When considering your fulfilment and warehousing network, you need to be putting your customer at the heart of everything. Make sure to ask yourself the key question – How can you improve their experience? Likely, this will involve getting your product to them quicker and cheaper. Both of which can be done with a strategic warehousing network – getting you closer to your customer.
Not only that, but a multi-location fulfilment network can help to reduce inventory risks, increase productivity, reduce your workload and put you back in control – without the added hassle.
Lowers Risk by Creating a Back-Up Inventory
Splitting your inventory up across locations can help to ensure your team is prepared for any unexpected disruption.
One of the biggest risks to getting your inventory out and to where it needs to be is adverse weather. Having multiple locations means that if one of them can’t fulfil an order or get goods out to customers – another one can be on hand to save the day. Additionally, if adverse weather were to cause further issues such as flooding – additional inventory in other locations would provide a back-up source of stock.
Splitting up your inventory means that you will always have a back-up supply. Even if this inventory is a little further away, it is better than it not being there at all. This can also help limit delays when it comes to things such as lost stock, stock on back order and any manufacturer shipping issues. You can always be reassured that if one location sells out of a key product, chances are there will be more in another location that is ready to go out to your customers.
Lower Shipping Costs
Multiple warehouses, strategically located, gets you closer to your end customer – reducing delivery costs and reducing fuel consumption.
High shipping costs are one of the most common reasons customers will abandon their shopping cart and order from elsewhere. A 2020 Send Cloud Survey found that 61% of the time customers leave an online shop is because of delivery costs. Reducing your shipping distance, will help you to reduce internal costs and therefore reduce delivery charges for your customer.
Therefore, whilst investing in additional warehouse space may seem initially costly – it can save you shipping costs and attract more customers in the long run. With flexible warehousing, you can do this with no risk or commitment.
Shipping a product 100 miles, will always be preferable over 1,000 miles. Less distance means less touchpoints, reducing costs and manpower.
Faster Delivery Times
Hand in hand with reduced shipping costs, comes faster delivery times. Increase locations get you closer to your customer – decreasing delivery times and attracting more custom.
There are high expectations now when it comes to shipping times. ShipStation’s 2020 consumer study found that 92% of customers say shipping speed is important when making an online purchase. Longer delivery times will prevent customers from choosing you over a competitor. Multiple warehouses bring you closer to the customer, taking out a big chunk of that delivery time.
For example, if your stock is in London and your customer is in Edinburgh – there is 400 miles between you and your end goal. Compare this to if you had another warehouse in Newcastle – 100 miles from Edinburgh – you have now reduced your delivery distance by more than half.
Leverage Optimal Locations
Distributed inventory is a common strategy used by companies looking to split their physical goods across beneficial locations. As we know, faster and cheaper delivery are what drives this strategy, but the beauty of flexible warehousing is that it allows you to pick and choose your most optimal locations – and this can change dependant on seasons.
For example, if you are a seller of winter clothing such as coats and winter accessories – your year-round US warehouses will likely be in colder states such as Maine, Vermont or Minnesota. However, in the winter months when the cold starts affecting places like New York quite severely, you may want to have some inventory closer to New York to appease customers there. With flexible warehousing you can seasonally move your stock – no risk, no commitment.
Having Multiple Warehouse Partners Assists Growth
For business owners, being able to focus solely on growth is key. Having to manage multiple inventories will likely seem daunting. However, having a warehouse partner means that you can do exactly that – focus on growth.
Having a capable WMS means you don’t need to worry about your inventory. You don’t have to be concerned about employing warehouse personal and training them – your warehouse partner will take care of this for you.
Whilst having multiple locations may seem complex – it is far from it. With a logistics and warehousing partner, such as Trident, this is all manged and taken care of from one central location. Ensuring seamless continuity across locations – with less risk, less commitment and less hassle.