When it comes to expanding your retail business, there are two growth areas that you may want to consider building on. Firstly there is your warehousing, and secondly your logistics. Your supply chain is a vital link that keeps your retail empire making money. When there are problems in this area it can be hugely detrimental to your business.
Getting your warehouse and logistics arms set up correctly from day one is vital, and you will need the assistance of an experienced warehouse and logistics manager. You will need to invest a considerable amount of time and money to get this right, and you will need to plan carefully to ensure you do not misfire with this endeavour.
The aim of your warehouse is to efficiently manage your stock. It needs to be stored in the most effective way possible. Think about the order that delivery will be picked in. Keep your stock organized in relation to the flow of the picking list. Your pickers need to move along the aisles in a logical manner, picking up stock as they go.
Make sure that your stock is separated in a manner that avoids mis-picks. Having an incorrect item sent to a store may seem like a minor incident from the pickers point of view, however, it could be the best selling item that will not be out of stock costing valuable sales. The incorrect item may mean that the store is now overstocked on a line that is taking up too much space and selling too little.
The stock should be stored safely. Shelves should not be overloaded, and you should be able to clearly identify what the product on the shelf is. Aisles should be kept clear at all times, and any damaged products should be stored in a separate section of the warehouse.
Moving your stock will take an organized team of drivers. You may choose to buy vehicles to make deliveries with, or you could set up a contract with a hire company and loan vans or trucks. If you chose the latter option, you will get the added advantage of having a managed fleet. Meaning all repairs and servicing can be handled by the hiring company. You will always have new vans and you don’t have to worry about replacing them.
You will need to plan delivery routes with great precision. Work out how many drops you can fit in one vehicle and then think of the order of the stops that you will make on each journey. Try your best to minimize the number of miles that you need to travel and work out ways of undertaking round trips where they return something to the warehouse.
You will need to consider the licenses and insurance needed for each of your drivers. You may also want to speak with some trucking experts to get a better understanding of everything that you will need to consider in terms of your logistics needs.