Best practices to identify the best public warehousing in St. Louis
If you think that public warehouses are all the same, you’re probably missing out on an opportunity to partner with a facility that can drive productivity and efficiency in your sales chain. Public warehousing can vary greatly depending on the type of facility you choose, the services it offers and quality with which it executes its tasks. Here are some practices to keep in mind as you identify the best public warehousing in St. Louis or anywhere else for your company:
1. Visit the location. The best way to gauge a public warehousing facility is to go see it yourself. Watch the workers to see if they are moving efficiently and pay attention to how the building and its systems are maintained. While you are there, get to know the management team, since their knowledge and skill will ultimately determine how well they are able to serve your company’s needs.
2. Leverage geographic flexibility. One of the benefits of using a public facility is that it can be located anywhere. Public warehousing in St. Louis offers centrality and access to transportation, but if you have customers in Seattle, you might want to add a facility there as well. Along with finding the right location, consider working with a facility that has relationships in other markets. Given the right networks, you could manage a global supply chain all through a single relationship with a provider of public warehousing in St. Louis.
3. Evaluate services offered. Even if your needs are generally very simple, finding a facility that can offer 3PL services that go beyond the basics of warehousing offers an additional cushion. That way, if you end up needing the facility to offer value-added services, you’ll be able to take advantage of them without having to move or add another provider into your supply chain.
4. Gauge growth space. Public warehouses are there so that you can add and subtract space when you need it. As such, you will want to look for a facility that has enough capacity to meet your needs at peak demand, instead of just enough to handle your day-to-day needs. It’s also important that the company be able to scale quickly — being able to handle demand spikes with six week’s notice might not be fast enough to meet you needs.
5. Survey warehouse connections. While location is part of what makes public warehousing in St. Louis an excellent choice, the connections that the community offers are a case study of what you want to see in any facility. Public warehousing should be connected to multiple types of transportation — including road, rail, air and water. That way, you can easily get goods in and out. the location within the community should also be conducive to effective logistics, as well. Being in a well-connected city is meaningless if the facility itself is not conveniently located.
6. Look at the technology. While logistics is about moving goods, it works best when the logistics provider can transfer information about the movement of those goods. The best facilities have advanced systems that can integrate into your systems, letting them become a seamless part of your information supply chain.
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