Thinking about outsourcing your warehousing needs? The decision shouldn’t be taken lightly as there are several pros and cons for outsourcing.
Pro: Storage that Grows and Shrinks as You Need It
If you have used your own warehouse for more than a year, you’ll understand how the flux of orders can require a bigger warehouse at times and a smaller one during slower seasons. Paying for a warehouse that doesn’t fit your needs doesn’t make sense, so outsourcing to a warehousing facility that will grow and shrink to fit your needs is a good idea.
Con: Inventory Won’t Be Onsite
One of the biggest problems with outsourcing your warehousing needs is that your inventory won’t be onsite with the rest of your business. Unless you choose a warehouse facility in your own town or city, you won’t be able to see or access your inventory very often.
Pro: Detailed Reports
Though you may not be able to see your inventory in person, warehouse facilities offer their clients up-to-date software that allows them to track inventory and more from their office. Also, the fact that a warehousing company is storing and reporting on your inventory means that you won’t need to hire someone for the job, saving on staff costs.
Con: Immediate Response
Since your warehouse may not be physically accessible, it may be hard to fix a problem as quickly as if the warehouse was onsite. Making back and forth phone calls can lead to frustration and delays on fixing problems. If you make sure to choose a reliable warehouse company with multiple customer service contacts, though, this con can be minimized.
When choosing a warehouse company, you can pick one that will also ship your inventory directly to customers. They will take care of updating inventory spreadsheets, ordering shipping labels and boxes, handling returns and every other aspect of shipping. Allowing a warehouse company to take over these aspects allows you and your staff to focus on growing the company. And a lot of times, warehousing companies will be able to get you better rates than you could get yourself.
If your warehouse isn’t nearby, you will need to travel there for the initial inspection and periodically to check on how well your inventory is being taken care of. This added expense may not factor into your budget.
Overall, outsourcing your warehouse can be a good fit for most businesses. It can save you time and can save your money as opposed to running your own. A warehousing facility allows you to hire fewer staff. Plus, you will always have a warehouse that is always the right size, with no wasted space. You will never be paying for more space than you need, nor will you need to move to a bigger facility and waste money on moving costs. If the pros outweigh the cons for you, make sure to choose a qualified warehousing company that will work with your company’s needs.