In the fast-paced world of logistics, the term ‘fulfillment’ encapsulates the art and science of meeting customer demands effectively and efficiently. It’s a complex ballet of processes that takes place within the bustling walls of a warehouse. For businesses aiming to grow and thrive, mastering this art form is not just beneficial; it’s essential.
But why is efficient fulfillment so critical for business expansion? Simply put, the quicker and more accurately a business can move products from the warehouse to the customer’s doorstep, the happier the customer is. This satisfaction leads to repeat business, word-of-mouth recommendations, and a solid foundation for growth. Yet, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often grapple with fulfillment challenges such as limited space, skyrocketing overhead costs, and inefficient inventory management.
The Basics of Warehouse Efficiency
When we speak of warehouse efficiency, we’re referring to the strategic orchestration of a warehouse’s operations to maximize productivity and minimize waste. It’s a crucial cog in the machinery of customer satisfaction and impacts the financial health of any business. Efficient warehousing revolves around three pillars:
- Layout Design: Optimizing the physical space for easy access and movement of goods.
- Inventory Tracking: Ensuring real-time knowledge of what’s in stock and where it is.
- Workflow Management: Streamlining processes to reduce time and labor costs.
By focusing on these key factors, businesses can achieve a level of warehouse efficiency that not only supports their current operations but scales with their growth aspirations.
The Rise of Shared Small Warehouse Spaces for Modern Business Needs
Enter the innovative concept of shared small warehouse spaces — a game-changer for SMBs. These communal hubs offer:
- Reduced Overheads: Sharing space means sharing costs, which lowers the financial burden on individual businesses.
- Flexibility and Scalability: As demand fluctuates, so can the amount of space and resources used, allowing businesses to remain agile.
- Collaboration Opportunities: Businesses can benefit from shared knowledge and possibly even share shipments to reduce costs.
By sharing warehouse space, SMBs find that they can enjoy the facilities and systems usually reserved for larger corporations. From e-commerce startups to growing retailers, many have found success in this modern warehousing model.
Overcoming Fulfillment Challenges with Warehouse Efficiency
Shared small warehouse spaces are more than just a place to store products; they are a dynamic solution to fulfillment challenges with warehouse efficiency at their core. SMBs can leverage these spaces to improve inventory management through shared technology and systems. Moreover, they can streamline operations by adopting efficient workflows modeled by the shared space provider. This approach not only optimizes the fulfillment process but also fosters a collaborative environment where businesses can pool resources and knowledge.
The Power of Shared Warehouse Efficiency and Its Key Takeaways
The demand for shared small warehouse spaces is on the rise among SMBs, driven by the need for cost-effective, flexible, and collaborative warehousing solutions. To summarize, these shared environments offer:
- Cost-Effectiveness: They significantly reduce the financial barriers to efficient warehousing.
- Flexibility: They provide the ability to scale up or down quickly in response to business needs.
- Collaboration: They create opportunities for businesses to work together and innovate.
For SMBs aiming to overcome challenges with warehouse efficiency, shared spaces are not just a temporary fix but a strategic move toward sustainable growth.
Embracing Shared Warehouse Efficiency for Business Growth
Addressing fulfillment challenges through warehouse efficiency is not just a logistical concern but a strategic imperative for SMBs looking to expand and excel in today’s market. The emergence of shared small warehouse spaces has revolutionized the way smaller players can compete, offering a pathway to optimized inventory management, streamlined workflows, and the kind of scalability previously reserved for their larger counterparts. These communal warehousing solutions are a testament to the innovative approaches that are now accessible, fostering a collaborative and cost-effective environment for businesses.
By adopting shared warehouse spaces, SMBs can focus on their core business goals, secure in the knowledge that their fulfillment processes are as efficient as they are effective. Whether you are just starting or looking to refine your existing operations, the time to consider shared warehouse efficiency is now. It is a powerful step towards not just meeting customer expectations but exceeding them, thereby driving business growth and ensuring long-term success.
For those interested in experiencing the efficiency of shared warehousing, WareSpace offers tours of its facilities across the United States to showcase how these solutions can work for your business.
