4 Tips for expansion of the warehouse network
Are you seeking some means and ways to grow further in this year? If you wish to improve the agility of your shipping operation or want to include new products on board, it is time you consider the expansion of your warehouse network. Every small or a regional business, tends to keep the warehouse close to the location of the headquarter or in close proximity to the retail store. But for those seeking expansion, either nationally or globally, here we have compiled some tips that may seem helpful during the course of expansion of your warehouse network.
Know well about the import requirements of your business
Every time, you plan to make an investment in real estate, one important factor of consideration is the location of the building. This golden rule applies to the location of the warehouse as well. Of course, you might put in a lot of thought in picking the location of the warehouse however there are certain additional factors too that need to be considered so as to make the location of the warehouse more effective. So, based on the type of your business and what you intend to do with this new warehouse, the location should be considered in relation to several other important factors. One such factor is the location from where you are importing the goods?
Are the goods locally sourced? Do you import your goods from across the border? Are you located in close proximity to the major highway that accesses the airport, port, farm or factory from where the goods are imported? Answer these questions and you’ll have an answer regarding the kind of business you operate and the most ideal location for your warehouse. So, research about the import requirements of the business and only then you can hunt for an ideal location of the warehouse network.
Match it with your retail requirements
The next point of consideration is how your warehouse expansion will augment the retail needs. However, it goes beyond the obvious selection of the warehouses that are well coordinated with the retail stores. Of course you need to take into consideration how the retail stores will benefit from the growing warehouse network but you also need to assess how accessible you would want your warehouse to be not just for your retail staff but also for your executive staff. This thought can be given a little concession if you have a definite presence online. In that case your warehouse network must be optimized in a manner that accentuates online shopping agility.
For instance, if you are located in the west coast and all your operations are carried on from there, is it reasonable to set up a warehouse in the east coast, just because it is cheaper? Not really! So, these are few important questions that you need to consider against other factors influencing the expansion of your warehouse network.
Consider ease of logistic management
For businesses that deal in product production, manufacturing or bundling in a warehouse, must consider how these steps affect the storage of the raw and the finished goods in the warehouse. Do you want to have a dedicated warehouse for moving the goods to different warehouses? Are you looking for specialized warehouses that holds specific product types? Do you want to have different warehouses offering similar goods in the different regions only with an object of fastening the delivery process? Will the expansion effect your existing logistics? Do you opt for a service like FedEx or UPS when hiring a logistics company for the shipment of the goods between warehouses would have been way cheaper? So, weigh the fact that if you have long been dependent on the local warehouse in the past how will a warehouse that is far off, impact your cost? Thus, you must consider every possible aspect of how the logistic will be effected post the launch of a new warehouse. Naturally, there will be pros and cons that you must consider.
Have the most ideal software
True, the above listed physical and logistical factors will determine your warehouse expansion but another factor that you need to consider is the impact software can have on your warehouse. Your warehouse network cannot be absolute without the proper inventory management software to deal with the goods at an internal level before facilitating their shipment to the customer. Moreover, if you are growing online, then adoption of the right inventory management software can definitely speed up the shipment process thereby making warehouses a lot more flexible without any shipping support from retail stores or other related venues.
These are the four most important tips that you need to consider before you plan the expansion of your warehouse network. Do let us know, how well these tips worked for you during the expansion phase!