Do you intend to hire a 3PL company? If you do, one of your concerns would be the availability of quality warehousing services. Read this excerpt for some tips on how to examine a 3PLs warehousing function.
Create a logistics map detailing your various distribution routes and where you source your raw materials. The map should also include your different markets. You will use this map to identify suitable locations for your warehouses. Ideally, the warehouses should be strategically located along your supply routes. It ensures your clients receive their products on time.
Inspect the available warehouses to determine whether they are suitable for your business. Look out for the following:
Inquire about the services provided at the warehouse. If your company deals with pharmaceuticals or agricultural produce, check the availability of cold storage services. Some 3PL companies will offer packaging and labelling services at the warehouse. Besides, they could also provide inventory control, order fulfilment, transloading and cross-docking services.
Modern warehouses incorporate a wide range of technologies to ease warehouse operations. For example, a warehouse management system is a software that keeps track of orders as they move in and out of the warehouse. The software provides real-time data on the location of the items and the total inventory in the warehouse. Cloud-based warehouse management systems will generate regular reports to ensure you have an easy time managing your inventory.
Check the 3PL's warehousing policy. For example, are you allowed to move products 24/7? What is the company's liability policy? Reputable companies have adequate insurance to ensure compensation in case some of your products get damaged in the warehouse. If you run a small business, the company should allow you to adjust storage space to suit your demand cycle. The company's pricing should be within industry rates. Preferably, go for a fixed charge to avoid extra and hidden costs. The company should allow you to adjust the engagement contract to suit changing business conditions.
When evaluating a 3PL's warehousing, check the location of the warehouses, inspect the warehouses, check the available services and examine the company's terms and pricing. If you are interested in 3PL logistics warehouseing, talk to warehouses in your area.
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