Ecommerce sales have been on the rise for the last several years. The pandemic triggered a rapid acceleration in growth among online retailers, with sales in 2020 increasing by 43% compared to 2019. Today, the growth of ecommerce continues. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of the third quarter of 2022, ecommerce continued to grow, showing a 10.8% increase from the same quarter of the previous year. Your ecommerce business can grow with the industry, but you must think about how you store your inventory and seriously consider the benefits of having warehouse space for ecommerce companies.
What Is eCommerce Warehousing?
Ecommerce warehousing solutions offer several benefits for online retailers including space needed to store, sort, and ship products they sell online.
Why Moving Your eCommerce Company from a Garage or Living Room to a Small Warehouse Space Is Beneficial
Your home only has so much space available for you to live in and run a business. Reaching your home’s storage capacity, by filling any free space with inventory for your e-commerce business, limits the amount that you can sell. Plus, by having goods in multiple spots around your home, you have a greater chance of losing track of what you have available in your inventory and when you need to reorder products.
Ecommerce warehousing solutions provide the answer for many small businesses needing storage space. Not all businesses need large warehouses. Learn why WareSpace’s small warehouses are perfect for your ecommerce warehousing needs. Our options allow you to select a warehouse space that matches your volume of inventory. When moving from your home and into a warehouse for the first time, you will likely find that a small warehouse space is sufficient for your storage needs. As your business grows, your warehouse space should, too. Scalable warehousing means that you can choose a larger or smaller warehouse space as your business needs change.
In brief, moving from your home into a warehouse provides you with the advantages other businesses have and helps you to compete among other ecommerce retailers.
5 Benefits of Having Warehousing for eCommerce Businesses
When considering whether ecommerce warehousing solutions are right for your business model, consider your budget, time, and supply needs. Also, recognize that you can gain significant advantages by moving your ecommerce business operations and inventory into a small warehouse space.
1. Ship from Locations Closer to Your Customers
If you want to become affiliated with Amazon through its Seller Fulfilled Prime program, you must have the ability to prepare, package, and deliver orders within two days. This strict requirement stems from the company’s overall ability to meet those short deadlines in its own deliveries. For a small business to meet this type of shipping requirement, you should have a facility that can keep your inventory sorted and ready to package and ship at a moment’s notice. Plus, the warehouse location allows you to position it closer to your customers, thus shortening delivery time. Even if you don’t partner with Amazon, you should still work toward reducing delivery times to keep customers happy. One way to do so is by using a warehouse from which to send your products.
2. Keep Your Inventory Secure
Inventory is a major component of your ecommerce business’ budget. In fact, startup companies may spend between 25% and 35% of their operating budget on inventory. With such a deep investment in the goods you sell, you need to keep them secure. Ideally, you should select an ecommerce warehousing facility that offers 24/7 security with video monitoring of the premises and access control of your space. With these control measures, you can have greater peace of mind that your inventory will be available and protected from theft.
3. Improve Inventory Organization
Homes, garages, and even self-storage units that store inventory for the smallest of new ecommerce businesses don’t offer space to organize or sort products. With a dedicated small warehouse space to organize products, the chance of losing inventory items in clutter drops.
4. More Easily Implement Warehouse Management Tactics
To start using a warehouse management system (WMS), you need to know what you have in your inventory. With an organized ecommerce warehouse storing all your goods, you can more quickly account for all the inventory goods you have. Use this information to facilitate the setup of your WMS, which you can connect to your ecommerce site to further make selling products and buying inventory even easier.
5. Increase Inventory in Scalable Spaces
While your home has a limited amount of space, ecommerce warehouse solutions include a variety of space sizes. As your business grows, you can move into a larger warehouse facility with ease. Similarly, if you need to scale back on your inventory, you can move into a smaller warehouse space.
What Happens If You Don’t Seek eCommerce Warehouse Solutions for Your Business
While ecommerce warehousing offers several advantages for businesses, few online retailers recognize the dangers of not expanding into a small warehouse space. If you keep running your business out of your home, as your retail sales grow, you will face many problems that could impact your bottom line.
1. Hit a Growth Ceiling
Your ecommerce business could hit a growth ceiling. Without storing your inventory in an ecommerce warehouse, you will only be able to grow your business as much as the space in your home allows you to keep your products. Over time, your family members may not like that your business has overtaken the house or garage.
