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What Is Warehousing and Its Purpose for Small Businesses

Experts predict that 2024 will be another remarkable year for the warehousing industry. 

Namely, there's a steady rise in the use of Artificial Intelligence and automation, an increase in warehouse management systems integration, and wide application of technologies such as big data, inventory tracking, predictive analysis, and blockchain. 

Furthermore, warehouse rental prices are expected to go up, as well as the warehousing industry as a whole.

Moreover, stats show that businesses that leverage warehouses experience a 25% increase in productivity, a 20% gain in space usage, and a 30% improvement in stock use efficiency.

But all these fancy words, cutting-edge technologies, large numbers, and opportunities offered by warehouses are not limited only to the big players.

Small businesses too can take advantage of warehousing and integrate these technologies into their business operations to improve their growth. 

If you are unsure about whether your small business needs a warehouse and how it can help your business grow, continue reading as we discuss the benefits of warehousing for small businesses.

What is a Warehouse?

A warehouse is a facility where raw materials or manufactured goods are stored, packaged, and prepared prior to their distribution for sale. 

Warehouses are usually located in industrial parks on the outskirts and are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc. 

While the primary function of a warehouse is to store goods, it serves many other purposes as well. 

The modern warehouse not only stores goods, but also performs tasks such as receipt of goods, verification of those goods, in-house transport, storage and safe-keeping of items, preparation of orders and consolidation of loads, dispatch of goods, and general management and processing of information related to stock, workflows, demand, and more.

Small Business Warehousing: When is Your Small Business Ready for a Warehouse

If you run a small business that manages high shipment volumes or deals with complex products that are bulky or heavy, handling every new order manually can be overwhelming. 

This becomes even more challenging as your small businesses reach a broader customer base, as without a proper fulfillment structure, you may not be able to serve them effectively. As your small business expands, managing fulfillment in-house becomes more of a hindrance to growth.

Therefore, small businesses can greatly benefit from investing in warehouse space. 

You should consider warehousing options that are within your budget and provide access to features vital for your business goods, such as a loading dock, package receiving, secure access to the warehouse, on-site security, industrial racking, and secure Wi-Fi in the unit.

Consider how your business operates, and what it needs in its storage space, and ask what tools you need to grow. Moreover, make sure to find a suitable location for your warehouse and consider the facility's size, accessibility, and safety to meet your business needs.

Purpose of a Warehouse for Small Businesses

To ensure a beneficial future for your small business, you need to plan for your future growth while maintaining your existing operations. 

Warehouse spaces offer high-quality spaces for securely storing heavy or delicate pallets of products, and racks keep your products off the ground, protecting them from pests, damage, or falling over. With better racking and warehouse organization, you can reduce the number of damaged or lost items and have more space to grow your inventory.

Visibility within the community is essential for small businesses, and a small warehouse space provides a professional site for hosting meetings with your employees and taking better pictures of your inventory for your online store and social media. 

Shipping is also made easier with a small warehouse space that comes with access to a loading dock. You can process pallet loads or truckloads of goods, and receive packages on-site instead of going out to the post office or shipping company to pick up or send deliveries.

With a warehouse, you have the space to organize all your inventory and get your products logged into a warehouse management system. WMS software allows you to know what you have on hand for order fulfillment. 

You can even connect this type of software to your eCommerce website to ensure that you do not sell sold-out products. Plus, in case inventory runs low, the software can instantly order additional products.

These methods of managing your inventory can help you future-proof your warehouse and your business. As your small business grows, you will have to ensure a smooth ordering process and timely deliveries to your customers, optimize your warehouse space, and streamline operations, to ensure your small business continues to thrive.

To Sum Up

Warehousing is an essential aspect of modern business operations, and small businesses too can benefit from it. 

By investing in warehouse space, small businesses can improve their productivity, space usage, and stock use efficiency. 

Moreover, with access to warehouse management software, small businesses can streamline their order fulfillment and shipping processes.

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