As a business owner, one of the issues you might encounter while managing your production line is outgrowing your storage capacity. If you encounter such an issue, there is a high chance your production line will be disrupted, affecting customer service and lowering your profit margin. Therefore, it’s important to avoid the issue from happening in the first place.
One of the best ways is to utilize warehouse services. The warehouse will ensure you have enough space to track, store, manage your inventory, and bring your production line near your home, increasing sales and revenue.
There are several types of warehouse solutions you can choose from to meet your business storage needs. However, the following blog discusses what you need to know about one type of warehousing: contract warehousing. You’ll learn what contract warehousing is, how it can benefit your supply chain, and more.
What’s Contract Warehousing?
Contract warehousing is the process of outsourcing storage services from a third-party storage facility. The client and service provider enter into a contract ranging from months to years. Thus, the client is expected to pay storage and management fees per the policies.
Contract warehousing can be your ideal solution if you don’t want to buy or rent warehouse space. The dedicated service provider will handle your inventory activities, from storage and shipping to receiving items.
There are two categories of contract warehousing. The first category is when the service provider allows the client to come with their own team members and equipment and operate on the physical facility. The other category is when a client allows the third-party provider to handle all the warehousing operations. Sometimes, the service provider may be catering to several clients. In such an arrangement, each client will be allocated a certain amount of square footage to store their merchandise.
The popularity of contract warehousing has grown exponentially over the years. For this reason, many third-party providers are offering services, which makes it daunting to get the right one. Therefore, research extensively to ensure you outsource distribution center and warehousing services from a reputable provider, giving you the value of your hard-earned money.
There are other types of warehousing, including private and public. The business will lease or own space to store its products in private warehousing. In this scenario, the business handles all the warehouse operations. Although you’ll have more control over your inventory, it can be quite costly in the long run. In public warehousing, the client will pay up based on the number of items that go in and out of the warehouse and doesn’t have any fixed contract regarding space.
What Are The Advantages Of Contract Warehousing?
The following are the benefits of contract warehousing. They include the following:
- Lower Capital Investment
When you run out of storage space, you may decide to build, expand or purchase a warehouse. The process is a costly investment, which can lower your profit margin. On the other hand, when you contract a warehouse, you’ll get an operational space without having to build or purchase one.
Besides this, it’ll be cheaper to manage your storage space. This is because you’ll allow the service provider to handle your warehouse operations, saving you from utilities, maintenance, distribution, or operation costs.
When you start a business, one of your goals is that your business will expand with time. As the business expands, so do your storage needs. Thus, you’ll need more space to handle your ever-growing inventory. When you have a purchased or leased space, you’ll have to expand it, which can be costly.
However, with contract warehousing, when your business expands, you’ll request the service provider to offer extra space. This isn’t only efficient but also a cost-friendly way to meet your storage needs and improve supply chain resilience. However, it’s important to go through the contract policies to understand how this may affect the initial agreement.
- Access To Value-Added Services
Another benefit of contract warehousing is that you’ll access a dedicated workforce. In public warehousing, the provider ensures the space is utilized fully. On the other hand, providers in contract warehousing will assign resources depending on the changing customer needs. Thus, if you need specialized services such as temperature control, you’ll have a dedicated workforce to handle it.
Other value-added services you can take advantage of include:
- Cross-Docking: As a business owner, it’s important to ensure the products reach the customers faster. One of the best ways to achieve this is by reducing the time items spend in storage. A contract warehouse will provide cross-docking services, lowering the time items spend on warehouse shelves and boosting the overall supply chain.
- Palletization: This is another service you can access with contract warehousing. The dedicated workforce will organize incoming shipments into pallets, improving storage efficiency.
- Pick-And-Pack: This is a fulfillment strategy that might play a huge role in ensuring you deliver your products quickly and on time. The team will pull items for many customer orders at once, then pack them all for shipment, guaranteeing faster delivery times.
Contract warehousing offers a range of added services to support your operations and help you save time and money. These services can help your business streamline operations and increase efficiency, making contract warehousing a smart investment for companies of all sizes.
When you delegate your warehouse operations to a reputable provider, it’ll take the worry off you. You can use this chance to concentrate and improve your core business, such as management. Additionally, when you have signed an agreement, you’re sure you won’t lose warehouse capabilities within the given time, which could disrupt your production line.
However, it’s crucial to ensure you choose a reputable provider to handle your warehouse operations. Consider factors such as reputation, strategic location, and cost to ensure you get a reliable provider in your locality. Additionally, it’s important to ensure they’re certified to offer the services, guaranteeing regulatory compliance.
One of the challenges you might experience as a business owner is outgrowing your storage needs. Therefore, you may be forced to utilize warehouse services. Contract warehousing has become an ideal option for business owners who want to use warehouses without building or leasing one, improving their profit margin.