Research highlights the importance of flexible warehouse capacityby Press Release on 2012-04-08 01:37:38
New research into retailers’ supply chain concerns has highlighted the need for a flexible warehousing capacity, according to Century Logistics.
The research carried out by Retail Systems Research (RSR) showed that consumer demand for the lowest price (68%) and the unpredictability of demand in an uncertain economy (68%) are currently the leading supply chain business challenges to retailers.
Century Logistics Managing Director Stephen Basey-Fisher said the use of flexible warehousing capacity had a major role to play in helping ease concerns about demand.
“With unpredictable demand, it’s hard for retailers to forecast how much stock to hold,” he said.
“Hold too much stock and they are throwing away money by paying for warehousing capacity they do not need but hold too little stock and they could be left failing to fulfil demand, which means lost sales and damage to your reputation.
“If a retailer owns and operates its own warehousing, it’s very hard to increase and reduce space to match demand.”
Logistics providers should be able to provide flexible storage capacity to solve this problem, he added.
“This means that if retailers have a product that becomes a big seller, they can ramp up storage capacity to make sure they have enough stock to fulfil demand, while conversely, if sales slow - for example because the product is seasonal - they can reduce capacity in order to cut costs.”
However, warehousing companies can actually provide much more than just storage.
Some 3PL services can even go so far as to design and manage websites to sell off end-of-line and returned or repaired goods, which would help offset unpredictable demand.
The RSR results are from a survey conducted online from November 2011 - February 2012, with responses from 103 qualified retail respondents. 33% of respondents were from companies with more than $1 billion in 2011 revenue.
Century Logistics is a privately-owned logistics company with over 400,000 sq ft of warehousing and 140 staff. Century specialise in warehousing and innovative and bespoke after sales services.
Its recently acquired 140,000 sq ft facility at Saxham Business Park near to Bury St Edmunds is one of the largest warehouses in East Anglia and is a joint venture with Dorel, the world’s biggest nursery products company.
Century has established a reputation for problem-solving, using its expertise in rework, product repair, handling customer service calls and selling end-of-line and returned stock via eBay and other outlets, for a wide range of customers.