2. Lose Inventory and Money
Another danger of not having a small warehouse space for your ecommerce business is losing money due to poor organization. Not having an organized warehouse for your ecommerce inventory makes losing inventory items more likely. Similarly, reordering products before you need them means that you will have used money and wasted space with excessive products in your home storage.
3. Waste Time
Finally, time and money are intricately linked in the business world, including for small ecommerce businesses. Therefore, anything that wastes time also will cost you money because you will not be able to spend as much of your attention on building customer relationships and improving your business. Wasting time finding inventory items, not knowing what you have on hand, or needing to contact customers because of out-of-stock products all can cost your ecommerce business money.
Your Space Is Ready
Take the chance to expand your ecommerce business by moving your inventory into a small warehouse space. You’ll reap the benefits of a better organized and more secure area for your goods. Why wait any longer to make your move toward greater growth? Your space is ready at WareSpace.
How is your small business doing in 2023 as compared to the time before the pandemic? While the economy suffered significant problems in the last three years, small businesses have weathered the storms of supply chain issues and inflation surprisingly well. A survey at the end of 2022 showed that small businesses saw 4.6% better financial health than in 2019, before the pandemic. This year may be the time to invest in the future for your operations with small warehouse space. A well-managed warehouse gives your business room to grow.
How Small Warehousing Can Help Your Business
Don’t limit your notion of what small warehousing can do for your business to product storage. When you have a small warehouse space, your business benefits in several other ways beyond inventory management. If you are interested in learning more about WareSpace’s small warehouses book a tour to come visit us.
Improved Purchasing Decisions
Small warehouse spaces should have racking for inventory storage. Clear visibility and organization of your products let you see at a glance when your stock gets low. Ideally, you would have a warehouse management system (WMS) software to help keep count of the products you have on hand as customers order them.
Whether you keep tabs on your inventory manually or with software, organizing your stock is the first step. The space and racking in a small warehouse space give you the tools needed for inventory organization. By knowing what you do and don’t have, you avoid wasting money on unneeded product purchases or buying more products than you will sell.
Improved Production Quality
A warehouse ensures that you have full control over the production, packing, and shipping of your products. When doing all these tasks from one location, you can ensure that every item leaving your warehouse meets your quality standards. Being able to maintain high quality keeps your customers happier and more likely to become repeat buyers.
Leverage Cyclical Growth
Cyclical changes may require having access to extra space. Scalable warehousing solutions that let your business move from a small warehouse to a medium facility as sales booms.
However, your business does not need to scale up and down during the year to take advantage of warehousing solutions. A small warehouse space gives many businesses enough extra space to stock extra products to meet demands.
Small warehouses, such as WareSpace, offer expansion and renewal options if you end up growing too quickly. There is the freedom to expand with your needs. Conversely, if you purchase a larger warehouse with a long lease, there may not be the option for you to expand or decrease space depending on what is needed. This means your only option will be to sublease the space for the remainder of the agreement if you do want to make a change.
By keeping your inventory in a secure warehouse on the correct type of racking or shelves, you reduce the risk of product loss
Stored at home, thieves may steal your inventory during a break-in. You may not be able to locate items in a poorly organized garage storage space. Or, improper storage could damage products. With security on site and racking to organize and support inventory, a small warehouse space helps you to mitigate the risks that come with operating your small business from your home.
Offers Additional Storage
Small businesses that move from home or storage unit operations into warehouses gain the space and racking necessary for better inventory organization. A well-organized warehouse gives you quick access to more products at once. Plus, small warehouse spaces offer more room than home garages or guest bedrooms, allowing you to expand your inventory.
Improved Order Processing
Find products that customers order quickly when you have your stock neatly organized in your small warehouse. Faster processing reduces the time required to send customers their orders, which can cut total order fulfillment times.
How WareSpace Can Help Your Small Business
WareSpace provides warehousing solutions to small businesses. You will also find amenities not offered in other shared warehouse spaces. These include:
- Warehouse equipment
- Industrial-grade racking in each unit
- Facility-wide security cameras and systems
- 24/7 access to your warehouse
- Meeting space
- Electricity and secure wi-fi in every warehouse
- Loading dock access
- On-site manager
- Package receiving
- Scalable spaces
- All-in-one pricing
With WareSpace, your business will be able to send and receive more inventory, host meetings for your employees in our conference room, relax in the lounge or kitchen, or access your warehouse at all hours of the day.
