A key part of any logistics system, warehousing refers to the warehouse storage of materials and goods for later production and shipment. In the past, many SMEs have neglected this stage in the operational process, assuming that merely renting a warehouse is sufficient. However, in this day and age, warehousing is a crucial element within the overall logistical planning process. Establishing a good warehousing management system not only improves the efficiency of imports and exports, but can also seriously advance economic benefits.
The Many Benefits of Warehousing Management
Maintaining a consistent and steady warehousing operation is extremely important for any company. From pre-reception of goods to the formal stages of receiving, sorting, shelving and shipping goods, every step must be well-organized and structured, as the amount of detail guarantees that there are many potential opportunities for error. Thus, efficiently controlling warehouse goods is certainly a big challenge for big corporations and SMEs alike.
Because of this, it has proven necessary to use a warehouse management system so simplify such a complicated process. This allows for more intuitive observation of incoming/outgoing good status, more accurate monitoring of actual goods and goods on account, more comprehensive tracking of goods, and more systematic management of warehouses.
Warehousing management systems employ “Standard Operation Procedure” (SOP) to manage the inflow/outflow, loading/unloading, sorting/classification, packaging, delivery, shipment/distribution of goods and more. In the past, these tasks were performed manually, but modern systems take advantage of technology and data archives to improve operational accuracy and speed. The better the planning of such systems, the better the efficiency and flexibility of both incoming and outgoing goods. This ensures timely delivery to customers and heightened company productivity.
The Workflow of Warehousing
The warehousing operation process varies significantly according to the type of industry, goods, and company, but can be chalked down to the same key steps:
Purchase / Receipt: Determine order quantity based on previous experience, customer orders, seasonal adjustment and various other areas of consideration. The goal should be to balance the storage inventory in the warehouse to ensure the minimization of both shortage and excess of goods.
Unloading into Warehouse: Warehouse storage procedures involve unloading goods (while minding regulations), sorting goods by classification, and verifying both the quantity and quality of the goods.
Packaging: Sort goods into categories, then package accordingly in advance to improve shipment speed.
Delivery: Sort and select quantity and type of goods corresponding to customer’s orders. The level of organization and management of the warehousing process (such as how goods are divided, transportation routes, and personnel scheduling) will impact how effective the end delivery will be. Modern methods of warehousing are able to speed up this process.
Shipment: After completing delivery tasks, prepare documents needed for shipment, including customer information, mailing addresses etc., then execute shipment. Before shipment, be sure to confirm the delivery details (packaging methods, arrival times) with the customer and take note of any special requests they may have for their order.
Inventory: Warehouses should conduct regular inventory procedures to ensure that the amount of goods in stock is accurate according to kept records. Moreover, expired, spoiled or damaged goods should be identified and sorted away. Depending on company needs and the type of goods being stored, inventory may be performed on a yearly, quarter-yearly or even monthly basis.
Storage Planning Precautions and Reminders
Select Warehouse Carefully: While renting (or buying) a warehouse, you must properly consider a variety of factors such as property costs, characteristics of goods, and capital. Considerations about warehouse locations should be dependent on the nature of the goods being stored (volume, transport costs, market characteristics, etc). Investment costs for owning warehouses is quite high; the majority of SMEs usually rent them.
Decide Whether to Centralize or Decentralize Warehouse: If there are a variety of different goods and materials, or if goods have differing storage needs, consider transportation costs before deciding whether or not to decentralize your product inventory.
Maintain/Protect Warehouse Quality: Warehouse temperature and humidity must be strictly controlled to avoid mold (especially for more fragile goods prone to deterioration or those with expiration dates). Systems must also be set in place to avoid fire damage and theft. Furthermore, attention must be paid to the way that goods are stacked, weight restrictions on shelves, transportation route planning, etc. These are aspects of warehouse management that cannot be taken lightly.
Classification and Organization of Goods: If raw or unfinished materials are placed into storage, they should be organized according to the order in which they are needed for later production. However, notice must be taken of potentially incompatible materials that cannot be stored too closely together. If warehouses have a comprehensive variety of goods (for example, online stores), products can be organized either according to category or the frequency with which they come in and out of the warehouse.
Safety of Warehouse Employees: Warehouse employees should be carefully chosen, assigned and managed. The design and organization of the warehouse must also take employee health and safety into account, avoiding exposure to high-risk work environments.
How does “Boxful Fulfillment” Help You With Warehouse Management?
Warehouse management is becoming increasingly important for SMEs. As such SMEs often have limited funds, if inventory in warehouses is not properly monitored or controlled, profits and overall operational efficiency can be substantially harmed. Thus, warehouse management must be executed well, with the goal being to minimize purchase costs and maximize economic profit. This will allow companies to accumulate more liquidity for investments elsewhere.
“Boxful Fulfillment” helps with just that – we provide a one-stop service for SMEs, implementing logistical systems tailored to the warehouse needs of each and every company!
- Storage prices are always flexible and you are charged solely based on usage. This eradicates unnecessary storage expenditures.
- Warehouse logistics are highly optimized, fully equipped with video surveillance, international-level ADT anti-theft systems, automatic fire protection systems and constant temperature/humidity monitoring, ensuring that your goods are always safe with us.
- One-click cloud inventory management helps you to monitor inventory status, control scheduling and track delivery at any time. This improves operational efficiency for SMEs considerably.
- Streamlined, integrated supply chains allow your customers to place direct orders to access goods. Once you give confirmation, Boxful will immediately complete the shipment for you, working with B2B partners.
- Real-time inventory management, budgeting and notification systems help you plan for future business, organizing the most effective and appropriate inventory levels and minimizing shortage risks, enhancing market competitiveness.
Optimizing logistics and warehouse management for your company doesn’t have to break the bank. Contact Boxful’s logistics consultants to receive a bespoke logistics solution for you.
Further readings：What is warehouse fulfillment and how can SMEs benefit from it?
Further readings：Good practices for warehouse management for cost-effectiveness and operational efficiency
Learn more about Boxful Fulfillment, don’t forget to follow Blog and Linkedin with us today!