Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Warehousing

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Warehousing

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Warehousing

Warehousing is storing physical goods or inventory securely before being sold or distributed. Warehouses are designed to protect products

What Is Warehousing?

Warehousing is storing physical goods or inventory securely before being sold or distributed. These warehouses can range from a spare room in a home for small businesses to large, specialised buildings for bigger companies. Warehouses are designed to protect products and keep them organised, making tracking their location, quantity, and arrival time easy.

How Much Does Warehousing Cost? 

The cost of warehousing can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • Location: Warehouses in prime locations or urban areas are more expensive than those in remote areas.
  • Size & Type Of Warehouse: Warehouse size and type also impact the cost. Larger warehouses or those with specialised storage facilities are generally more expensive.
  • Services Required: Additional services like inventory management, order fulfilment, and value-added services also increase the overall cost.

How Can Brands Ensure Accurate Inventory Control In A Warehouse?

Ensuring accurate inventory control in a warehouse is crucial for brands to maintain efficient operations, satisfy customer demand, and optimise costs. The following are some effective strategies brands can deploy:

  • Implement A Robust Warehouse Management System (WMS): A WMS is a software solution that streamlines inventory management processes, automates data entry, and provides real-time visibility into stock levels, locations, and movements.
  • Adopt Barcode Scanning & RFID Technology: Barcode scanning and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology facilitate accurate and efficient tracking of inventory items throughout the warehouse.
  • Standardise Processes & Train Staff: Clearly defined processes for receiving, storing, picking, packing, and shipping goods are essential for maintaining inventory accuracy.
  • Conduct Regular Audits: Regular audits, both internal and external, help identify inconsistencies in inventory records, assess the effectiveness of inventory control measures, and uncover potential areas for improvement.
  • Optimise Warehouse Layout: An efficient warehouse layout with clear labelling and designated storage areas for different products simplifies inventory management and reduces the risk of misplacing items.

What Types Of Storage Options Are Available In A Smart Warehouse?

Smart warehouses utilise advanced storage options to optimise space utilisation, streamline operations, and enhance efficiency. Some of the most common storage options found in smart warehouses include:

  • Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS): AS/RS systems automate the storage and retrieval of goods using robotic cranes and shuttles. They maximise vertical space usage, reduce labour requirements, and improve inventory accuracy.
  • Multi-Tier Racking Systems: These systems consist of multiple levels of storage racks, often with walkways for access. They increase storage density and are suitable for storing a wide variety of goods, including pallets, cartons, and individual items.
  • Mobile Racking Systems: Mobile racking systems are mounted on tracks, allowing them to be moved laterally to create aisles when needed. This optimises floor space utilisation and reduces the number of fixed aisles required.
  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs): AGVs are autonomous robots transporting goods within the warehouse. They can be programmed to follow specific routes, improving material flow and reducing manual labour.
  • Internet Of Things (IoT) Sensors: IoT sensors are deployed throughout the warehouse to monitor temperature, humidity, and other environmental conditions. This ensures optimal storage conditions for sensitive products and helps prevent spoilage or damage.

Are There Any Special Considerations For Storing Temperature-Sensitive Goods? 

Storing temperature-sensitive goods requires special considerations to ensure product quality and safety. The following are some key factors to keep in mind:

  • Refrigerated Storage: Maintaining a low temperature consistently is crucial for perishable goods like food and pharmaceuticals. Refrigerated warehouses or specialised zones within a warehouse are essential, with regular temperature monitoring and backup systems in case of power failures.
  • Frozen Storage: Some products require freezing to maintain their quality. Deep freeze warehouses or sections with very low temperatures are necessary for these items.
  • Climate-Controlled Storage: Certain goods are sensitive to humidity levels along with temperature. Climate-controlled warehouses regulate both temperature and humidity to create an optimal storage environment.

How Can Brands Ensure A Smooth Transition To A New Warehouse?

Transitioning to a new warehouse can be complex but with careful planning and execution, brands can ensure a smooth and successful move. The following are some key strategies to consider:

  • Develop A Comprehensive Transition Plan: Create a detailed plan outlining all the steps involved in the move, from selecting a new warehouse to transferring inventory and updating systems. Assign responsibilities, set clear deadlines, and allocate resources effectively.
  • Choose The Right Warehouse: Thoroughly assess the business needs and requirements before selecting a new warehouse. Consider location, size, layout, storage capacity, technology infrastructure, and security features.
  • Conduct A Thorough Inventory Audit: Before moving, conduct a comprehensive inventory audit to verify the accuracy of the stock levels. This will help identify discrepancies and ensure the company transfers only the necessary items to the new warehouse.
  • Optimise Warehouse Layout & Design: Plan the layout of the new warehouse to maximise efficiency and streamline operations. Consider factors like product flow, storage density, and accessibility. 
  • Gradual Transition: Businesses should consider a phased transition, where they gradually shift operations from the old warehouse to the new one. This allows for a smoother transition and minimises the risk of disruptions.
  • Monitor & Evaluate Performance: After the transition, closely monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) like order accuracy, shipping times, and inventory levels. This will help identify areas for improvement and ensure that the new warehouse is operating efficiently.