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Satisfied clients are fundamental for a business’s growth. For a company to enjoy repeat business from its customers, it must be able to deliver high-quality products through quick and efficient means. The latest industry reports indicate that after factors such as product price and convenience, shipping cost and wait time is one of the top considerations for customer when making a purchase.
It’s no surprise then that top businesses around the world recognize the importance of an efficient, streamlined supply chain and are willing to invest to achieve this. In Saudi Arabia, the logistics and warehousing market is showing a steady growth rate and is expected to garner revenue amounting to more than USD 17.5 billion by 2023. Indeed, with the rise of e-commerce across the kingdom, more businesses are outsourcing their warehouse management than ever before.
Before many businesses sell or distribute their goods, they store the items in an on-site or off-site warehouse. Businesses handle their warehousing needs in a variety of ways. They can choose to store stock in their own storage spaces or in a rented warehouse. The stock is organized and controlled by in-house staff or third-party warehousing companies. Many warehousing tasks are automated using software while other processes are still handled manually by human staff.
When companies hire third-party companies, they are provided with more than just warehouses for rent. Warehousing companies offer a range of services that ensure the safety of the goods on their premises, while also managing incoming stock, picking, packing and shipping orders correctly. A major consideration in this region is the warehouse air temperature. With high seasonal temperatures, a professional warehouse setup will include strict temperature controls to avoid heat damage to goods. When all of these processes occur efficiently, a company saves on its overheads and in turn, increases its profits.
In simple terms, warehouse management refers to all the processes involved in the effective day-to-day management of the inventory and equipment in a warehouse. When a company rents a warehouse, they can expect the facility to handle the following processes for them:
1. Inbound processing - in which goods are received by the warehouse, checked and documented, before being stored away in their assigned location on the site. Sometimes, in efficient warehouse facilities, goods are packed and immediately dispatched to the customer without a requirement for storage.
2. Warehouse layout and slotting - in which goods are organized into categories and placed accordingly. Generally speaking, high-demand, fast-moving goods are assigned locations close to the front of the warehouse. Goods that tend to be bought together are stored in spaces near to each other. Similar goods that can be mistaken for each other should be placed well away from each other.
3. Picking - in which goods are placed in an organized system so the packers can quickly and conveniently locate them.
4. Packing - in which workers pack goods according to their corresponding packing protocol, which includes the provision of a content slip and delivery manifest.
5. Shipping - in which workers carefully move packed orders from their storage space to the assigned freight vehicle promptly.
6. Managing returns - in which returned goods are unloaded, checked off against the original order and logged against the customer’s account.