WareSpace’s variety of warehouse space sizes and amenities appeals to the needs of businesses from a variety of different fields. Want to see for ourself? Book a tour to see one of our amazing WareSpaces located near you.
Types of Businesses That Benefit the Most From Small Warehousing
Small warehousing solutions are perfect for many small businesses. Several types of companies take advantage of these smaller spaces to get professional storage solutions without renting a large-scale warehouse.
Ecommerce brands that sell directly to consumers benefit from a small warehouse space for better organization of their products. Typical businesses within this category that use small warehouse spaces include Amazon sellers, clothing companies, eBay businesses, drop shippers, and Etsy sellers.
Good organization can speed up order fulfillment and help with the prompt delivery requirements of many online sites. For example, small businesses that sell through Amazon as part of the Seller-Fulfilled Prime program must deliver orders within two days. Some companies can use small warehousing solutions in multiple cities to cut delivery times for online orders.
Professional and Technical Services
Small warehouse spaces can also benefit non-retail companies. Professional and technical businesses, such as non-profits, rental companies, plumbing service companies, small firms, and real estate businesses benefit from the extra storage of small warehouse space. Stocking rental equipment, signage, products for events, or donations in a small warehouse allows these businesses to stay organized.
Plus, the shared office perks of WareSpace solutions, such as conference rooms and meetings, allow for business operations to take place without the need for another building.
Arts, Creative, and Recreation
Creative individuals and businesses need space for the creative process. For instance, photographers, videographers, podcasters, and artists need room to have their equipment for their artistic endeavors. A small warehouse space gives these businesses or individuals space for storing goods, production, and following their creative passions.
Light Manufacturing & Assembly (Solar, Wood, and Manufacturing)
Light manufacturers can use small warehousing as a storage solution for products that complete the production phase and await installation. The companies can also use the space for minor manufacturing tasks.
Solar, wood, or manufacturing companies that need room for production and storage benefit from small warehouse spaces that have built-in electrical outlets and industrial storage racking and warehouse equipment.
Find Out How WareSpace Small Warehousing Solutions Can Help Your Business
Are you prepared to upgrade to a more professional setting for your small business inventory and operations? Check out the spaces available at WareSpace. With options that range from small, which is great for new companies, to large, for established sellers looking for extra space. You’ll find the warehouse space for your needs. Visit WareSpace to learn more about our warehousing options and how to get started.
Do you have what you need for your business to succeed? According to a report from the Small Business Administration, roughly over the last 30 years, only 67.6% of new businesses survived their first two years. Long-term survival numbers become bleaker — with only 48.8% of businesses lasting more than five years and only 25.7% making it to the 15-year mark.
If you want your business to not only survive but thrive in the future, you’ll need to think like a large, established business. Small warehouse space could provide you with the edge you need to meet your company’s changing needs as it grows. The space might be small, but the impact it will have on our business is huge.
What is Small Warehousing for Businesses?
Warehousing is a vital component of storing and distributing products for businesses of all sizes. However, at the end of 2022, small businesses faced a reduction in available warehouse space with many larger companies pushing them out. During the third quarter of 2022, vacancies for industrial real estate were a paltry 3.2%, compared to 5% during the same quarter of 2020.
However, a limited availability of options does not mean that your small business cannot find or benefit from warehouse space. Shared warehousing that offers small warehouse space is a better fit for newly growing businesses. Plus, many of the larger companies don’t use these smaller spaces, freeing these storage solutions for smaller businesses.
Small warehousing for businesses features a variety of storage site sizes. Businesses newly moving into a warehouse benefit most from the smallest spaces. These spaces have everything your business requires to get your inventory securely and safely stored. Amenities vary by location, so look for a site that offers the perks your business needs. Ideally, you should have access to a loading dock, package receiving, secure access to your warehouse, on-site security, industrial racking, and secure Wi-Fi in your unit.
Why Your Small Business Needs Warehousing
How are you keeping track of your inventory? If you are like 50% of small businesses, you started working from your home. Among small companies without employees, 60% continue home operations. If you use a small room or rented storage unit, your business will eventually feel the constraints of those places. Small warehouse spaces can improve your business operations and boost your chances of helping your business to be one of the few businesses that will continue to succeed in the future.
