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The Hidden Advantages of Off-Site Warehousing

Article By: Derek James Hauk

“That's all you need in life, a little place for your stuff.” - George Carlin


Think of all the “stuff” your business or organization needs to function properly. From office supplies to marketing collateral to inventory, it all starts to add up and it all needs a place to go. Colliers recently reported that warehouse space has become a more valuable commodity than office space, and it is easy to see why. Perhaps you have a start-up company looking to move out of the garage. Maybe you have a successful business needing to update its supply chain. You may even have a not-for-profit that could use a helping hand in getting organized. For all those reasons and more, companies are looking to expand their warehouse space.

For many companies, it may actually be a smarter choice to choose an off-site warehousing partner instead of purchasing their own warehouse property. Here are Five Advantages of Off-Site Warehousing that you may not yet have considered.


Warehousing as Inventory Management

Consider for a moment a steady stream of water. As you may remember from science class, one of the properties of water that it will take the shape of its container, filling every nook and cranny. Sounds a bit like excess inventory, doesn't it? Inventory management is crucial to running a business efficiently. If you have too little product, your productivity runs dry, too much and you run the risk of flooding yourself with unnecessary costs and wasted space.

Off-site warehousing provides a much-needed extra level of control over the flow of inventory into and out of your business, and more importantly over your costs. A reputable and reliable warehouse and distribution partner will be better equipped to handle the stocking and maintenance of your items. More importantly, that partner will be able to leverage their existing logistical pipeline to ensure your products get to where they need to be likely at a lower cost than shipping on your own. Whether you are gathering supplies from third party vendors or storing your own excess products, utilizing a warehousing solution keeps everything organized and flowing correctly through the supply chain.


Warehousing as a Packaging Solution

In 1964, Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “The medium is the message,” meaning that the way that a message is delivered influences how it is received. To put it another way, sometimes what matters isn't the content as much as the delivery. This holds true when it comes to distribution as well. The condition that an item arrives in shapes as much of the consumer experience as the item itself. Look at negative Amazon reviews, it is guaranteed that items arriving in packaging that is in any way damaged or unattractive will be mentioned there.

Using an offsite warehousing solution allows you a level of control over the packaging of your items before they reach their final destination. Your bulk items can be easily broken into smaller pack sizes and given unique identifiers, or combined into assortments. Extra care and attention can be given to ensure that items leave in packaging that is intact and appealing. Using a third party warehouse allows the kind of flexibility that isn't feasible for many large shipping operations. What is more economical for your business: to ship ten small boxes to ten different locations or to ship one large box to one partner location to be broken into ten smaller shipments?


Warehousing for E-Commerce Companies

It is no small understatement to say that Amazon changed the way e-commerce operates. The selection they were able to provide was only the beginning, the ultimate influence of Amazon in the retail world may be the way they conquered logistics and distribution. Amazon's speed in turning around and delivering orders has created a consumer expectation that affects all e-commerce businesses. If you are a startup newly entering the digital sphere, a small business owner still shipping from your home, or even an established company with an existing supply chain, there are benefits that an off-site warehousing and distribution partner can provide in the increasingly competitive e-commerce world.

Today's internet savvy consumer expects fast shipping at a low price. Moving stock off-site can place it closer to consumers, allowing for swifter delivery. A dedicated warehouse staff can be on hand to promptly and efficiently package orders with a proven SKU processing system, reducing the chance of costly mistakes and consumer dissatisfaction. Inventory can be carefully monitored with an analyst's eye, predicting the ebb and flow of customer demand and reducing waste. Most importantly, orders can be delivered in a timely fashion to where they need to go using distribution lines built over years of satisfying customers.


How Warehousing Benefits Large Scale Organizations

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “Mo' money, mo' problems.” Maybe that wasn't Shakespeare, but it is no less true. As your business or organization grows and expands, you will encounter new sets of challenges. Once you have expanded into multiple locations, that only continues to prove true. The logistics of running multiple sites with an eye on consistency and continuity can be daunting. Off-site warehousing provides a central hub for all business materials to pass through, with professionals on hand to make sure everything gets where it needs to go.

A warehouse and distribution partner can help keep you and your business organized and running smoothly, no matter how large and unruly it seems to become. For example, consider a healthcare group with several large hospitals in addition to a network of smaller clinics, all needing consistent supplies or collateral. Relying on each individual location to procure their own supplies could lead to confusion, miscommunication, inventory issues, or a lack of cohesion and standard quality across the organization. Centralizing the process ensures that inventory is tracked correctly, that all items are of consistent quality, and that resources can be directed towards patient care instead of being diverted towards fixing potential inventory mistakes.


Warehousing to Save on Time and Manpower

A warehouse is more than a building. Adding a warehouse to your operations is like taking on an entire second location, with all the upkeep and manpower that entails. Forbes reports that labor costs and proficiency are among the top concerns for businesses when choosing a warehouse location. Choosing an efficiently run off-site warehousing and distribution center solution saves you that cost and responsibility.

An off-site warehouse has the dedicated staff on hand with the expertise you need for proper inventory management, and the processes in place to get your product packed and shipped with no wasted time. As we have touched upon in the topics above, warehousing is a tool for increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your business or organization for the purpose of providing a great consumer experience. Think of your warehousing partner as a hiring candidate. You would be looking for the applicant with the most experience, best skill set, and proven results.

These are only a few of the concerns that can be met through choosing a reputable warehousing and distribution partner like O'Brien Corporation. Contact O'Brien today to discuss your storage needs.


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