Are you trying to determine how to pick the best public warehouse for your business? This is a common question that many consider when outsourcing their warehousing. So we’ve compiled a listing of the most important things to consider when trying to pick the best public warehouse.
- Location – There are so many things to consider when comparing various locations for your public warehouse. Where is your supplier or manufacturer located? Where are your customers located? Do you want the public warehouse to be close to your company headquarters? All of these are important questions to ask, but be careful to remain objective about the best location for your public warehousing needs. Many times companies lean towards a location close to them, losing out on many of the shipping synergies and cost efficiencies available by locating in another area.
- Reputation – Even though warehousing and shipping seems very easy, there are so many factors that make it quite complex for many businesses. For example, companies with unique requirements, kitting projects, and a high number of sku’s are just a few of the examples that can make this seemingly easy function difficult. And it should be of no surprise that there a great deal of companies out there that don’t do a great job of routinely and accurately shipping products for customers. So take a critical look at anyone that you consider, because you don’t want to be caught behind the eight ball with shipping errors.
- Technology – This may or may not be an important factor for your business. If you have more of a straight warehousing need, then sophisticated order fulfillment software isn’t going to tip the scale on your decision. However, if ecommerce integration, online reporting, and bar code scanned order management are important, then you need to find a capable company with these competencies.
- Service – How much service you get from a company will be a function of the size of your deal and the type of provider you choose. In other words, if you have high volume of storage or orders, you’ll probably command a great deal of service and attention. However, if you’re a smaller company, then you may have to search more strategically for the right sized public warehouse to give you the best mix of service and pricing.
- Pricing – Of course, many would argue that the company with the lowest prices would be the best way to go. But this isn’t always true. Sometimes, for example, you get what you pay for. Use your common sense – when a company comes in so much lower than others, you might want to consider why. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. And furthermore, quality is extremely important. In order for a company to provide high quality services, they won’t necessarily be the cheapest company out there.