In a modern warehouse, optimization is key. You don’t want to be running out of product when a client wants it or paying for empty space unnecessarily. But there are quite a few factors that can upset the delicate balance of such a complex space. If you don’t watch out, they might become a logistical nightmare. Here are just a few tips for running a smooth supply chain operation:
Choose the Right Location for Your Business Goals
The first step to having a smooth warehouse is by choosing the right place for your customers. Many 3PL providers will situate their warehouse locations based upon their distance from most of the U.S. population while optimizing for costs. This is especially important for ecommerce business, but selecting a warehouse location is going to be important for everyone and can vary significantly depending upon your target market. So, keep your business’ needs and goals in mind.
Get Inventory Management Basics Down Pat
Once you’ve chosen a warehouse location, the next most important factors are how you’re storing your products, best practices for their distribution, and creating a seamless restocking system so you never miss a customer when they’re ready to buy. All of these are core goals of inventory management techniques coupled with consumer demand forecasting. So taking the time to find an expert in them can make a huge difference.
Seamlessly Integrate Supply Chain Technology
A smooth warehouse operation has the tools to safely move freight and track it. New technology like an IoT enhanced supply chain can provide the ability to see a package’s GPS location between checkpoints, making complicated customer interactions a lot easier. Good logistics tech has the ability to provide more accurate consumer forecasting, streamline paperwork, and provide real-time tracking, all of which can help safeguard your business during challenging times.
Write a Comprehensive Contingency Plan
When it comes to a supply chain, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. And in the last few years, we’ve all learned that a supply chain can be affected by large societal disruptions at levels never previously imagined. But having a contingency plan that covers all possibilities can limit disruptions and return to normal more quickly than without one.
Have a Turnkey Program for Additional Services
Over time, your business is going to grow, change, and have obstacles it needs to overcome. Choosing the right 3PL partner with the ability to grow with you and provide value-added services can help solve problems before they come to fruition. Services like kitting and repackaging can help you quickly take advantage of new customers with personalized needs. And quality inspection services, module testing, and dry packing can ensure you’re providing customers with only the best products.
Keep One Eye Toward the Future
As has been made clear in this blog, situations change for supply chains just like they do for humans. But you can usually stay ahead of them if you train an eye on the horizon to see what’s coming early. So, you’re wanting a smooth operation? Take the extra time to learn about proposed regulations before they’re approved, find ways to implement growing trends like eco-conscious warehousing before they become insurmountable, make workers a priority before they become disgruntled and be open to change generally.
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes in to operating a smooth warehouse, and in many ways this is just the tip of the iceberg. Having a supply chain partner with expertise in keeping the trains running just in time can make a huge difference when it comes to pricing, customer satisfaction, and general headache. Want to learn more about what makes our warehouses move harmoniously? Reach out to our team.