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Warehouse Services: The Pillars of a Strong Supply Chain

vijay

Vijay Kumar

Senior Specialist - Marketing @ Shiprocket

September 6, 2023

7 min read

Order fulfillment is an essential stage in eCommerce, where products are picked from storage and dispatched to buyers. But where are the products stored, and where are they packed? The infrastructure is a warehouse, and the services it offers to complete the order fulfillment process are called warehouse services. These services ensure efficient storage, handling, and distribution of products, thereby bolstering the strength of the entire supply chain. This comprehensive guide helps businesses find the best warehouse service partner to meet customer expectations and improve their profitability. 

Understanding Warehouse Services

Before we look at warehouse services, let’s understand what a warehouse is. The name is derived from the English term for merchandise -wares- and the house in which they were stored. In modern times, the house is a very large building that is designed to store merchandise in very large quantities. And they come in various types and sizes.  

Varieties of Warehouses

Warehouses are built on different types of land and sizes by keeping in mind the type of products that are likely to be stored in them. Broadly speaking, the major types of warehouses are-

  • Public Warehouses: These warehouses are shared facilities where businesses can rent storage space. They offer flexible storage options but usually provide only storage services.  
  • Private Warehouses: Used by a single company, private warehouses provide exclusive control over operations, ideal for businesses with consistent storage requirements.
  • Distribution Centers: These strategically positioned hubs optimise inventory management and facilitate timely delivery to end customers. They gather stock from multiple suppliers for wholesale distribution.
  • Cold Storage Warehouses: Tailored for perishable goods, cold storage warehouses maintain precise temperature and humidity levels to preserve product quality.
  • Raw materials Warehouses: This category of warehouse stores and transports raw materials used in the manufacturing of products for sale.

Keep in mind that while these are the main types of warehouses, the real-world scenarios may have even more specialised subtypes and variations to cater to specific industries and unique storage needs. The choice of warehouse type depends on the nature of the business, the types of products being stored, and the distribution requirements of the company.

Contrasting Warehouse Services with Third-Party Logistics

A unique category of third-party logistics 3PL is warehouse services. While regular warehouse services focus primarily on the storage and handling of goods, third-party logistics (3PL) providers offer specific warehousing services. 3PL providers offer transportation, order fulfillment, and inventory management, along with warehouse services.

While 3PL warehouses and warehouses play integral roles in supply chain management, there are subtle differences. Warehouse services specialise in warehousing operations. 3PL providers, on the other hand, offer comprehensive solutions for businesses seeking to outsource their logistics needs.

Various Fulfillment Warehouse Services

Every warehouse services provider offers a diverse range of operations and fulfillment centers to streamline order processing and fulfillment. Their services include:

1. Order Picking and Packing: Efficiently picking items from warehouse shelves and preparing them for shipment.

2. Kitting and Assembly: Bundling products together and creating custom kits as per customer requirements.

3. Labelling and Barcoding: Accurately labelling packages to facilitate seamless tracking and delivery.

4. Quality Control: Ensuring that products meet predefined quality standards before shipment.

Enhancing Your eCommerce Business with Warehouse Services

Fast and accurate order fulfillment is a game-changer, and warehouses that offer the infrastructure to achieve it are winning partners. Outsourcing fulfillment to dedicated warehouse providers allows eCommerce businesses to focus on core competencies, minimise overheads, and expand their reach to new markets.

  • Improve Order Fulfillment Process: Warehouse services facilitate picked, packed, and shipped services. Companies can outsource this critical function to a dedicated fulfillment center. Your eCommerce business can streamline the entire process, leading to faster delivery times and improved customer satisfaction.
  • Optimising Inventory: With warehouse services, you gain access to sophisticated inventory management systems. They help track stock levels in real time and enable you to optimise inventory or avoid stockouts.  
  • Add Products: Fulfillment warehouses that offer kitting and assembly services ensure your eCommerce business has custom product bundles and expands your product offerings. Hence you can easily cross-sell and upsell, allowing you to cater to a broader customer base.
  • Global Presence: Fulfillment centers have strategically located distribution hubs to reduce international shipping costs, shorten delivery times, and penetrate new markets with ease.
  • Scalability: Warehouse services that offer scalability during peak seasons by utilising additional warehouse space and staff. For slower periods, storage spaces can be scaled down to lower costs.  
  • Order Accuracy: Warehouse services employ advanced technologies and quality control measures to ensure accurate order picking and packing. With fewer errors in order fulfillment, your eCommerce business can significantly reduce the number of returns due to incorrect shipments. Additionally, fulfillment centers are equipped to handle returns efficiently, streamlining the returns management process and enhancing customer satisfaction.
  • Customisation: Fulfillment centers offer a range of value-added services that can enhance your eCommerce business’s offerings. These services may include gift wrapping, personalised notes, or branded packaging. Such customisation options elevate the overall customer experience, fostering brand loyalty and driving repeat business.

With these warehouse services in place, your eCommerce business can achieve greater efficiency, scalability, and customer satisfaction, positioning itself for success in the competitive online marketplace.

Shiprocket Fulfillment: Setting New Industry Standards

As the demand for efficient and reliable warehouse services increases in the eCommerce industry, many leading providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment have emerged to set new standards in this niche. Shiprocket Fulfillment’s technology-enabled facilities and commitment to excellence empower businesses to deliver unmatched customer experiences. It is an enabler as well since it supports scaling effortlessly and stays ahead of the competition.

Shiprocket Fulfillment’s main focus is on providing simplified eCommerce fulfillment services. They specialise in creating solutions specifically for eCommerce businesses, aiming to make shipping easier. They prioritise express delivery, ensuring that customers receive their orders within 1-2 days. The goals Shiprocket Fulfillment wishes to help businesses achieve are:

  1. Increase consumer satisfaction with faster delivery 
  2. Increase the number of consumers with same-day and next-day delivery 
  3. Offer next-day delivery for those opting to interact at fulfillment center closest to them
  4. Reduce costs with zero weight discrepancy
  5. Increase efficiency and customer satisfaction by decreasing RTOs

To know more, speak to Shiprocket Fulfillment experts here!

Conclusion

Warehouse services play a crucial role in completing supply chains. They support eCommerce businesses, suppliers, and distributors. They also help store, pick, pack, and send out all kinds of products to their destinations. Without warehouses, the supply chain would be missing an important link that keeps everything running smoothly. With an array of fulfillment services available, businesses can optimise operations, enhance eCommerce endeavours, and achieve unparalleled customer satisfaction. As industry-leading providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment raise the bar, the future of warehouse services holds the promise of innovation, efficiency, and seamless supply chain management.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

How can warehouse services help businesses handle seasonal fluctuations in demand?

Warehouse services help businesses manage seasonal demand for their products by offering flexible storage options. They allow businesses to avail larger areas during peak seasons to accommodate higher inventory levels. Conversely, during off-peak periods, they can scale down operations to minimise costs.

What role do technology and automation play in modern warehouse services?

Technology and automation play a transformative role in modern warehouse services. Advanced Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) streamline inventory tracking, order processing, and labour management, leading to improved accuracy and efficiency. 

How do fulfillment warehouse services contribute to international expansion for businesses?

Fulfillment warehouse services enable businesses to venture into international markets without the complexities of establishing a physical presence in each region. By strategically locating fulfillment centers in key international locations, businesses can fulfill orders closer to customers, reducing shipping times and costs.

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