As the operator or procurement agent for a manufacturer or other industry, your livelihood hinges on your ability to deliver your products as quickly and affordably as possible. In fact, fast delivery is so important, that 87% of buyers cite shipping speed as a key factor when choosing a supplier. As consumers become increasingly impatient, you can hardly afford not to have a plan in place to diversify your inventory.
What are the Key Benefits of Having Multiple Warehouses?
The path to diversifying your inventory begins with a nimble approach. Your flexibility as a business owner or operator is critical to growing your customer base and keeping your most loyal customers highly satisfied. One of the best ways to showcase your flexibility is to diversify your inventory across multiple warehouse locations. Below are the top seven reasons to adopt this approach for your business.
1) FASTER DELIVERY TIMES
“In a climate where consumers want their products almost instantly, speed is a major competitive advantage for e-commerce companies. Bottom line? If your warehouse is closer to the customer, your product can get there faster.” – Liberty Mutual Insurance
Increased delivery speed tops the list of reasons to use multiple warehouses. Whether your clients are medical device fabricators whose products are needed quickly to save lives or you cater to college students who want their customized school gear yesterday, speedy delivery time is a must. Housing your inventory in different warehouse locations close to key segments of your customer base is a great way to boost delivery speed.
2) IMPROVED CRISIS PREPARATION
The outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 highlights how advantageous it can be to use multiple warehouses. Between mandatory traffic reductions in some states and the closure of businesses deemed non-essential in other states, many manufacturers shipping from a single location were unable to get their products into the hands of clients. But companies with multiple warehouse locations were able to reach a greater number of customers.
Natural disasters can also handicap a business that operates out of a single warehouse. For instance, if a hurricane and flooding strike your South Florida business, you can continue to fill orders if you also have inventory in San Francisco and Detroit.
3) REDUCED SHIPPING COSTS
“Identify which cities and states the majority of your orders originate from and prioritize 3PL partners with warehouses in those areas. Strategically picking these locations across the US will keep these cities within lower-priced shipping zones, get products to your customers quickly, and provide two-day shipping without incurring two-day shipping costs.” – Chad Rubin, CEO of Think Crucial and Founder of Skubana
With your inventory strategically stored at several secure warehouse locations, you can easily ship from the location closest to your customer. This arrangement enables your products to reach customers faster without incurring expedited delivery fees.
4) EASIER ACCESS FOR CLIENT VISITS AND PICKUPS
Depending on the nature of your business, you may have customers who prefer to arrange their own pickup and delivery. You also may receive inquiries from prospective distributor who want to see your inventory and operations prior to deciding to buy from you.
Having multiple warehouse locations makes it easier for prospective buyers to personally see your inventory and how you prepare orders for shipment. This is especially important for international customers who prefer to conduct face to face site visits to confirm a supplier’s legitimacy and inventory availability prior to purchasing.
5) PAVE THE WAY FOR GROWTH
“Every business reaches a stage where they’re ready to expand, and this means opening not just multiple locations for the actual business, but also multiple sourcing locations such as warehouses, storage facilities and fulfillment centers.” – Megan Ray Nichols, IMPO Magazine
Using multiple warehouses paves the way for expansion for your growing business. You can achieve this goal by working closely with a trusted 3PL provider who can handle your inventory and logistics while you focus on growing your business. Best of all, this strategy allows your company to expand both geographically and from an order fulfillment stand point.
6) REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS
Many people are surprised to learn that housing inventory in different warehouses can help reduce carbon emissions. But the concept is fairly simple. Consider this example: A customer in Nashville, Tennessee needs to stock up on health and beauty products supplied by a manufacturer in Las Vegas, which is nearly 1,800 land miles away. Whether delivery occurs by ground transportation or by air, the fuel consumption is significant.
Now consider the outcome if the supplier also has warehouses in New York, New York and Louisville, Kentucky. You could reduce driving distance more than tenfold by shipping from the Louisville location, which is a mere 150 miles away. The reduction in fuel and carbon emissions is significant, and same day delivery becomes a much simpler feat.
7) INCREASED CLIENT SATISFACTION
“Customer experience and delivering high levels of customer satisfaction is now the top priority for all forward-thinking businesses. Customers are no longer basing their loyalty on brands, products and prices. Their loyalty is far more dependent upon the service they receive, their experience of a business and their level of satisfaction.” – Customer Thermometer
Faster delivery times, lower shipping costs, and an eco-friendly approach combine to create the perfect recipe for improved customer satisfaction. With higher levels of satisfaction often translating to repeat business, a multi-warehouse strategy can quickly become the most powerful tool in your company’s arsenal.
What is the Single Best Way to Successfully Diversify Your inventory?
Clearly, there are many reasons to spread out your inventory across multiple warehouses. But the key to success with this strategy is to seek the expertise of a trusted third party logistics and warehouse provider. With the guidance of an experienced industry leader, you can map out a plan to increase efficiency and minimize risks with multiple warehouses.
We invite you to contact us at Symbia Logistics to discover why manufacturers across America turn to us to manage their inventory.