If you own a business that sells various goods and products, having a warehouse can benefit you in many ways. Essentially, it’s where you process, pack and store your products before you can distribute them to the market. However, the type of warehouse you need generally depends on the structure of your business and operations.
While generally, a warehouse is a building structure, along the way, you may have to add some parts and equipment, such as shelving and other storage solutions and hardware, like clevis pins, to aid in holding screws and nuts in place, securing loads, and fastening machinery or equipment. However, choosing such parts can sometimes be overwhelming, especially since there are many options in the market, making it difficult to tell which one’s the best.
A way to ensure you’re getting the right parts and equipment for your warehouse is by choosing a reputable supplier. In this article, we’ll detail a step-by-step guide to help you with this. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Create A List Of The Supplies You Want
Preparing a list of the parts and equipment you want and need in your warehouse is essential. By having one, you’ll be able to separate the suppliers that have what you need and those that don’t. Generally, it’s easier and more convenient to work with a supplier who can provide you with everything you need for your warehouse than having to deal with multiple suppliers.
Some of the things that you can have on your list include:
- Dock equipment includes truck restraints, yard ramps, dock plates, wheel chocks, dock bumpers, and many more.
- Conveyors like belt conveyors, chain conveyors, vertical conveyors, gravity roller conveyors, spiral conveyors, and pneumatic conveyors.
- Storage parts include shelves, racks, bins, totes, and carousels.
- Packing equipment. It would help if you had equipment like stretch wrap machines, industrial scales, packing tables, and strapping and banding materials for a smooth packing process.
- Lifting equipment includes service carts, forklifts, hand trucks, pallet jacks, and many more.
A critical note to keep in mind is to not just consider what your warehouse needs today but also determine your future needs. This means knowing which parts and equipment will need regular re-ordering and also verifying which supplier can accommodate your needs as your business grows.
2. Compare The Suppliers’ Price With Your Budget
After getting the suppliers who have what you need under one roof, considering your budget comes next. Note that various suppliers have different ranges of prices. For example, some may sell warehouse parts and equipment cheaper, while some are more expensive than others.
And with that, to ensure you don’t bleed your business’s finances, research and talk to as many suppliers and compare their fees. This way, you can be in a better position to choose a supplier offering quality goods and whose prices are within your budget.
Moreover, apart from the cost per unit, you should also consider other expenses that a supplier may charge, such as shipping and logistics costs. The right supplier should provide a reasonable transportation cost depending on the distance. On the other hand, some suppliers may offer free delivery if where they’re delivering isn’t too far. That said, choosing a supplier located in the same geographical location as you can be one of your considerations as you narrow down your options.
However, as much as you want to stay within your budget, you must consider the quality of parts and equipment you’ll get for your warehouse. After all, a warehouse is something that you’ll use for a long time. Therefore, investing in premium supplies should be one of your priorities. Note that the cheapest goods are often of lower quality than those with higher price ranges. And in most cases, to ensure quality goods, having an adjustable budget in case you find parts and equipment that are a bit higher than your budget is recommended.
3. Consider The Quality Of Service Offered By The Supplier
Customer service is an essential factor in every business. This is because it determines how easy it is to work with others. So as much as a supplier provides quality goods at an affordable price, you also need to consider their service quality. You can browse their website for customer feedback and online reviews as a starting point.
Service quality can be determined using various factors, such as:
- Suppliers’ Reliability
A supplier’s reliability generally depends on how well they communicate and their timeliness. Regarding communication, you’d want a supplier who will be honest and straightforward with you to avoid issues. This also means working with a supplier who you can easily reach should there be concerns along the way.
On the other hand, timeliness is essential because how fast a supplier can deliver the parts and equipment after ordering affects how soon your warehouse will be ready for business. This means that the faster they can provide you with what you need, the better for your operations.
This is among the best ways of doing business with other people. When your supplier considers you a partner, you’re likely to have a good working relationship, and you can rest assured they have your best interest in mind.
Furthermore, having a good relationship with your supplier means you can trust and work with them again on future projects, saving you the time to look for another supplier.
- Suppliers’ Reputation
What other customers have to say about a supplier is also critical. You’ll learn about the experience other clients received from working with a supplier through reputation. From the feedback received, you’ll be able to decide whether it’s smart to choose that supplier.
- Return Policy
It would also be best to ask how a supplier deals with a return policy. For example, suppliers that allow returning goods if there’s an issue can be a more ideal option than those that don’t. Also, if a supplier allows goods to be returned, you should inquire how much you’ll be reimbursed.
By knowing their return policy, you can get the assurance that you’d be taken care of, especially in cases of mishaps or issues with parts and supplies you ordered.
4. Check Whether A Supplier Has The Necessary Documents
Lastly, every business must have the necessary documents, such as certifications and licenses to prove they’re conducting business legally. Such documents can tell you how long a supplier has been in business. And generally, the longer a supplier has been in the industry, the more experienced they are likely to be, giving you the guarantee of quality service and reliability.
Moreover, look for documents certifying that their products are up to ISO standards and other industry-specific guidelines.
Wrapping It Up
Ensuring your warehouse is well-maintained by investing in quality parts and equipment can go a long way in boosting your operations and productivity. And to ensure you invest in the right tools, working with a reputable supplier is one of the best ways to go.
While it can be challenging to choose the right supplier, there are tips you can consider to guide you in the process. This article has explored some insights you can keep in mind to help you get started.