What is warehousing management?

We explore warehousing management for small business. And consider how an integrated eCommerce warehouse can help boost business operations.
· 30 November 2023 · 4 minute read

What is warehousing?

First, let’s discuss the meaning of warehousing. To put it simply, warehousing is the process of storing goods.

This means having a space where you can keep your products until you need to distribute them to customers. Your warehouse can be a dedicated section of your existing premises. Or an external storage facility. This can depend on the size and nature of your business. This form of business operations is very different to dropshipping.

What is dropshipping?

Dropshipping is a retail fulfilment method where the business doesn't warehouse the products it sells. Instead, when a business sells a product, it purchases the item from a third-party and has it shipped directly to the customer. In other words, the business acts as the middleman.

Generally speaking, when dropshipping, business don’t physically handle or stock the products they sell.

 

What is warehousing management?

Warehousing management goes beyond storing goods. It encompasses the systems and processes you put in place to help oversee your warehouse.

Warehouse management can empower you to achieve desired business outcomes. It can include taking action to help you:

  • Optimise business operations
  • Aim to reduce costs
  • Strive to improve customer experience. 

 

Why is warehousing management important?

Warehouse management can be a valuable aspect of business operations. We explore this in more detail below.

Inventory management

To put it simply, inventory management refers to the process of storing, ordering, and selling inventory.

Effective inventory management is an important aspect of warehouse management. It can better position you to keep track of your stock. Being out of stock or overstocked can create issues for small businesses. This could potentially lead to reduced sales, customer dissatisfaction and increased costs.

Inventory management can:

  • Provide you with real-time stock levels
  • Help you make sales forecasts and projections
  • Enable you to track business performance
  • Help stop you from overselling.

Customer experience

Successful warehouse management can also help enhance customer experience. When products are readily available, it’s easier to fulfill orders quickly. And improve delivery timeframes.

This can lead to happy customers and help encourage repeat business. Learn more about how to improve customer experience and boost customer loyalty.

Scalability

Warehousing can support you as your business changes to meet customer demand. By being strategic about your warehouse management it can help make it easier for you to scale your business.

You can also leverage economies of scale. This is the situation where, as the quantity you buy goes up, the cost per unit goes down. Warehousing can help enable you to make bulk purchases at better prices.

 

The elements of efficient warehousing management

There are many different elements that you’ll need to consider when it comes to warehousing. Let’s break some of these down below.

Inbound and outbound shipment handling

How will you manage receiving stock to your warehouse? And how will you distribute goods to your customers? Learn more about how to choose a shipping cost method that suits your delivery process.

You’ll need to decide how you’re going to manage both inbound and outbound shipments.

Inbound handling can include things like:

  • Sourcing and purchasing
  • Recording and receipts
  • Quality control
  • Stock replenishment
  • Tracking expected arrival of bulk shipments.

Outbound handling can include things like:

  • Customer order processing
  • Picking and packing orders
  • Transportation of goods to customers
  • Communicating updates to customers
  • Returns processing.

Storage strategies

It’s important to keep your warehouse organised. This can help increase efficiency and help you maximise space.

There are many different storage strategies to help keep you organised, for example:

  • Warehouse zoning
  • Labelling
  • Sorting in product specific containers
  • Pallet stacking
  • Making use of vertical space.

Storage strategies can help you arrange products in a way that minimises the time and effort required to retrieve them.

Climate control

Climate control is another important aspect of warehousing management. A controlled climate can help preserve the integrity and quality of your goods. Temperature, humidity, air quality and air flow are all important aspects of warehouse climate control.

Security

It’s important to protect the safety of your products. Consider taking adequate security measures when managing your warehousing. This can include things like security cameras, surveillance, locks and access control.

Warehousing technology

There are many different types of warehousing technology available. These tools can provide real-time insights such as the quantity and location of each item in a warehouse.

This software can help automate processes. Plus, help reduce the need to complete manual or mundane tasks. For example, counting inventory items. This can help save time and improve accuracy.

 

Integrating warehousing with eCommerce

By integrating your warehouse with your eCommerce platform you can enjoy many benefits. We discuss how an eCommerce warehouse can help both you and your customers below.

Automated order processing integration

With automated order processing, orders placed on your eCommerce platform are automatically sent to your warehouse. This reduces the risk of errors associated with manual order entry.

Automated order processing can be an important component of your eCommerce warehouse. It can help streamline order fulfilment, without the need for manual intervention.

Automated order processing software can also help generate shipping labels. These labels can capture the chosen shipping method, delivery address and other useful information. This can help speed up the delivery process and reduce the probability of making mistakes when shipping your products.

Online returns integration

Consider facilitating an online returns process that integrates directly with your warehouse.

With the right setup in place, your warehouse and eCommerce platform can help you process returns and update inventory. A seamless returns process can help enhance customer satisfaction and help you recover stock.

Learn more about how to create a returns policy for your online business.

Customer experience integration

Integrating your eCommerce platform with your warehouse is a great way to help improve customer experience. And enable effective communication with your customers.

You can set up automated status updates to provide transparency and help build trust. This can include sending an email or SMS message to customers upon order confirmation, shipping, tracking and delivery.

Consider connecting your customer support system with your eCommerce platform and warehouse. This means you’ll be able to provide accurate responses to customer questions. And answer enquiries about orders, shipping and returns.

Learn more about how to manage your eCommerce supply chain as an online business.

Warehousing management can be a powerful tool for small businesses wanting to thrive. It can help optimise your supply chain while enhancing customer experience and business operations.

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