As your business grows, your warehousing needs will grow with it – and so will the complexity of those needs. By necessity, modern warehousing is an intricately sophisticated operation that requires the right expertise, technology and equipment. An inefficiently operated warehouse can undermine the entire supply chain of a business – and therefore the entire business, leading to unnecessary costs and diverted resources away from the rest of an organization.

In the face of such challenges, many businesses turn to shared warehousing with an experienced third-party logistics provider (3PL) for help. A shared warehouse, which is also known as a public warehouse or a multi-client warehouse, serves as a distribution center for a group of businesses, taking the responsibility of managing a warehouse off their hands and streamlining a critical part of their operations. Distribution Technology, a Charlotte, North Carolina-based 3PL, stores and stages goods in more than 1.2 million square feet of organized warehouse space, providing invaluable shared warehousing space for clients from a range of industries.

Shared warehousing brings with it some crucial benefits.

Cost

Using a shared warehouse inevitably will save your business money. When you participate in the shared warehousing model via a 3PL, you also share the costs of the warehouse. Rather than shouldering them alone, you are only responsible for the expenses of your portion of the warehouse operation. Each of the other clients using the warehouse contributes their own share, effectively splitting the expense up proportionally among the businesses occupying the space. This leads to lower expenses for organizations because they are able to only pay for the space that they need. If they attempt to manage their warehousing alone, they will need to pay for more space than they need to accommodate potential growth. Shippers who have products that require specific conditions or climates for storage – such as refrigerated food products, chemical products or hazardous or flammable products – can work with a 3PL such as Distribution Technology with experience and resources that match their needs rather than investing in those tools themselves.

Flexibility to Scale

In today’s supply chain, flexibility is paramount. Things move fast – customers demand it. A shared warehousing model allows a flexibility that fits the unique demands of the contemporary supply chain. In particular, it allows businesses to scale up and scale down within the larger warehouse space as their inventory demands change. If your business is growing, then you can take on more space within the shared warehouse as your warehouse needs grow rather than having to build or rent your own space to anticipate those needs. That flexibility means that your growth won’t exceed your resources and you won’t risk slowing or even halting your growth because you don’t have the capacity to support it. In addition, many businesses must navigate seasonal demand shifts throughout the year, scaling up and down to evolve with their customers’ demands. A shared warehouse allows you to get access to the additional space when you need it and then scale back down during slower periods of the year.

Resources

The best modern warehouses are advanced operations that find efficiencies in every inch they contain and every movement that takes place within them. For today’s businesses, it makes sense to turn to experienced 3PLs that have invested in the newest and best tools to run a warehouse most effectively. Those resources can range from sophisticated technology and material handling equipment to top-flight security, which are shared among the clients occupying the shared warehouse. Shippers do not have to invest in equipment or keep up with the newest trends in warehousing and distribution because their 3PL will do that for them. In addition, your business will not have to navigate the challenge of today’s tight labor market to hire, train and retain a skilled workforce to staff the warehouse and keep it running at optimum efficiency.

Expertise

Shared warehouse space like that hosted by Distribution Technology is run by a team that specializes in warehouse operation. Your business should choose a 3PL that has demonstrated a powerful understanding of the most efficient ways of operating a warehouse. They will excel in areas such as pick-and-pack and order fulfillment, ensuring your products or raw materials are ready promptly in response to orders and are quickly prepared for distribution. Through an advanced warehouse management system, they can not only manage your goods on a highly detailed level but they can help provide you with visibility to it. In addition, a 3PL such as Distribution Technology can collaborate with you to help you manage your inventory from a strategic standpoint, providing expertise and insights into your needs and opportunities and helping to make the supply chain an integral ingredient to the success of your business.

Distribution Technology’s customer-friendly, supportive, and professional warehousing team can improve the efficiency and profitability of your nationwide and international supply chain logistics — from coast-to-coast and port-to-warehouse. For more information, visit https://distributiontechnology.com/services/warehousing/.