You will need to plan for your future growth as you maintain your existing operations. A small warehouse gives your business the space it needs to grow over time. With options that include small, medium, and large spaces, you can choose warehouse spaces that match the growth of your operations.
Improved Production, Quality, Storage, and More
Warehouse spaces offer high-quality spaces for securely storing even extremely heavy or delicate pallets of products. Racks keep your products off the ground, where pests can damage even non-food cardboard or wood products. Compared to stacking goods on the ground, racks also protect your inventory items from falling over and sustaining damage.
With better racking and warehouse organization quality, you lose fewer items due to damage or poor storage conditions. Plus, you have the space to grow your inventory with your business.
Visibility within the community is important. You gain connections through networking with other small businesses. A small warehouse space gives you a more professional site to host meetings with your employees. Plus, you have a formal space where you can take better pictures of your inventory for your online store and social media.
A small warehouse space makes it easier to send and receive packages. With access to a loading dock, you can process pallet loads or truckloads of goods. Receiving packages on-site is another perk of small warehousing.
Both sending and receiving goods from your small warehouse space lets you stay at your business instead of going out to the post office or shipping company to pick up or send deliveries.
With a warehouse, you have the space to organize all your inventory and finally get your products logged into a warehouse management system (WMS) software program. WMS allows you to know what you have on hand for order fulfillment. You can even connect this type of software to your ecommerce website to ensure that you do not sell sold-out products. Plus, if your inventory runs low, the WMS can instantly order additional products.
These methods of managing your inventory can help you to future-proof your warehouse and your business. Your WMS can help you to meet the high demands of online shoppers, who have many places to choose from. As your online business grows, you will need to use your WMS to ensure that customers have a smooth ordering process and quickly receive their orders. Using your warehouse space with WMS software can help your small business continue to grow and thrive.
Consider What Your Company Needs in a Small Warehouse Space
What does your company need in its storage space? Do you need organized racking for holding your goods? What about storage options that include several sizes for future growth? Do you have employees that you will need to meet with in conference rooms?
Examine how your business operates and ask what tools you need to grow. Use answers to this examination of your business to determine the small warehousing partner to work with.
How WareSpace Can Help Your Small Business
WareSpace does more for small businesses than simply offering storage space. Every warehouse space has an all-in-one price that includes security, utilities, loading dock access, on-site security, Wi-Fi, and package receiving. Plus, you have industrial-grade racking and pallet movers to keep your stock securely stored.
You can operate your business more professionally with a shared conference room and kitchen spaces. Mail drop and package receiving let you keep all your operations in one building, so you save time to focus on keeping your small business going. WareSpace gives your business the perks of a warehouse and shared office without needing to rent both.
Is It Easy to Transition to a Small Warehouse Space?
How easy is transitioning to a small warehouse space? The answer depends on how much inventory you need to move. However, after moving your stock to the warehouse, the last steps in the transition would most likely be updating your shipping address and organizing your new space.
With more space to keep products sorted, you’ll be able to find items and fulfill orders faster. You’ll find the transition from your home or a storage unit into a small warehouse space is easier than starting your business.
A Small Warehouse Space Can Boost Your Small Business
Your small business can have the space and amenities needed to grow with full-featured small warehouse space. Is your business ready to wield the tools it needs to move forward? We’re ready for you at WareSpace. Contact us today.
In 2022, eCommerce continued to climb its rapid upward trajectory with 268 million American shoppers buying from online stores. It is estimated that in the next three years, online shoppers will grow to an estimated 284 million. If you have an ecommerce business, you may need to start thinking about expanding now. One solution is by learning more about ecommerce warehousing solutions and how they can help your business to make necessary changes for growth.
What is ecommerce warehousing? It involves the storage, securing, and preparation of products for online sales. Technically any place where you store your inventory can act as a warehouse. However, your garage will not offer your business the same space and management capabilities of an ecommerce warehouse.
How Does Ecommerce Warehousing Work?
Warehousing for ecommerce goes beyond merely stacking boxes of products and waiting for sales. Inventory management and product security are vital aspects of warehousing for all industries. In a world where online commerce fluctuates with demand, tracking inventory and protecting the goods that you have on hand are very important, to ensure prompt order fulfillment.
