Entering the warehouse industry is more lucrative than it ever was before. Why? Well, because of e-commerce and the fact that there are so many vendors out there without their own storage capacities. This means that they have to outsource this service to someone. A lot of them are even working with the drop-shipping model, which means that they outsource both shipping and storage. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top five tips for starting a warehouse business that will help make you much more efficient and competitive.

1.     Choose the right space

The first thing you need to consider is finding the right warehouse space to lease or a plot of land where you want to construct one. When choosing, consider the size, the cost of rent/construction and the surrounding infrastructure. Accessibility of roads and proximity to some vital functions may be instrumental in your day-to-day warehouse operations. This is why you need to invest a fair amount of research into the planning stage in order not to overlook anything. Just bear in mind that there are some scenarios that you won’t be able to anticipate or foresee, which is why you need to leave some room for improvement.

2.     Optimize the place

Once you get your warehouse space, you need to optimize it, which means a couple of things. First, you need to ensure that you have adequate shelving. Start by measuring and planning out everything. Remember that leaving more space between shelves gives you more maneuvering space and reduces the likelihood of error. Still, your cost-efficiency may depend on your storage capacities. Finding a balance between the two is instrumental. Other than just shelving, you also need to invest in a proper industrial lighting system for your warehouse in order to improve the transparency and functionality of the place.

3.     Invest in equipment

In the warehouse business, you need to have adequate material-handling equipment. Now, industry giants like Amazon have robots in their warehouses; however, for a small business in the warehouse industry, getting some forklifts, trolleys and handcarts would be more than enough. Just keep in mind to have a mechanic capable of fixing them when they malfunction, as well as to have some spare parts in your inventory. Adequately training your employees to handle them is another crucial issue that you need to address as soon as possible.

4.     Hire and train the right staff

The next thing you should keep in mind is the importance of hiring the right squad. First of all, employee theft is the pestilence of the warehouse industry, due to the fact that you have no way of noticing that small quantities of items are missing without doing a full inventory. Second, it’s an industry that involves heavy physical work and potentially hazardous machinery. This means that employee negligence may result in a serious problem. Third, the competence of your team determines the efficiency of your entire organization.

5.     Get the right WMS

The last boost that you can provide your warehouse business with is an investment in the right digital tool. You see, with the right WMS (warehouse management software), you can manage your team a lot better, have reports in real-time and enable a much more efficient inventory and audit system. Even when it comes to layout planning or the delivery system, you have so much to invest in when it comes to the WMS. Keep in mind that the best of these tools put emphasis on beginner-friendliness, which is why mastering them isn’t a particularly troublesome task.
As you can see, with the help of digitalization, better on-spot organization and the right hiring strategy, you can ensure that you have a substantial head start over the majority of your competitors. Now add to this a suitable WMS and flexibility of your business model and what you’ll get is a recipe for success in the warehouse industry. Keep in mind that this field is still growing in demand, which is why future-proofing your organization isn’t a bad idea either.

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