There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing a warehouse storage provider. We’ve put together a guide to help you get the most out of your search, and what to look out for before making a decision.
One of the first factors you should consider when choosing a warehouse storage provider is the location. It makes sense to choose a location close to your business, so you can benefit from improved efficiency in the supply chain.
Goods can be delivered much quicker and you’ll also have easier access to your stored items. This can help save you money by cutting down the transport necessary to get your items from A to B (or B to A).
A warehouse much nearer to you can help you improve the efficiency of your supply chain. No more hoarding items ready for usage. A nearby warehouse location, combined with pallet distribution and delivery, is ideal for a ‘just-in-time’ approach.
2) Proximity to transport routes
Alongside location and proximity to your business, another important consideration is how close the warehouse facility is to the major transport routes.
Firstly, is the warehouse facility near direct road networks? A warehouse close to major highways can help improve the distribution of items across the UK. It also helps minimises the risk of potential damage if items are on the road for less time.
Secondly, consider if the warehouse is near a transport terminal, such as rail or sea. If your business is continually shipping or expecting deliveries from further afield, you’ll want to set up near a transport terminal for timely deliveries.
3) Storage facilities
Alongside the location of a storage facility, it is also important to consider the storage facility itself when choosing a warehouse storage provider. Questions to explore include what type of storage systems the warehouse uses, how items are handled, and how secure are the premises.
Different storage facilities will have different warehouse storage systems, such as rack storage or free-standing. It is important to check whether a facility has appropriate storage systems for safely storing your goods without risk of damage.
Security is another point to consider with storage facilities. With a large amount of goods lying about, warehouses are a prime spot for break-ins. Ensure a warehouse is protected with CCTV and alarm systems for better protection.
As with any service provider, it is sensible to check their reputation. Working with an established storage provider with a solid reputation will help you gain the most benefit.
Warehouse storage providers with a strong reputation are much more likely to provide you with a quality service. Providers with years of experience will know the ins and outs of running an efficient and secure storage service.
It is a good idea to look for reviews online. That will give you a good indicator of a company’s reputation. It will also give you an idea of what previous customers think of their service and whether the company can deliver on your needs.
5) Accreditations and awards
Another point to consider when looking at the reputation of a warehouse storage provider is whether they have any accreditations or awards. A logistics company that has relevant up-to-date accreditations and awards can be a good indicator of quality.
Typically, a warehouse storage provider will have to fulfil certain quality criteria before being awarded such accreditations. Holding such awards or accreditations shows tangible evidence of service quality, building customer trust.
Some examples of accreditations or awards to look out for relating to warehouse storage include:
- BRC for food distribution and storage
- UPN network for service quality
- ISO certifications for quality management
- Hazchem accreditations for handling hazardous materials
6) Service requirements
This may seem obvious, but you should always check whether a warehouse storage provider is able to fulfil your service requirements. Being clear about your requirements will help you whittle down your shortlist of potential service providers.
Things to consider when looking at whether a warehouse storage provider can fulfil your requirements:
- Does the warehouse facilitate long-term storage?
- Is there a distribution service for delivering goods?
- Is the warehouse suited for storing particular items, such as cold storage?
- Does the cost of the storage service fit your budget?
- Is the storage provider covered by the necessary insurance?
- Are there any special terms within the service contract?
- Are there any additional service costs involved?
7) Inventory management
The last factor to consider when choosing a warehouse storage provider is their process for managing inventory and stock. Warehouses are big places and things can easily go missing if not properly managed.
Both the layout and the technology incorporated can have an impact here. How a space is utilised affects both the efficiency of the warehouse and the safety of items. Keeping items stored in a suitable location, and the correct racking, reduces the risk of damage.
The same goes for incorporating technology to improve the speed items can be sourced. Incorporating stock management technology reduces the risk of errors, ensuring accuracy when sourcing items ready for distribution.
Choosing a warehouse storage provider is not easy. But by keeping the 7 points above in mind, you should be in a much better position to choose the right provider for your warehouse storage needs.
Are you satisfied with your warehouse storage provider? If not, find out whether switching to Nu Vision Logistics can help you make a saving and receive an improved level of service. Find out today!