On-demand warehousing platforms have one thing in common: they are all different. But some features matter more than others.
An optimized supply chain can set one company apart from the pack. Yet, more than three-quarters of executives and their companies are not leveraging the power of the supply chain as a driver of revenue growth, according to a new Accenture report.
That has left the playing field open to companies that do. They have expanded the role of the supply chain beyond a tool to push cost efficiencies to something that can actually power competitive agility and growth opportunities.
At the heart of the transformation is the warehouse network. Far from the static point A-to-point B approach of the past, it now needs to be:
- cost competitive
- responsive to opportunities
- resistant to shocks
- agile enough to support growth and contraction in an increasingly volatile market
In this brand-new Warehowz video, we show how our cloud-based, on-demand warehousing software platform can help your company introduce these important features into your supply chain. On-demand warehousing brings flexibility to a marketplace that traditionally has emphasized long-term warehouse contracts, accurate growth forecasts, and high minimum space requirements. In essence, it helps you gain access to the space and services you need, when you need them.
The concept has gained such traction that a number of on-demand warehousing platforms have emerged. How do you select one over the other?
Based on my personal experience of running several product companies and the industry knowledge of the seasoned Warehowz team, we created an on-demand warehousing platform that includes all the features that we believe will make a difference for companies on a quest to:
- explore new markets
- quickly scale up and down
- store seasonal inventory
- maintain brand control
- speed up deliveries
Here are 3 qualities you should look for in an effective on-demand warehousing platform:
1. Ease of use
We built the Warehowz platform by answering the following question: How do we make the process and information gathering as painless as possible for the client and as helpful as possible for the warehouse? After all, one of the primary goals of on-demand warehousing is improved agility and speed. That fact alone means ease of use should be the foundation of an on-demand warehousing platform.
Anyone who has filled out a 200-question form by a 3PL knows that, while it may serve a purpose for that particular exchange, it is a time-consuming undertaking most of us want to avoid. And for a short-term contract, such elaborate questionnaires simply defeat the purpose of on-demand warehousing. In fact, requiring companies to fill out a lengthy questionnaire before they can access the database of warehouse listings causes unnecessary delays and can even be a fruitless exercise if no match is found.
An effective on-demand warehousing platform, by contrast, takes a different approach:
- It is easy and free to create an account.
- It asks the minimum number of questions possible about a project that will enable a number of warehouse partners to quickly ascertain if they can assist.
Based on the information, you can immediately browse the Warehowz database of fully vetted, professional warehouses in North America. Our partners will then engage with you through the platform, ask any follow-up questions, and make you offers. You are in charge and can decide at this point whether you want to proceed.
2. Ease of communicating and streamlining
Most on-demand warehousing platforms either feature open or closed networks. The former means you browse and decide which warehouse appears to suit your needs without input from the on-demand warehousing company. The closed network takes the decision of selecting a warehouse out of your hands and you never see any listings. In the same vein, some platforms play no part in contracting.
Warehowz has chosen a different path to facilitate both the ease of communication and streamlining. Here is how:
- The Warehowz on-demand warehousing platform is a hybrid of the open and closed models: You are free to submit your information straight to an individual warehouse or enlist the assistance of our team to locate a match, perhaps one that is in the process of being listed.
- All contracts on our platform are governed by a standard contract. In other words, when a warehouse has issued an online offer, all you are really negotiating is a 3-page addendum, which addresses the unique scope of your project. This speeds up the process and streamlines contract negotiations since you do not need to start from scratch with each warehouse. The hard work is already done.
3. Ease of tracking
Some on-demand warehousing platforms stay out of inventory tracking altogether. Others have created their own custom warehouse management systems that run parallel to the warehouse’s original WMS. The Warehowz platform, on the other hand, is like a visibility tool that lets you easily track orders and shipments of all your projects as well as communicate with the warehouse. Everything is gathered in one place for your convenience.
Do you want to see what space and services are available? Sign up and get started today.
- Infographic: The warehouse market is primed for innovation
- 5 signs your business could use on-demand warehouse space
- Warehowz adds Stephen Schueler as advisor