at it from every angle—
- Is there enough room to maneuver around with pallets, inventory, and boxes?
- Where are the entrance doors?
- How many will there be per day?
- Are they big enough for trucks and forklifts
These are all things that will help determine whether or not a new space can meet your short-term goals. However, you can remember this does not mean that every single manufacturing facility or e-commerce fulfillment center has to have everything. As online businesses grow in size, so do their warehouses.
Companies stay within their original spaces while continuing their growth trajectory by adding to their premises. They continue doing so until they get forced out because they have grown too much. This process could take years, if ever. It is critical to prepare for short-term renovations and more permanent ones scheduled years down the road.
Answering these questions will help identify what kind of warehousing processes you will need down the road. Does your company need a multi-person operation working together efficiently in cramped quarters as boxes flood in from shipments all over North America (or even further)? Or is it just one person managing a massive storage unit with relatively few shipments coming in and going out? Ultimately it is best practice either way; know where you are going and make plans accordingly!
Outline Logistics Requirements
You may think that you do not need to have a strategy for your logistics requirements, but here are the reasons why you should:
You need to know what you are getting into when you start a new business venture. It is vital to know what kind of operations and resources you will need moving forward. Your warehouse facilities will be no different. You can plan out your needs in advance so your 3PL company can fulfill them as effectively as possible. You can research to shortlist the best 3PL logistics company based on your objective.
You need to prioritize your requirements. Many businesses will find that they have quite a few logistics requirements when planning their warehouses. These can include items like having equipment (like forklifts) or special tools (like laser scanners). While these things are all valuable, it can be hard to determine which ones are most important and which ones could take a backseat until later.
By putting out a comprehensive list of your expectations upfront with your 3PL company, they can help prioritize everything in order of importance and give you peace of mind that they are working toward fulfilling your highest-priority requests first. There is nothing worse than finding out down the line that something did not get delivered because of logistical hiccups along the way!
Find a Company That Matches Your Business Needs
When things were going smoothly for you, you may have hired a warehouse to pick up, sort, pack and ship our products. But as your business grows, the number of products you want to send (at such a high volume) will be more than what one warehouse can handle.
At this stage of business growth, it is ideal to employ a 3PL partner and cherish a better experience with them. You can try different strategies to improve your business efficiency so that you do not need to worry about keeping inventory in stock at all times. The best part is that it is a company-owned delivery service, and they will deliver your product when you need it. They manage everything from picking up the product to shipping it back home to you!
Look For Specialized Services
When you run an online business, you will probably be handling several products. You may even need to ship them all out to customers yourself. However, if your store decides to start growing, it can be a great idea to consider hiring a company specializing in warehousing and fulfillment. These services can give your business the extra edge by helping you deliver goods faster and more effectively than before.
Using this service, you can count on having a team of people capable of packing and shipping orders for you. But that is not all: because they specialize in warehousing, they can also help you organize the goods and ensure there are no problems with any shipments or inventory management.
Ensuring that your goods get shipped and delivered as quickly as possible is one of the best ways to confirm that customers enjoy their purchase experience. So, it is worth giving these services some thought when starting up your online business.
Enquire About Special Services You Need
If you are trying to create an online business focusing on e-commerce fulfillment and logistics, you can get overwhelmed by the options. Several solutions can help you get the best results, depending on your preferences.
For example, if you have inventory stored in a warehouse, it is best to have someone handling returns management. It ensures that every product sold or shipped out gets properly handled and as quickly as possible.
In summary, warehouse security is of the utmost importance for all e-commerce businesses.
Warehouses are valuable resources that can help you keep your business running smoothly in today’s competitive market. We hope this guide has taught you something new about e-commerce warehouses and provided some helpful suggestions on how to improve your facility.