Published on May 14th, 2019
Getting started in warehousing is a large undertaking. You can do a lot of things with a warehousing enterprise. But before you get going, you will need to set up a plan and do some research.
Warehousing takes several things: one or more properties to warehouse on, a finance plan that may include some lines of credit, staff, and equipment.
Warehousing is all about the right storage unit. Sometimes people think of warehousing as simply arranging goods inside any old large building. But there are specialty buildings for everything. For example, you could warehouse boxes of bananas. Or you could warehouse electronics parts. Those two things are very different and require different types of storage. The one needs a cooler environment and the other needs a rather warm environment.
Boxes of bananas tend to be rather large, while electronics parts are rather small and tend to come taped together in pallets. If you store a banana at too warm a temperature, it will rot. If you store an electronic device at too cold a temperature, the battery will wear out too soon. So each type of product needs different storage, usually in its own building.
Warehousing is also about maximizing space. You might want to consult with a logistics manager before you lay out your interior warehousing plans, because they can make sure that you are utilizing your space correctly. Some things, like fireworks, have special handling instructions and law.
Others, like food and interior furniture, will self-destruct if not handled properly. You will need to have a very smart layout to make money warehousing so that you don’t waste space, either by not using it or by accidentally destroying goods.
Warehousing takes a lot of administration. You will need rather large amounts of staff, plus the right tractors and loading blocks to move the goods. It’s important to get really organized if you plan to go into warehousing so that you know where everything is.
You will likely be keeping track of thousands to hundreds of thousands of items, so finding the right software to help you is of the utmost importance. You will need something that is easy to read and work with. However, it shouldn’t be too simple. A program that doesn’t allow you to update anything in real time will not help you very much.
Once you’ve got a list of what goods you will be available to warehouse and have met with a logistics manager, you will need to get a business plan going that includes your equipment expenses. The right equipment is essential to your business, so make sure that you include plenty of margin for repair and maintenance.
Lastly, strategically place your warehouses. Work with the driveway and loading docks to make sure that delivery and load times are as short as possible, and that accidents are not too likely to happen due to traffic on the premises. Then, keep good records and work with a logistics manager to optimize your business from there.