Inventory management includes knowing what you have on hand, when the inventory levels of products change, how often to reorder inventory items, and where you should store the items in your warehouse for the best retrieval.
Product security includes keeping your inventory items safe from theft, damage, and loss. On-site security prevents loss from theft. A well-built structure with shelves or racks to store items safely protects goods from damage caused by improperly stacking boxes. Finally, an ecommerce warehouse with an organized inventory means that you know exactly where your products are and how many you have. This can reduce the loss of time and money caused by products that disappear amid the clutter.
What Are the Different Types of Ecommerce Warehouses?
Several forms of ecommerce warehouse solutions exist. They differ in size, ownership, and operations. The best ecommerce option for your business depends on your budget, company size, inventory volume, and needed shipping times.
The government owns bonded warehouses. These facilities offer long-term or short-term storage of goods while awaiting customs approval. You may need to pay customs dues and fill out paperwork for incoming or outgoing products. The name comes from the “bond” issued to businesses that rent space in these facilities.
Consolidated warehouses allow owners to collect goods from multiple supplies and combine them into deliveries for the same area. Inventory items do not spend much time in these warehouses, which reduces the space needed and the overall cost to use.
Cooperative warehouses permit multiple businesses that sell related products to keep their goods in a shared space. Businesses in partnerships with others may benefit from the shared space and cost of a cooperative warehouse.
The government owns and operates government-owned warehouses, which provides reduced rates to businesses in specific fields. One downside to these facilities is the consequence of nonpayment. All inventory stored in the warehouse could come under government seizure if the business fails to pay its lease.
Mostly large corporations, such as Amazon, own and operate private warehouses that only store that company’s goods for sale. Manufacturers, distributors, and wholesale producers may also own private warehouses. These facilities need the resources of such large companies to ensure proper management of the warehouse and maintaining the facility.
Third-party ecommerce warehousing companies own public warehouses, which they lease space out to individual businesses for use. These facilities have various sizes and widely varying amenities that range from none to a full suite of features including security, loading docks, logistics equipment, Wifi, and more.
Larger companies that can afford additional automation tools tend to own smart warehouses. These facilities incorporate AI, robotic arms, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), drones, and data to vastly improve inventory tracking and management of large volumes of goods.
What Factors Should You Consider When Setting Up Ecommerce Warehousing?
When setting up your ecommerce warehouse, think about how you need the space and how you will use it. Factors to think about during setup include available space, equipment, safe operations, on-site security, and inventory management.
The space will depend on your typical volume of sales and how much inventory you need to keep on hand. The first warehouse for most ecommerce businesses tends to have a small space. However, as the business grows, you should scale up the warehouse with your sales.
Small Warehouse Equipment
Equipment for storing and moving equipment can protect you or any employees you have from injury while also keeping your goods organized and safely stored. Look for facilities that provide logistics equipment, such as dollies and pallet jacks. The facility should also have racking for safely storing your inventory. Other important pieces of equipment include packing equipment and locations on-site for sending and receiving goods, such as loading docks or mail drops.
Safety and Security
Safety and security are both important factors in running a warehouse. You need to make sure that you know the requirements from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safe warehouse operations. These guidelines ensure that everyone in your warehouse stays safe while working. You must educate yourself on warehouse safety but also choose a space that allows you to have room to operate without creating hazards.
Security from on-site security cameras and only allowing access to your warehouse by authorized personnel are important things to look for in any warehouse. Products stolen from your warehouse increase your operating budget. Good on-site security reduces your chances of loss.
Your inventory management will be up to you. You can choose from a variety of warehouse management systems (WMS), which are software programs used to track and order inventory. With these systems, you can look at your computer to determine if you have enough stock available for a seasonal rush. Additionally, these systems allow you to connect your ecommerce retail site. Customers can get order verification and shipment tracking automatically. Plus, the WMS can automatically order inventory items that sell out.
In brief, the features of the warehouse you use for your ecommerce business can impact your inventory management and business operations.
Your Space Is Ready
Once you understand how ecommerce warehousing works, you can fully appreciate the capacity it has to provide your business with the tools you need for growth. At WareSpace, we have several warehouse space options. Check them out to find the perfect space for your ecommerce business.
Your space is ready. Are you?