One of the beauties of the ecommerce trade is that you can start a business in the comfort of your home. But, as you get more successful, your business could end up encompassing online sales, warehousing, and distribution. However, there are lots of things you need to get right to ensure any chance of success. And in today’s guide, we’re going to give you all the best tips you need to set up your first warehouse for your ecommerce business. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Do you need a warehouse?
Success in ecommerce tends to mean you have to start selling products on a massive scale. At some point, you are going to have to come to a decision about how you are going to manage it. You can get away with using a distribution company or third party warehousing service, of course, and going down this route has its benefits. However, if you want to have more control over the ins and outs of your business, setting up a warehouse yourself is often the way forward.
The most valuable area of your business?
There is a strong argument that your warehouse will become the most important part of your business, and your most valuable asset. It’s the hub of your company, after all, where goods come in and go out, and your efficiency in running a warehouse will go a long way towards making a success of your ecommerce enterprise. It’s an opportunity to reduce your cost of sale, and a well-run warehouse often leads to a wider customer base and higher profits.
What equipment do you need?
You will need to be thinking about shelving and storage – and plenty of boxes and tape for packing, along with a suitable table area for workers to pack and dispatch. When you are just starting out, consider forklift hire rather than buying them outright – forklifts will be an essential part of your warehouse, but there is no need to ‘own’ them as such. A computer system is necessary in this day and age, along with some inventory software, to enable you to track and trace stock that is coming in and out. Let’s take a closer look at stock control right now.
How do you get inventory control right?
Inventory control techniques differ from business to business. But, as a rule, there are a few things you will need to consider for your ecommerce warehouse. As you establish your business, you should be looking for portions of your inventory that are more frequently picked and shipped than others – your top sellers, for instance. It is essential that you have a regular ordering system in place, to ensure that you never run out of those key product lines.
Are there safety problems?
When you have high shelving units, forklifts, and lots of heavy boxes of product, it can be a recipe for disaster. It is essential that you take your health and safety responsibilities seriously, or you might end up paying for it with your business. Finally, a safer outlook isn’t just for health reasons, either – keeping gangways clear also boost worker’s productivity. Good luck with your new ecommerce warehouse!