A warehouse is more than just a place to store your goods. This facility protects your products from theft and helps prevent damage caused by pests. Depending on the warehouse type, it can even be a centralized location for other logistics operations, such as inventory management and distribution.
Limited space is a common problem among those who use warehouses for their goods. However, with the right types of warehouse systems in place, you can optimize the space you have to safely accommodate more goods. At the same time, these systems facilitate more efficient storage, inventory management and distribution.
There are many types of warehouse solutions available, so it can take time to choose the best one for your business. This article discusses the most popular types of warehouse solutions available to help you choose the one that best meets your needs.
Three Types of Warehouse Solutions and Their Purposes
This solution is designed to streamline the fulfillment of individual orders. In a pick-and-pack warehouse, items are stored in a way that helps workers pick items quickly and accurately.
Generally, pick-and-pack warehouses serve business-to-consumer (B2C) companies. Some examples include e-commerce stores, retailers, wholesalers, drop shippers and other businesses that need fast and accurate order fulfillment.
Using this type of warehousing solution offers many benefits. For instance, you don’t have to store a large amount of inventory at a given time. This improves the efficiency of your supply chain and helps reduce storage, transportation and insurance costs.
Pick-and-pack warehouses also help improve order accuracy. This translates to fewer customer complaints and improved customer satisfaction.
How It Works
There are many different systems used in pick-and-pack warehouses, but they generally have the following steps in common:
- Receiving: A business creates a purchase order (PO) to notify the warehouse of new inbound products. Once the warehouse receives the products, these are entered into the system and assessed for obvious shortages, overages and damages.
- Syncing: A customer places an order, the details of which are sent from the business’s e-commerce platform to the warehouse’s management system. A digital or physical packing slip is generated for the order.
- Picking: A worker locates and selects the items listed on the packing slip or mobile tablet. Typically, it has bar codes that help the worker find the right products and ensure order accuracy.
- Packing: The worker takes the items to the packing station. They are packed and labeled for shipping.
The packed orders are then taken to the loading dock, where carriers pick them up for delivery to the customers.
While the pick-and-ship process might seem simple, many other processes and tasks take place between the steps. These include ensuring the number of products matches warehouse records, checking items for damage or spoilage and tracking the location and quantity of items using SKUs.
2. FBA Prep Warehouse
The Amazon Fulfilled By Amazon (FBA) program allows sellers on its platforms to use its warehouse for storage and fulfillment. Being an FBA seller has many advantages, such as low postage rates for customers as well as a complete warehousing, fulfillment and returns solution.
However, Amazon has strict guidelines on quality control as well as on preparing and packing items for delivery to customers. Complying with these guidelines can take time and effort, which is why many sellers outsource FBA prep to FBA prep warehouses.
FBA prep warehouses are facilities that focus on preparing products for shipment to Amazon FBA warehouses.
How It Works
FBA prep warehouses offer a wide range of services to help sellers save time and ensure compliance with Amazon guidelines. These include:
- Receiving products
- Inspecting products for damage or spoilage
- Labeling products with Amazon’s Fulfillment Network Standard Identification Numbers (FNSKUs)
- Bundling and kitting products
- Packaging and shipping products to Amazon FBA distribution centers
3. Short-Term Warehouse Storage
Some warehousing service providers offer short-term or temporary storage. Generally, lease periods are shorter than 90 days. This type of facility is ideal for businesses with fluctuating storage requirements.
Some examples of situations where short-term warehouses are ideal are:
- Seasonal Needs
Businesses that sell seasonal products may only need storage space at certain times of the year. Additionally, some companies, such as hotels and resorts, may need to store equipment and furniture during off-peak periods. For example, a snow removal company may need a place to keep their snow blowers, snow shovels and salt spreaders during spring, summer and fall.
- One-Off Projects
Businesses involved in short-term projects, such as conventions and trade shows, may need a place to temporarily store equipment, merchandise and gear.
- Renovations and Relocations
When moving, a business may need to temporarily store office equipment, goods and furniture until their new location is ready. The same goes for renovations.
How It Works
Using a short-term warehouse is the same as using a standard warehouse. The main difference is that short-term warehouses offer more flexible lease terms. Similar to long-term warehouses, they may also have other features that can be useful to businesses, such as loading docks, climate control and security systems.
The advantages of short-term warehouses are their ability to solve storage challenges flexibly, without the need to commit to long leases and without the costs associated with long-term storage facilities.
Determining the Right Kind of Warehouse for Your Needs
The section above only mentions a few of the many types of warehouse facilities a business can use. With so many options, it can be challenging to determine which is best for your company.
Before deciding, consider the following:
1. The Type of Goods You Plan on Storing
Not all warehouses can accommodate all kinds of goods. If you sell perishable items like food or cosmetics, you might need to lease a cold storage warehouse.
2. The Size of Your Inventory
Knowing the size and volume of your inventory will help you determine how large you need your storage space to be. Apart from the actual number of your products, consider the area to be taken up by racking, pallets and cases.
3. The Services You Need
As mentioned, some types of warehouse storage facilities offer specialized solutions. Before choosing a warehouse, determine whether you need a specific service. For instance, do you need help with order fulfillment? Are you an FBA seller needing assistance with preparing goods for FBA fulfillment centers?
4. Features and Amenities
Some warehouses have features, amenities and technological capabilities that you might find useful or even necessary. These include loading and unloading docks, security systems, climate control systems and inventory management software.
Get Reliable and Flexible Warehouse Storage Solutions for Your Business
Find everything you need to ensure secure, efficient and cost-effective warehouse storage at Warehousing Pro. We specialize in providing flexible and innovative storage and warehouse services for personal and business needs.
We offer several types of warehouse solutions, including pick-and-pack, short-term and FBA prep. Our facilities have the equipment to safely and efficiently transfer and organize inventory, such as forklifts, hand dollies and pallet jacks. We take pride in providing our customers with exceptional solutions at competitive rates. To learn more, contact us.