Warehouse storage pertains to any large facility used to store physical goods. This could be anything from clothes to electronics or planes. Some warehouses are empty, while others are organised with a large storage apparatus and pallets. There are a few types of storage.
For example, there is general warehouse storage for the public that seeks to store goods for a designated period of time in a single closet-like space. There is cold warehouse storage for grocery store suppliers. There is also regular storage for retail businesses that simply would like to keep stock and supplies for secure warehousing. Then, there is eCommerce warehousing.
This type of warehouse storage is specifically used to store goods before they are sold to customers online. This is what Selazar does specifically as a 3pl. Responsibilities include keeping inventory secure in an organised environment, picking and packing the inventory when orders come in online, forecasting supply volumes, and tracking orders in real time. E-commerce warehousing ensures your orders are processed smoothly from intake to final mile delivery.
What is inventory storage?
Inventory management is an integral part of your eCommerce business. Inventory storage specifically refers to the logistics process of organising physical products in a controlled environment, like a warehouse or large space. The purpose is to organise the physical products so they can be easily managed, tracked, and quickly distributed to customers.
What established businesses and 3pl companies will tell you is that inventory management is a critical component of B2C eCommerce. With eCommerce warehousing, there is a myriad of processes to ensure optimal operations and smart inventory tracking practices; for better shipping and distribution.
Selazar warehouses are divided into alphabetised rows that organise small to large items. It also includes a custom packaging area, delivery pickup area, and special docking station for the inventory intake process. It is managed so that dispatch speed is much quicker while also being more accurate.
Implementing smart inventory management and tracking is critical for supply chain operations. The aim is to be aware of your inventory at any given time, and how much of it you have so you can manage your inventory levels correctly. Mismanaging products can lead to delays in getting products out to customers, reflecting badly on your business. 34 percent of businesses have shipped an order late because they inadvertently sold a product that was not in stock. Digital software can manage inventory with ease so that everyone is aware of what is or is not available.
Inventory management, like Selazar’s, uses innovative inventory software, automation, and digital mapping. Technically speaking there is a lot more than meets the eye with storage and distribution.
Selazar is revolutionising supply chain management through the medium of technology. As a 3pl, we offer services like storage, pick and pack, and shipping, but at our core are a software company. We have gathered an innovative tech team that has created a proprietary software for Selazar alone, uniquely developing an industry-leading API (Application Programming Interface).
When packages arrive in the warehouse at Selazar, they are already labelled, and Selazar scans them before allocating them. Each parcel is given a unique SKU number (Stock keeping unit). The Selazar algorithm automatically calculates the best area for parcels based on the boxes’ size and shape and the product amount. All the relevant data about the package is automatically synchronised, including product description, seller information, customs information, and more. Oh yeah, and it is all done with mobile phones.
Within the Selazar portal, all information is automatically stored and can be seen from the warehouse worker’s mobile device to the end user (business owner) in real time.
2-way stock sync
Another added benefit of the Selazar platform is that it negates backorder issues. The system has a two-way sync with Shopify. Essentially, the stock that is held in our warehouse will synchronise with the number of units available in your store.
So, if you have 10 units of stock sitting in our warehouse, your Shopify store’s available stock level will also be 10 units. This allows your customers to freely purchase these items. If there is no stock of a particular unit in the warehouse, your Shopify store can be set up to show an item as being out of stock.
When a package is scanned in a distribution warehouse like Selazar, it is automatically assigned to a particular area – meaning pallet location or shelf location. This is all part of the intake stock process (ISP) After being assigned to a specific area, a worker takes the quickest route to the area through digital mapping. This allows for a streamlined and efficient process. The advantage of smart automation is that it allows us to not only move stock well during intake but also makes it easier to process large volumes of products. Packages are pre-labelled, and the scan upon intake provides all the necessary information about the product’s details making it simple, straightforward, and fast. After this process is complete and an order is placed online by a customer, a worker is automatically assigned again to pick and pack the products. The is known as pick and pack fulfilment. It is scanned again when ready and then dispatched, which updates live within your online shop.
Self-Storage is inefficient
Smaller businesses will often keep products within their home or local business or use a local storage company. This can be a satisfactory solution in the beginning, however, can disrupt the home or business environment as operations expand. Then they need to physically drive and drop off packages which are very time-consuming and expensive. Deliveries will take longer. Plus, the entire inventory must be managed by the same people who need to be focusing on marketing, customer service, and so much more. 38% of customers say they will never shop with a retailer again following a negative delivery experience.
Paying for a general storage unit somewhere locally to store your products may also seem like a clever idea, however, can be limited due to the availability of units. It also takes a lot more time to drive and pick up, causing further delays.
Remember that you will also be paying monthly for general storage units, so you must pay for all the days. This is not necessarily a more cost-effective solution. You are still paying for storage if you sell out of all your product before the month is over.
Selazar offers a pay-as-you-go model, also known as consumption-based pricing. . If you sell out of stock, there are no further fees.
SEE A TOUR OF OUR 3PL WAREHOUSE
As businesses grow and develop, some may start to consider the idea of purchasing or leasing a physical space themselves for warehouse storage. After all, why not control the entire operation?
If you do still try to accrue warehouse space, common costs associated include:
These are reasons why a good 3pl provider is a more effective solution, saving your business hundreds or even thousands every month. On top of that, you have the added benefit of not having to deal with the fulfilment centre process, allowing you time to focus on growing the business.
Keeping track of all these factors is liable to human error with antiquated ways of supply chain management. Using spreadsheets for smaller businesses is by no means a scalable solution. It is not automatic or efficient enough like smart automation.
Selazar has a 99.9% pick and pack accuracy rate, and their average order fulfilment time from online order to dispatch is under 30 minutes. With the average pick time being only 37 seconds on average, this keeps your costs low, because you are only charged for the time it takes to fulfil the order.
When to switch to 3pl services for warehousing and distribution
There are a lot of reasons why you may need to outsource your fulfilment operations. For example, if you are running out of space and growing faster than you can keep up with, it may be time to switch to a 3pl. Here are some more common issues:
1) Daily Service issues
Are your customers being let down on a frequent basis by slow delivery, damaged packaging, or wrong order fulfilment?
2) Shipping Costs
Is your bottom line being affected by lots of shipping costs?
3) Packing and shipping too complex
Are you struggling with special packaging on top of storage space and stacking? Then it may be time to switch.
You can let Selazar take care of all your storage, fulfilment, and shipping needs. We are the industry-leading 3pl with tech-forward solutions for your business. Call us today to find out more about how Selazar’s smart system helps sellers sell more.
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