What is warehousing?
Warehousing is the process of storing goods which are to be distributed later. A warehouse is defined as any place which is used in the accumulation of goods.
Why is warehousing important?
Warehousing is important for businesses that import, export, transport and manufacture goods. Having a central location for your products gives you control over your products and helps you ensure that your customers receive their orders on time. Keeping everything organized in one place can also save you money and boost your productivity. Let’s take a look at some of the things that warehousing can do for your inventory process
Fulfill your orders efficiently
Warehousing enables you to store, ship, and distribute your goods from one single location. This makes it easy for you to track and manage your inventory efficiently. It can additionally reduce your transportation costs, increase your flexibility and reduce your staffing needs.
Add value to your operation
Warehousing allows for timely delivery and distribution of your products, thereby increasing labor productivity and customer satisfaction. Warehousing helps reduce errors, damage to your goods and prevents it from getting lost or stolen during your order fulfillment process helping you deliver your goods on time and increasing your brand value in your customers’ perception.
Reduces the risk to your products
Warehousing is an insured process, which means if your products get damaged or stolen, you will receive compensation to help you replenish your stock. Storing goods in a temperature-controlled warehouse protects them from spoilage and prevents unwanted changes in color or texture.
What processes fall under warehousing?
The exact warehousing process depends on the magnitude of the warehouse operation, the type of warehouse and storage, the company culture, the temperature of the products, any applicable legislative requirements, and the volume of goods moving through the facility. However, every warehousing operation has 5 key processes in common. They are:
Receiving is one of the most important processes in warehousing. It involves a lot of activity, and any disruption in this step can have an impact throughout the entire operation. First, the goods received are checked with the supplier’s packing document. Then the goods are inspected for damage. If there is any physical damage, a thorough investigation of all of the goods in the shipment is carried out. After inspection, the goods are taken to the putaway area.
Putaway is the process of moving the goods from the receiving area to the place where they will be stored. This process involves calculating the resource and space requirements for each item. Goods that are similar to each other are usually stored together so that they can be located and distributed easily. The operators handling the putaway process confirm that the correct storage location has been found and place the goods into their assigned slot before confirming the completion of the process.
Picking consists of collecting articles according to a customer’s order before shipping them. Picking uses a huge amount of resources and usually takes 60% or more of the warehouse’s staff to perform the process. This means that it has a significant influence on your supply chain’s productivity.
Packing consists of combining all the items in a sales order together and getting it ready for shipment. This process involves packing the items in a suitable container, weighing the packed order, printing relevant labels, and selecting the right courier service to complete your delivery.
Shipping is the process of dispatching your orders to their respective customers. The shipped goods are packed early to avoid cluttering in the staging areas which will lead to late deliveries and confusion. The process is aligned with the carrier pick up times.
Warehousing a complex activity where each steps should be handled efficiently in accordance with your organization. A good work-flow implementation for your warehousing process ensures a smooth logistical process and will contribute positively to your business.