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Warehousing Services: What They Have On Offer For Clients

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By Author: Kumar Ram
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Today warehousing is just not restricted to storage. Its functions have become much more complex and varied. This has resulted in clients actively seeking out their services because:

• They are able to bring down the establishment costs and the overheads to a great extent,
• They do the work with much more efficiency by employing modern technological advances and more manpower and
• They are able to provide much more storage space at a lower cost than it would have been for a company to maintain.

Work of warehousing companies

The work of the Warehousing Companies in India
has become multi-faceted and they have become extremely efficient in being able to:
• Satisfy the demands of multiple customers at the same time,
• Efficiently manage all the complexities and aspects of the supply chain and
• Deal expertly with cost factors especially those that are volatile.
Thus the use of third party logistics has enabled companies to do away with a whole lot of hassles involved in warehousing. In fact these companies also do not have to take the onus of ensuring that the inventory is safe since it becomes the duty of the warehousing company to ensure their safety and that there are no shortcomings in stock keeping. In fact irrespective of seasonal swings from high demand to low, the warehouse staff performs with equal alacrity thereby preventing the accumulation of stock and keeping strict control over the inventory maintained.

Services offered by warehouses

Warehouses offer a number of services to their clients and clients can take advantage of one or more services as per the needs and demands of their businesses. The most important and prominent Warehouse Services include:

• Storage facilities: The storage facilities offered by warehouses are generally of two types depending on the period of storage. They are:

o Short term wherein the inventories need to be stored for only a few days before being delivered to the respective places and
o Long term wherein warehousing and logistics management are required for more than a few days. Herein the inventory needs to be kept on hold for months and years before it is removed from their inventory and delivered to the customer.

Most FMCG products thus require short-term warehousing while others require long term warehousing. In order to ensure that the materials remain safe within the confines of the warehouse, it needs to be:

o Humidity and temperature-controlled,
o Equipped with a running sprinkler system and
o Monitored 24 by 7 to ensure that equipment and other storage goods kept in their custody are safe and secure.
• Fulfilment services: Warehouses also function as fulfilment centres today. Thus they are so equipped that they are able to:
o Satisfy customer expectations with regards to item delivery,
o Reduce shipping costs for companies,
o Bring down in-transit times and
o Ensure the items delivered are packed properly and free from any damage etc.
• Cross-docking: This operation particularly reduces the time in transit for materials since goods, products and equipment brought in by a truck or a railroad car is directly loaded onto outbound trailers, trucks or even railroad cars for their further shipment or delivery. This facility helps companies to cut down on transportation and storage costs as well while at the same time reducing delivery time.
• Transloading: This deals with some heavy-duty unloading of containers or trailers from one mode of transport and uploading them to another mode of transport. This process is able to ensure that the:
o Cargo remains safe and secure,
o Helps to provide more flexibility,
o Bring about a reduction in costs and
o Also, save time.
• Shuttle services: This deals with transporting finished products from the manufacturing unit to the warehouses for storage until further instructions. These services provided by warehouses actually helps to bring down the transportation cost of the manufacturing units since they neither have to keep a fleet of trucks nor look after their regular and frequent maintenance.
Thus warehousing has undergone a sea-change today. They have become important contributors to the Indian economy and have spawned an industry which is profitable and conducive to customer satisfaction.

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