Laying Out a Warehouse for Drop Shipping
Drop shipping business ideas are popping up all over the place. One little seller or company needs someone to run their logistics, their shipping, and their material handling. With all of these ideas sweeping around, it would be great to be over their shipping- wouldn’t it? Just like their business plan for success, if you can order and maintain the shipping facilities, you can have a piece of that pie! This is what you need to know before you start your shipping business:
- What is your strategy for shipping?
- What space will you be filling?
- What location will you purchase?
- What labor will you need to perform? Will you need to hire out the labor?
- What information can you provide to help the business take off?
- How much time are you willing to invest in the project? Daily to the work? How much time before you see success?
Now that you have a better idea of what business you are opening, building, and how much you are investing in this project. You need to get the business off the ground by building out your area for a warehouse and logistics.
Building Your Warehouse!
- It is always nice to start a business with a few clients. But if you already know that, then it is likely that you are just out growing a garage. So your first step is to find the right space! Find a location for your warehouse where you can pack, load, and ship! Finding the right space means finding a location that offers you enough space without a monthly rent that breaks the bank. Make sure your costs are covered and that you need as much space as you are purchasing. Always plan on growing, but be ready to move locations when that time comes.
- Once you have your space, you will know if it is time to start shopping around for the insides. That is right, for all of this shipping, you are going to need some shelving and storage or what some might call warehouse logistics. Select to pick up these ideas from a reputable material handling company! You can find bins, shelving, and pallets for your space. This will help to keep things clear and orderly while you are shipping out goods around the world.
- Depending on what you are shipping, or how tall the shelves are that you purchased, you may want to look into some mechanical helpers. The primary tools for any warehouse are their forklifts or their electric lifts! You are going to want to maximize space and increase your efficiency in having some mechanical help around. If you are sending large items or receiving large bulk orders, you can move things much faster with a machine in your hands. It’s better than a forklift pacing the warehouse!
- Next, you will want to pick up some items to make your efficiency increase by purchasing items to increase your efficiency as a company. You can purchase conveyer belts, hoists, cranes, and doc loading equipment. All of these items can increase the amount of items you can pack and ship; due to efficiency increasing! Make sure you have the right tools to build your business.
Layout for a Warehouse
When planning out this perfect location, don’t forget to set up spaces. Just like you design a home with specific rooms, giving them a specific purpose the warehouse is no different. Accommodate yourself and your goals by setting up your area into spaces; we suggest these general space features:
Storage Space: This is the area to place all your shelving and bins, and then stock with everything you ship. Make sure the space flows well and items that are regularly and naturally as you attempt to package and ship items. If you are going to utilize forklifts or vehicles, leave enough room for them to move along your isles.
- Office Space: This is the bones of your operations, an office for you to work and answer calls. Remember to plan out for your business, if you are going to be receiving guests, do you need a mail room for smaller packages, copy rooms, or a break room. Set up an office for you and the staff your business will grow into.
- Loading Docks: This is your launching pad for where you start sending things out, the bigger the items you send, the larger platform you will need. Accommodate your space for future growing, truck loading, and parking outside.
- Industrial Space: This is a needed area if you are doing any assembly, finishing, or building. You will want a space to layout and design. Build this area in your warehouse
- Computer Center (Optional): This small room can happen as you start to ship your own products. You might want to have a computer center or call room where orders can be placed. If you grow into this aspect of the business, be ready to move things forward.
Lock and Store a Good Team:
Now that you have set up the building and designed the space, you need to set in place the perfect team. Create the best employee staff by providing them a clear objective on the task at hand. Create for them a great environment where they can love their job. While you may start out small, your business will continue to grow and flourish if you hire the right helpers!
Inventory, SKUs, and Systems:
You will want to have in place a system for tracking the inventory you are storing or shipping. Make sure you have clearly outlined the way to keep things organized. You can do this with the layout and floor plan, keeping track of items this way. Use notes or labels to keep sections organized and keep productivity as items are gathered up to ship out. Create a system of SKUs and product IDs to help you maintain a larger inventory for shipping. Now make sure everyone is on board. As you work or grow, you will likely find new ways of doing this, be open to improvements.
Whether you are starting small or growing every day, you are ready to start your drop shipping orders. Send out the daily orders, help fulfill those and get clients glittering reviews. Make sure that as you work with them, they are satisfied with your service. The way you ship, affects those your do the shipping for! Nobody enjoys waiting weeks for a package to arrive. Become successful by having realistic expectations. Know your limits and don’t grow too quickly. But know that any successful business takes the time to grow into things. Wait it out, work for success, and make sure that you are growing the business by getting great referrals!
Lacie earned her degree in mass comm and marketing. She is currently focusing on warehouse logistics industry while developing logistics analysis and warehouse materials awareness campaigns for a national company that also focuses on material handling in Utah.
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