Warehouse Management in Outsourcing
Warehouse management is an extremely important activity for every company. The aspects to be considered are in fact multiple, and it must always be borne in mind that inefficient warehouse management could complicate the activities for delivering goods, thus causing customer dissatisfaction.
In addition, the operations become more and more complex depending on the size of the structure, the nature and variety of the goods, the delivery methods, and numerous other variables.
The warehouse management activities do not just concern the administration of the incoming and outgoing goods flows, they also call for constant monitoring of all the internal and external operations involved in the distribution chain.
In particular, there are 4 factors to take into consideration:
– the personnel: in order to ensure that the work is carried out efficiently, it is necessary for the personnel to be qualified and appropriately trained for their specific jobs;
– warehouse safety: it is essential for the structure to comply with all the applicable laws and regulations and for the workplace to be healthy and safe in order to guarantee the protection of the operators and their activities. In fact, accidents and injuries have a negative impact on the economy of the company if not managed in an appropriate manner. Nevertheless, a series of measures may help prevent and limit unforeseen events to a minimum. Always ensure that the correct protection devices are used, that the safety measures are effective, that any malfunctioning is reported and remedied in the shortest possible time, and the all the machinery and vehicles are overhauled and serviced on a regular basis;
– the documentation: the warehouse management documents must be drawn up in an accurate manner, irrespective of whether for fiscal or administrative purposes. Keeping track of all the operations, handling and quantities is an essential instrument for the efficiency of the activities.
The main documents to be filled out accurately are the Transport Document (TD), the purchase and sale invoices, the orders, and the inventory of the goods;
– the logistics: in the broad sense of the term, the logistics concern physical, computerised and organisational management of the flows of products, from the source to the end customers. They are the fulcrum of the warehouse organisation due to coordinating all the various sectors of the distribution chain.
More and more companies are now entrusting their warehouse management to external companies (subcontractors), specialised either in the supply of a complete warehouse management service in outsourcing or even in the supply of several specific services. There are various ways of subcontracting: you may decide to entrust the management to an external operator (in-house management) or assign the goods to be managed directly at their facility. In-house logistics in
outsourcing allow the company to cut costs and to exploit the operator’s specialist skills, however the effectiveness and the results obtained may be limited as a consequence of the vehicles and facility the operator already avails of.
Vice-versa, full outsourcing allows the operators to implement all the improvement and optimisation levers in their possession, such as the flexible use of the resources shared with the clients.
The preparation of B2C and B2B orders is carried out with innovative computerised systems and the use of scanners. The order management process forms part of the series of processes called logistics. It is an activity that must be managed with the utmost attention and which enters within the corporate economy of a company.
The order management is carried out via use of dedicated software that quickly and effectively monitors the activities. The software is able to interact with all the relevant activities for the management such the databases (customers and suppliers), products and pricelists. It also allows for managing offers, orders, transport documents, invoices, and warehouse loading and downloading operations. In this way there is a constant photograph of the orders over time, making it possible to keep the stock and delivery priorities under control in the warehouse
PVS also takes care of preparing personalised orders such as gift wrapping and Christmas packs, providing specific services (serial packaging, gift packaging, silk paper or gift cards).
The warehouse is the logistics structure able to receive incoming goods, store them and make them available for sorting, shipping and delivery. PVC takes care of the warehouse management of the goods with incoming and outgoing quantity and quality controls.
The storage of goods is the next step after receiving the same. The goods are usually loaded by forklift onto pallets or shelves, normally in the most appropriate part of the warehouse as indicated by the computerised system. The goods must be arranged with precision only in the most convenient and function areas designated for their storage.
An important index to always be taken into consideration is the rate of inventory turnover in the warehouse, which indicates how long it takes to consume a stock of goods and replenish the same. There are always high inventory turnover goods (that are therefore sold and repurchased more often) and low inventory turnover goods (that remain in the warehouse for months). It is important to have knowledge of the inventory turnover rate for managing the structure: for example, it is recommended to reduce the low inventory turnover goods (that remain in the warehouse for months), perhaps only making them available on order. At the same time, at a logistics level it is useful to position the high inventory turnover goods in easily accessible and convenient places.
Another essential factor is the technology employed. In all the goods storage operations, both withdrawal and release, barcode technology helps automate and simplify the management. Each product must be identified with a barcode that will then be printed on an adhesive label affixed to the packaging of the item. This system allows for the operating system to automatically and correctly enter the items on the invoices, and to consequently update the stock in the warehouse.
Management of the commerce warehouse
With an annual growth of 17%, the ecommerce sector is witnessing constant development, so much so that increasingly more businesses are deciding to add online sales. There are innumerable ecommerce benefits, however it is important to enter this sector in an aware and prepared manner. The first error that you can make is precisely that of underestimating the management of the warehouse, which is essential for ecommerce.
Secondly, it is necessary to choose computerised management of the activities that takes all the parameters and variables into account. The ecommerce sales methods may in fact be very different and range from quite large quantities to small-sized orders, perhaps of one single item or just a very small number, distributed all over Italy and also abroad. This implies a different complexity since the same warehouse may have the co-presence of short orders with a multitude of recipients and more complex orders with scheduled shipments.
Customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly more associated not only with quality but also with the speed via which the ordered goods are delivered. Rapidity, integrity and correct management of the orders are essential factors for all businesses which sell their products online, whether they be B2B or B2C. One of the most important decisions to be made with regard to your virtual store therefore concerns the methods of managing the warehouse. First of all we must understand whether it is more convenient for your company to have direct or indirect management, that is, whether or not it is necessary to possess a physical warehouse. Keeping the stock under control and managing the shipments and returns are time and resource consuming activities and they require an organisation capable of ensuring the utmost efficiency.
Outsourcing is becoming a more and more important choice for businesses which can decide whether to externalise only certain services or put themselves entirely in the hands of experts in this sector (full outsourcing).
PVS offers delivery services all around the world, as well as other tailor-made logistics solutions. We make national and international express deliveries, and take care of all the customs and intrastate formalities as well.
National and international shipments can be made by postal or express services, with the possibility of requesting tracking of the goods. We ship all over the world by truck, plane, train and swap bodies. We take care of handling a huge variety of types of goods: standard, fragile, packages, pallets and full containers, always guaranteeing punctuality and efficiency.