Distribution And Warehousing 101: Is It Right For Your Small Business?
As a small entrepreneur, you want to use strategies that will help your business grow and gain a competitive advantage in the market. And as you’re figuring out different ways to do that, one question that comes to mind is whether distribution and warehousing 101 are beneficial for your business. Here’s a brief discussion:
Understanding Distribution and Warehousing 101
It’s best if you start figuring out what these two aspects of the supply chain entail to have a broader perspective of their significance. To begin, distribution refers to the process and activities involved in transferring goods or products from the producer to the consumer.
The most common distribution channel for goods is from the producer to the wholesaler, then to the retailer, and finally to the consumer. Sometimes the consumer may outsource the goods directly from the producer. As you can now access the producer, wholesalers, or retailers using a mobile phone, technology has shortened these channels.
But, warehousing 101 involves the physical storage of goods before distributing them to customers. This step is essential since it allows you to store a significant amount of physical goods from the manufacturer, and thus, you’ll be able to meet the demands of your customers.
You don’t have to have large custom-made warehouses to practice warehousing. A spare room, a shipping container, and any other place where you store your stock as you await selling them is still part of warehousing.
If you don’t have a place to store your extra goods, especially as a startup company, you can outsource warehouse services from any of the top-grade companies. With this background information, you can say that distribution and warehousing 101 are right for your small business.
Other reasons to justify this answer include:
1.The Two Elements Help Maintain Continuity of the Supply Chain
Can you imagine a scenario where manufacturers produce goods, but due to factors like political instability, they become unable to transfer them to wholesalers, retailers, or consumers? This can lead to a market crisis caused by a product shortage.
Thus, to maintain continuity, goods must flow properly from one distribution channel to the next. Once the wholesalers get the goods from the producers, they should transfer them to the warehouse where retailers will come and buy them and distribute them to respective consumers.
Continuity is also achieved when the goods don’t accumulate and stay in the warehouse for a long time. Instead, they are in constant motion to pave the way for restocking. Large-scale producers should ensure that they supply continuous and adequate products, so the supply chain doesn’t experience lag or stagnation.
As a small business owner, you need to know that you can access goods from a small producer directly, store them and distribute them directly to your customers. If you have customers far from your business premises, you only need to ensure you have enough stock in your warehouse. After that, you can hire transportation means like a truck to dispatch and deliver the ordered goods to customers at their respective destinations.
2. They Encourage Organization In Your Business
The way you start something matters a lot. And WSI Inc is one company you want to emulate in reliability and organization. They have established proper distribution centers and reliable warehousing services. Thus, producers, retailers, wholesalers, and consumers don’t doubt that they’ll receive the goods they ordered.
You must first plan your business logistics to reach where they are. Ensure that you have a small warehouse where you do proper inventory management. This will help you track your goods and directly distribute and ship them to your customers.
If you’ve realized that you’re running out of stock, you’ll be able to take the necessary actions immediately and restock your storage facility. Such an organized business will attract more customers, thus increasing your chances of growing and expanding your target market.
On the flip side, if you have a disorganized storage facility, you won’t be able to manage inventory properly. You’ll end up delaying processing some orders because there’s a high chance that you don’t have a proper track record of your purchases, sales, and remaining goods. This can adversely affect your business since no customer wants to work with such disorganization.
So, even as you incorporate distribution and warehousing 101 in your small business, ensure that you’re organized to get the most benefits.
3. Distribution And Warehousing Encourages The Division Of Labor
When you know that you’re supposed to store goods and distribute them to the customers, you’ll try figuring out the best ways to do that. One option of achieving this is using division of labor and specialization.
Thus, you’ll be able to divide the work among your employees according to their area of specialization. In essence, you’ll have people taking care of different tasks in different segments; for example, some employees can track the flow of goods, while others can receive orders. Moreover, some workers will have the special task of packaging and loading the trucks and others transporting the goods to the customers.
This helps increase the workers’ efficiency, thus, more accuracy. In the end, you’ll have a proper flow of inventory in your small business, and it’ll be able to outdo most of its competitors.
4. You’ll Serve Your Customers More Effectively
If you want to serve your customers, especially the online ones, then you need to incorporate both warehousing and distribution. Whenever a customer orders a product online, they expect you’ll deliver it on the agreed time. No consumer would like to experience delays when waiting for their goods, especially after paying the delivery fee.
So, to help maintain your customer’s loyalty and satisfaction, you need a well-stocked warehouse and ready transportation means like a truck or van. This will help you deliver your goods on time, thus building your brand image and reputation.
On the flip side, if you don’t have a warehouse and receive many orders at a go, chances are high that you’ll end up failing some customers. You may get to the wholesaler and find that they’ve just cleared the stock.
On other occasions, you may even forget to buy some things since you’re in a hurry. You’ll then end up having poor customer service and losing clients. Warehousing is crucial in helping you have a proper plan and track all the goods you have in store. Thus, shipment to your customers becomes easy.
Distribution and warehousing 101 are essential for your small business. Apart from helping you stay organized, you’ll be able to divide the tasks in your company based on your workers’ specialization, thus increasing efficiency. Moreover, you’ll achieve excellent customer service and maintain continuity in the supply chain. So, you can never go wrong using proper distribution and warehousing facilities.