Storing Inventory: 7 Options to Explore
The global pandemic highlighted how important it is to have warehousing services in Canada, and within the same province if possible. When the international supply chain functions optimally, there aren’t delays in receiving necessary products, so companies could place smaller orders more frequently.
If that flow is interrupted, however, whether by a trade embargo or public health restrictions on transportation, having goods in bulk stored domestically is important. Businesses that accommodate proper inventory practices can perform well during times of shortage, since the demand is high and supply is otherwise low.
Warehousing Services in Canada – Choosing the Best Approach
Different products have unique storage requirements, ranging from freezing food products to protecting electronics from damage. From the shape to the quantity to the weight of the inventory, finding the right warehousing services in Canada is about more than price and proximity; it’s also about finding the most effective way to actually store your goods. If you’re reconsidering your inventory storage approach, these 7 options you must consider:
7 Options for Storing Inventory
Properly maintaining food and medical products often requires cold storage facilities. Diligent inventory management ensures that the products rotate at the correct pace, thus avoiding waste and product damage. By maintaining cold facilities (usually freezers or fridges), you can store your supplies. Every product, from microprocessors to ice cream, has specific storage demands in terms of heat, humidity, and light.
Cold storage maintains a low-temperature environment that relies on automated sensors to detect small temperature changes and correct them, thus ensuring environmental continuity. Because of the high overheads to run this type of warehousing, however, while it’s a necessary service, it’s also an expensive one.
Large-scale, repeated production often relies on point-of-use approaches, where you place inventory with users directly, circumventing warehouses and ensuring that employees and/or customers can get inventory at any time. This was a popular approach during periods of economic prosperity, where companies could rely on regular shipping. With the transportation uncertainty of today, though, most companies opt for warehouses to ensure sufficient inventory.
If you make small purchase orders or run on drop-shipping, then point-of-use makes sense. Any larger-scale operations require a more nuanced inventory control approach.
A great many products require dry environments to store products. It avoids issues with rust on the products, corrosion of technology, and mould or mildew on food and clothing products. To prevent this, quality warehouses in Canada protect against moisture using mechanized dehumidifiers. By testing the humidity at regular intervals, the sensors determine how to proceed (increase or decrease moisture) and execute that function automatically.
Dry storage considers factors like ventilation, brightness, and hygiene to avoid pathogens and secure inventory. To run properly, the warehouse requires specific certificates to prove adequate facilities. Check that your warehouse has the necessary licenses to provide the storage you need (including controlled substances such as medicine or energy products).
Shelves or bins
The beauty of storing goods in shelves or bins is the ability to work with products of all different shapes. Bins of varying sizes and structures attach to the shelves, letting you store awkwardly structured inventory up to a certain weight. Some warehouses use large-scale bins and pick inventory using machinery. Other warehousing facilities employ mechanized carousels and relay systems to move products.
Shelf and bin storage is effective only if you have a good inventory management structure to prevent loss. Because there are many moving parts in the system, there is more opportunity to damage or misplace products. You can limit this by incorporating the Internet of Things into your supply chain to track the whereabouts of your supplies.
If you want to localize your operations, central storage is an especially ideal approach because it keeps all your supplies in a single place. If your business requires several products for assembly, and you keep them at different facilities, then your overall operations can get disrupted by transportation restrictions.
Instead of risking issues due to embargoes or public health measures, consider central storage. It offers efficient, secure access to your supplies so you can maintain operations even if there is a major supply chain problem. The issue with central storage is mostly space-related. If your operations are large-scale, you require proportionately larger areas to store your supplies. Discuss this with the warehouse to ensure that there is sufficient space to accommodate your needs.
Working from the ground upwards, block stack storage can reduce expenses since there are few requirements to store it. Typically, the items are easy to access. However, it is flawed when using FIFO philosophy because the older goods are at the bottom of the pile. If inventory can be stored in block form this can be an accessible way keep your supplies in good condition.
Racks offer smooth accessibility to products because they use a lateral storage approach instead of a vertical one. The rack storage structure allows you to design a system that works for your specific needs. The adjustable nature of this storage style makes it suitable to combine with any other inventory management model. For inventory with demanding storage needs, rack storage can offer the necessary customization for easy retrieval of inventory.
Storing Inventory Responsibly
Finding the ideal warehousing solution in Canada is about identifying three main things: storage method, quantity, and duration. Determine the best way to store your goods that accommodate their unique needs. Identify the cubic area you require for your inventory and how long you need the service. Provided the storage facility can accommodate your needs, look for other services such as inventory management and order fulfillment. Warehouses are an important part of the domestic supply chain. Incorporating one into your business can improve profits offering local, efficient inventory management and storage choices.
To learn more about the 7 options: storing inventory and how warehousing services can help your business scale to new levels, contact Wills Transfer at 613-283-0225 or send us a message here. Talk to you soon!