There are occasions where it makes sense to outsource your warehousing, and occasions where it doesn’t. Some people move too soon, and others move too late. If you’re thinking about outsourcing your warehousing, you want to be sure that you’re making the right move at the right time. You have a lot to consider if you want to make a successful transition.
1. How Quickly Are You Scaling?
The worst time to decide to outsource your warehousing is after you’ve started to rapidly scale. You’ll have too much to juggle. Ideally, you’ll outsource your warehousing to help you keep up before you’re already inundated. If there are no indications that you’re going to be growing larger anytime soon, outsourcing may not be necessary. If you have an expansion plan in the works, outsource before things get a little too crazy. You’ll be ready when business starts to pick up.
2. What’s The Most Cost Effective Method?
Would it be more effective and efficient for you to completely outsource your warehousing, or for you to find new commercial space, such as Gumtree? Outsourcing your warehousing might give you more area to work with, not just in terms of warehousing but also in terms of general floor space in your building. If your actual building is too small, outsourcing your warehousing is only a temporary fix. You’re going to need to set up headquarters somewhere more spacious eventually.
3. Will Outsourcing Boost Productivity?
Keeping warehouse duties as a part of your facility does come with some advantages, particularly in the form of easy communication. Where you might run into problems is with the amount of time warehousing takes. Are there other important jobs your current warehouse team could be performing? Are they working double duty and splitting their time between various areas of the business? If they are, outsourcing your warehousing might be the equivalent of giving them wings. They’ll be free to get more accomplished.
4. Will Outsourcing Make You Faster?
A huge advantage to outsourcing your warehousing is that you’re putting the job in the hands of dedicated professionals. Warehousing is all they do – it’s not just a part of their day-to-day operations. They’ve optimized their environment to make things as quick and efficient as humanly possible. In fact, you might end up spending a lot of time and effort trying to match their skill and efficiency and never reach the satisfactory results. It might be better to simply let the experienced professionals handle warehousing on your behalf. It’s a wise move, especially when speed is of great concern.
5. Can It Make Peak Order Times Easier?
If you’re relatively low volume year round or you don’t see an increase at specific times, you might not need to be concerned about finding yourself in over your head. If you struggle to keep up with timely fulfillment around peak order times (like around November and December for most eCommerce businesses), outsourcing your warehousing a few months beforehand can make your life a lot easier. The people you’re outsourcing to will likely hire a lot of seasonal help during the busy season, and they’ll deal with the hassle of doing so. Everything is going to become busier with other aspects of your business, and warehouse duties are one less thing you’ll need to worry about.
Most of the time, outsourcing your warehousing is an excellent idea. Just make sure you pick the right time to make the switch, and that the switch is actually satisfying a need for your business.
Michelle Arios is a business blogger and careers expert, currently supporting Datastical, an online knowledge library. Privately, she is a great fan of self-improvement literature and motivational speeches. Feel free to reach out to her with any questions and suggestions.