Here we are at the end of our 5 part series on picking a Memphis or Atlanta warehousing company. In this series, we analyzed the location, value, and team components when making a decision to outsource warehousing or distribution services. Let’s review these key value drivers, so we can learn how to make better supply chain choices.
Location is Crucial
Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of where you locate your distribution facility will help you make the best choice for the outsourcing of your warehouse services. Just yesterday a customer called discussing the advantages of our Atlanta warehouse location over the option of using a distribution facility in the Northeast. Atlanta was more favorable for several reasons including costs, business climate, and variety of choices for major air, ocean, and ground networks. Without discussing these options, this customer may not have understood the location differences and the varying factors that can disrupt the supply chain. The location of your warehouse is not just a simple address so take the time to evaluate where you outsource your third party warehouse.
Service/Price = Value
When you start looking at a warehouse location, the question of pricing will be a big part of the process while making this choice. However you will need to understand what creates the most value for your organization which is a combination of pricing and service. What are your primary value drivers? Do you just need storage space, or will your warehouse volumes move in and out rapidly? How many different products are you storing, and will your service provider have a warehouse management system (WMS) that can keep your inventories organized? Do you want to go with a low cost provider to save money while sacrificing service levels, or do you want to build a long term value based relationship that prioritizes the quality of service? If you disregard the value of a service provider, you may find yourself making a poor decision using pricing as the primary determining factor of your decision so be careful.
Gauging Team Expertise
The hardest part of determining the value of a service provider is understanding the difference in their operations team and their people. How can you evaluate the quality of the operations team that will be providing your warehouse services? The warehouse operations team comprises managers, supervisors, team leads, and forklift drivers. What is the experience level and knowledge base of this team, and how well will they communicate with your team? Recently, a customer contacted our Memphis operations team and told us how they had been struggling with another local warehouse provider. They had made a decision without understanding the expertise level of the warehouse team, and that decision had resulted in poor service levels and additional unexpected costs. That customer chose to terminate their relationship with the other service provider, but unfortunately they had already wasted significant time and money. Understanding the operations team will keep you from making these kinds of mistakes.
How Can We Help
So are you looking to make a change in your warehouse operations? Hopefully these articles will guide you around some of the pitfalls and lead you toward success. If there is any way that we could serve you with additional information or knowledge, please let us know how we can help. Making the choice to outsource your warehouse operations can be a difficult choice so be careful to take your time reviewing these key components of location, value, and operations team. We love to hear our customers success stories, so leave us a comment below or contact us here.