Every business that sells merchandise needs to have somewhere to store it – typically a warehouse. Smaller businesses, however, frequently need to change what they sell, and the quantities being stored will vary. This makes owning a large storage space inefficient, but a professional warehouse management solution can be the answer.
A warehouse management solution can save money for a small retailer by using economies of scale to store their goods on a larger scale, yet still keep track of everything. It can be harder to work out where everything is in one big room, but as long as organisation is maintained then it will be cheaper overall than using separate, smaller storage units.
The same principle also applies to deliveries, with one delivery run able to bring everything to the shopfront at once, rather than having a driver need to go to different places to pick up different kinds of stock. In addition to saving money, this will save time and headaches – reason enough on their own to find a warehouse management solution.
Additionally, because the space is there, merchandise can be ordered from the supplier in bulk. Often this results in a discount to the purchaser. Making a bulk order every month (for example) and storing it (with the logistical organisation to manage it) will save money compared to the same amount of goods ordered weekly.
The savings potential of an Australian warehouse management system to a small business is huge.
Flexibility is another advantage of getting someone else to manage stock storage and delivery. A warehouse management solution will enable you to adjust how much space you devote to each kind of stock quickly. You will also be able to modify delivery schedules based on sales patterns, which will save you space at your actual retail outlet.
It will also be far easier to store different kinds of goods. Candles need to be stored very differently to lamps, for example, and yet the same shop will often sell both. A large, professionally managed warehouse will have the facilities to be easily able to store and deliver both. Food and drink needs different storage facilities again – a warehouse management solution will enable you to organise the cool room needed.
A good logistical support provider will be able to store anything you need, and have it delivered to you at short notice. This means that, in addition to goods, you can keep equipment that you don’t use very often in storage. If you run a pub, for example, and occasionally need extra tables, you can keep them stored as a part of your warehouse management solution and have them delivered when they are needed.
This flexibility is invaluable to a small business, particularly if it only operates at a single location. Being able to store different kinds of stock in an easy to access location allows you to modify your delivery and storage as your situation changes. For example, a surf shop might have shipments going to and from a warehouse almost daily in summer, but store a large amount over winter with only fortnightly deliveries. A warehouse management solution makes this organisation easier
Access to information
A good warehouse management solution will have a tracking system in place so you can see where your goods are at all times. If you know exactly how much of each item you have in storage you will be better able to time your stock orders to ensure that you don’t run out, but also use your space as efficiently as possible.
You will also know how soon you need to organise a fresh shipment. If you are selling a lot of a specific good, such as bikinis (using the surf shop example), you know that you need to order more from the supplier before your warehouse runs out. Slower-moving goods, such as surfboards, can be ordered once the warehouse is out (i.e. your remaining stock is all stored in your shop). A warehouse management solution will help you to streamline the process.