What are the Most Important Warehouse Logistics Services?
Warehouses are an integral piece of the supply chain, but there’s a lot more to them than meets the eye. Although you may think that warehouse management is just about storing products until they’re ready for transport, it’s actually a complex service requiring plenty of organization, dedication, and warehouse logistics.
Many warehouses offer a variety of interconnected services to provide their customers with quality storage that fulfills their every need. But which services are the most important to look for when searching for a third-party logistics (3PL) company to partner with? Keep reading to learn more about the most crucial warehouse logistics services and how they can help your business.
Inventory Tracking and Management
Inventory management and tracking are some of the most crucial warehouse logistics services. Without an effective inventory system, it’s challenging to manage the flow of goods through a warehouse or distribution center to their final destination. This type of disorganization can have a direct impact on your finances and your ability to transport your products efficiently.
A sound inventory management system will help you track what items are in stock and how much inventory is necessary at any given time. This information can alert you to potential issues, including missing shipments or theft. These systems can also let you know when to restock items that are running low (or even when they’re about to run out). In short, it helps solve many logistical problems related to storing and retrieving products in warehouses.
Sanitation and Pest Control
The cleanliness of a warehouse is not something most people think about when they start searching for a 3PL partner, but it can make a huge difference. A clean warehouse ensures that your products are sanitary and safe for your customers, which should be a top concern in warehouse management. At PRISM, cleanliness is a top priority. Our dedicated cleaning staff adheres to top safety standards and works hard every day to disinfect our facilities and ensure they’re as safe and clean as possible.
Pest control is another service that ties into the cleanliness of the facility. Proper pest prevention helps ensure warehouse workers’ safety and well-being and prevent any damage to consumer goods. This type of 3PL service is especially crucial for food and beverage companies whose products and reputations could be ruined by an infestation. We take pest control very seriously at Prism. Our facilities are ISO:9001 certified, ensuring the highest possible safety standards. We have regular facility-wide pest inspections, too.
Kitting is a process by which multiple products are assembled into one package with a new SKU. Kit assembly can be used in warehouse management to sell large quantities of products in bulk or smaller quantities of different products together. Kitting services may also include pre-packaging items for safer delivery. This helpful service can save your business time and effort while offering a whole class of new products you can sell.
Order Picking, Packing, and Labeling
What happens when someone orders your products and they need to be prepared for shipment? A good 3PL company will handle order picking, packing, and labeling in-house. Picking is the process of choosing products from a warehouse or storage facility to fulfill customer orders, and it’s a vital component of logistics procedures. Orders can be prepared manually or using automated systems. Regardless of how it’s achieved, a logistics company can help with every step of the process to ensure orders are prepped for shipment quickly and without error.
This is one of the most vital warehouse logistics services– especially for companies that ship and receive a large volume of products. It’s also one of the most popular services among customers since it lets them know exactly where their products are and when their shipments will arrive. This service allows customers to access essential information about their inventory.
They can easily manage their inventory, track shipments, and stay on top of distribution and transportation in real-time. At Prism, we use a state-of-the-art warehouse management system with a client portal. Our customers can receive continual monitoring and reports on their inventory, auto-email updates about shipments, and complete transparency into their logistics services.
Transloading is the movement of goods from one mode of transportation to another. Logistics providers can move cargo from one vehicle or vessel onto another that’s more suitable for reaching its destination (e.g. from vessel to rail or rail to truck). These services can take place at your warehouse facility or a nearby location within the same city/region.
There are many benefits of using transloading. For example, it’s often faster and more efficient than traditional methods. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about renting space at each location because the logistics company will provide all of the necessary equipment and room for your cargo. This service allows companies to save money on shipping costs and other expenses involved with transporting their products across long distances.
Logistics for different industries come with varying requirements. If your business is in a specialized sector, it’s vital to work with a 3PL who understands your unique needs and can provide high-quality, relevant services. Below are a few essential services to look for.
Compliance with Industry Standards
Compliance services may include:
- Keeping records up-to-date
- Complying with federal and state regulations
- Maintaining accurate inventory records
- Ensuring sure employees have proper training
Certain industries, like food and beverage or medical devices, require compliance with unique standards to ensure the products remain safe for consumers. Compliance services require constant monitoring and supervision to make sure everything stays on track; otherwise, compliance violations could result in fines or even shutting down a business entirely.
Food Storage and Safe Handling
Food storage is integral to warehousing because it ensures food safety, quality, and freshness. Food safety refers to preventing any harm due to improper handling or contamination from other substances. This includes things like chemical or bacterial contamination (for example, E. coli), allergens (such as nuts), parasites/viruses/bacteria/protozoa, and physical dangers (like broken glass). Warehouses must make food safety a priority.
These measures can include:
- Temperature control
- Proper storage
- Eliminating the risk of cross-contamination
- Separating organic and non-organic foods
- Thorough cleaning regimens
At Prism, our team has undergone extensive training to ensure we meet the highest quality food safety standards. Our facilities are ISO: 9001 certified and certified organic by Quality Assurance International (QAI). For as long as we’ve been in business, we have also received a Superior rating from AIB International, which has set the standard for the food supply chain. When you work with Prism, you can enjoy essential peace of mind knowing that your food and beverages will be handled with the utmost care.
Warehouse customer service is just as (if not more) important than any other 3PL service. The success of any warehousing operation depends on how they treat its customers. Customers appreciate when they’re treated with respect and courtesy. Outsourcing to a 3PL that provides high-quality service allows companies to save money on staffing costs while improving efficiency and accuracy.
Good customer support involves:
- Transparent services
- Open communication
- 24/7 monitoring of goods and access to online data
- Ability to handle issues quickly and effectively
- Providing a range of services to meet all their clients’ needs
By outsourcing warehouse customer service, transportation, and distribution functions to 3PLs, companies can focus on their core business without worrying about storing or distributing their products.
Top logistics companies offer display assembly services, too. Sometimes referred to as “installation,” display assembly involves putting together advertising display units, fixtures, and other hardware. It’s important to note that assembling displays isn’t just about putting things together; it’s about how those pieces are put together. The way you build a fixture can affect its durability and longevity.
The primary benefit of this service is that it allows customers to spend less money by outsourcing this aspect of their business rather than having to do it themselves in-house. They can spend more time focusing on other areas such as marketing or customer support rather than wasting all day building displays for their products or services.
While it can be easy to overlook warehouse logistics, these services are vital to businesses in a variety of industries. After all, no business owner wants to put out an inferior product due to poor logistics precision. It is this reason why so many companies turn to third-party warehouse management providers who have the experience and expertise needed to operate efficiently—and effectively.
If you’re looking for a 3PL to partner with, the services above are absolutely essential for top-quality service. To learn more about the services we offer at Prism and how they can help your company operate more efficiently, contact us today!