Public warehousing should add efficiency, not steal it!
For most companies, goods rarely flow from point A to point B without an intervening stop. Imagine a diagram that shows the movement of goods in and out of your logistics system. If that diagram is filled with zig-zags, backtracks and curly cues, your company is wasting effort and money. Many companies expend thousands of hours on inefficient workflows. Public warehousing and 3PL services can help to straighten out your supply path so that you can regain wasted energy and time.
Step back and look carefully at your infrastructure. It can be very challenging to build a one-size-fits-all supply chain that can handle all of your business’ logistics at 100 percent efficiency, especially if your business doesn’t have extreme economies of scale. As such, it is unlikely that you are inefficiency-free.
Take the time to diagram the movement of goods within your company’s logistics infrastructure. If an item is repeatedly going back and forth, it’s an opportunity to leverage public warehousing services to improve your supply chain’s effectiveness. For instance, you may have goods get shipped to you through the Port of Long Beach that go on rail to your main warehouse in St. Louis. If a portion of those goods are getting thrown on a truck to be shipped back to Los Angeles, public warehousing near that port may be a very cost-effective solution.
Identify where the gaps are in your logistics technology. Between bar codes, RFID tags and warehouse software, there is almost no reason that you can’t know where your inventory is at any time. If you’re running around looking for paperwork or flying to warehouses to check on stock, technology can stop that.
Public warehousing with the right 3PL provider can also help with this problem. The best public warehouses leverage cutting-edge technology so that you can track where your products are when they are in the facility. Some public facilities even have software that can integrate into yours, letting your manage your inventory seamlessly regardless of whether it’s in company-owned or public storage facilities.
3PL services can also help optimize your operations on a more local scale, If you have staff going back and forth to re-position products in your warehouses or if they’re having to go large distances for picking duties, a higher efficiency warehouse design may also be in order. The same diagrams that track the movement of goods across the world or country can also track their movements through your warehouse, and the amount of staff time and energy that you expend to move them. At times, if you end up with more stock than you can efficiently store, public warehousing can also be a solution.
Increasing the efficiency of your warehouse and logistic operations can help you achieve savings on many levels. You can move goods less internally and spend fewer staff hours to do it. At the same time, you can also reduce trucking and rail costs. Frequently, integrating flexible public warehousing into your infrastructure helps you achieve this goal.
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