The success of a company’s warehousing and distribution center services is critical in delighting your customer base. Heck, these two “links” in the supply chain are essential components of most companies’ entire business model! Whether you’re talking raw materials or finished goods, it’s a tough enough task for business owners to make and sell your products, let alone handle warehouse management, chasing inventory sheets and packing slips 24/7.
As a result, savvy business executives know that effective and efficient supply chains result in optimized cost, better customer experience, and increased profits even in this digital age. They know how to leverage Distribution Services to get financial results.
Think of the Warehouse as the Nucleus of the Operation
Within a distribution center, the warehouse serves as the central space for inventory in a variety of ways. Goods are sent to the warehouse and organized in a highly nuanced manner. These products are stored in their respective spaces until the orders roll in. In essence, warehouses serve as the hub that originates the distribution of products to customers.
Full often are warehouse personnel mischaracterized as heavy lifters that move products to their appropriate spaces. However, in modern distribution centers, warehouse professionals are logistics experts equipped with technology to accept inbound shipments, identify products, sort through those products and organize them in a manner that allows for quick and easy retrieval.
Inventory is strategically stored to meet client needs related to safety, security and inventory turnover times. The storage process in a warehouse may seem random, but a warehouse that is efficient and fast is a priceless one. Conversely, a warehouse lacking safety, ample spacing and the proper conditions (temperature, humidity level etc.) will inevitably disappoint customers and increase supply chain expense.
Modern Distribution Centers Ensure Supply Chain Viability and Efficiency
The services provided within a well-equipped Distribution Center, empower a business to ensure the right products are readily available exactly when necessary. Whether orders require bulk, break-bulk, pick and pack, kitting, special storage or handling, assembly or shipment consolidation, the warehouse serves as ground zero for all such happenings.
Here are a few services that are very effective in maintaining end-user satisfaction but often go unnoticed:
- Most warehouse managers engage in the practice of “safety stocking.” This means a specific number of each inventory item stored within the warehouse at all times. Safety stocking is prudent as warehouses are relied upon to ensure customers receive their goods in good condition regardless of challenges with weather and transportation.
Think of this practice as a backup plan that guarantees outbound orders are accurate according to consumer orders without delay.
It’s an insurance policy of sorts against an item being out of stock when customer orders roll in. From the inbound side of things, safety stocking prevents logistics challenges like trucking breakdowns and damaged shipments from resulting in a failure to fulfill customer orders.
- Many distribution centers determine that clients benefit from a cross-docking solution where inbound freight is immediately moved to a separate dock for outbound service, avoiding storage and accelerating the supply chain. Cross-docking inherently boosts the value of the overarching system by saving transit time and providing faster delivery.
- Distribution centers can simplify inventory and logistics processes by utilizing “central hubs” that consolidate orders highly efficiently. Consolidation expedites order delivery also frees up storage space in the warehouse, and expedites order delivery time. From the customer’s perspective, consolidation empowers the business to sell its products at lower costs and prompt delivery initiation (in some cases same-day delivery). In the end, customers who receive low-cost goods on time are likely to place repeated orders and remain loyal to the business across posterity.
If not for the strategic benefits provided by Distribution Centers, logistic systems (order processing, inventory level management, and freight transportation) would fail to achieve their primary purposes of reduced cycle times, cutting costs and maximizing customer satisfaction.
The Conclusion and Economic Advantages
Distribution Centers and the services offered within make a positive impact on the bottom line in several ways. As explained above, the centers:
- provide a central hub for warehousing and order fulfillment that make operations hyper-efficient
- Enhance the business’s ability to produce and sell more items through increased inventory levels, storage capacity, and warehouse space
- Reduce the need to transport products individually by routing them first to the warehouse then assembling them into a consolidated order before sending them to the customer.
About BR Williams Trucking & Logistics
BR Williams, a family-owned Trucking, Warehousing, Fulfillment & Logistics Company has been serving customers since 1958. We specialize in removing the supply chain frustrations our customers have by developing custom-made solutions. We offer nationwide transportation services through our fleet and logistics division. Our multiple fulfillment and distribution warehouses in Alabama span over 1.7 million square feet. Our core values are HONESTY, INTEGRITY, SERVICE. We still serve our first customer that was established in 1958.