Selecting a warehouse can be a confusing and overwhelming experience, especially when your company has specific warehouse needs. Getting past all of the complicated lingo and sales pitches to find the right fit is much easier when you understand what exactly you should be looking for in your new warehouse.
When deciding on a location for your new warehouse, consider where you are shipping from and delivering to. You will want to have a warehouse located in optimal zones to help reduce your company’s costs as well as your customers’ costs.
Your warehouse should be easily accessible for shipments to come and go from, making it important to be easily accessible by major highways. If your company utilizes ocean freight, you’ll also want to ensure that the warehouse is close to any major port locations.
What clients take up space in the warehouse? On average, how much square footage are they utilizing? If there are a lot of small company’s utilizing a small amount of space it can be a sign that the warehouse does not have experience with larger companies that command larger square footage.
Make sure to ask about the storage area that is presently available and if any storage will become available in the future that you can take over to accommodate your growth. If space isn’t there, it’s best to look at other options!
Does the warehouse have any association memberships? This will add additional credibility to their operations and help demonstrate their commitment to presenting themselves among groups of their peers. Association memberships also help promote that they are willing to learn and improve any processes.
Experience is everything, especially in the warehousing industry. Make sure the warehouses that you are considering have a good balance of age and newness of the facility (i.e. modern technology), that ensure efficient workflow. Asking specifics regarding experience is important for getting an idea of the types of manufacturers and distributors they’ve worked with in the past.
How large is the facility? How many employees work at it? Ensuring that the warehouse has the proper number of employees, especially ones that are experienced in your industry, is crucial. Another important question to ask is whether or not you will have a specific account representative assigned to your company. Having a go-to person whose primary responsibility is to make sure your needs are addressed can make a huge difference!
When it comes to processes, all warehouses are different. To understand specific warehouses processes, ask the following questions:
One of the benefits of using a third-party vendor for warehousing is the assistance with any risks associated with logistics. The warehouse team will be able to work proactively to reduce issues associated with import/export as well as resolve potential issues. In order to take advantage of this support, you must be proactive in asking questions and providing the warehouse with information.
The technology a warehouse uses can make a huge difference in how they operate. Understanding the different technology they use to manage imports/exports and inventory and the types of equipment used to handle inventory as well as how they manage it all will help reduce any issues in the future.
To learn more about the warehousing and storage services Bruning International offers, give our team a call today at (800) 616-3349.