Warehouse needs flowchart

 

These days, it’s pretty common to hear something described as the “Airbnb of (blank)”.

Ride sharing, temporary lodging—it seems like there’s a host of new companies and apps in the modern era that let you make a little extra money from your unused guest room or car, and it’s been spreading to a number of other industries.

You might be unsurprised to learn that one of these affected industries is warehousing. The rise of ‘pop-up warehousing’, or warehouse space temporarily rented to other tenants and companies for a short period of time, has caused the warehouse industry to look into new approaches for renting out this space, and connecting with businesses that could benefit from a short-term warehouse solution.

 

Enter Flexe. A new start-up company based in Seattle, Flexe aims to be the “Airbnb of warehouses” by connecting potential customers with available warehouse space in their area for a short amount of time.

It’s as simple as that. Your company joins Flexe and it helps you match up with participating warehouses along your supply chain or in your geographical area that can rent you a small amount of warehouse space for however long you need it. Temporary product storage, overflow space for the holidays, keeping items safe during a move—whatever the need, you’ll be more able to easily find warehouses to fill that storage capacity.

 

Many major retail companies such as Staples and Ace Hardware have already begun using Flexe to find storage space as needed, and warehouse operators have begun participating in increasing numbers as a way to help make some money off their unused warehouse space.

Starting to sound like a pretty good deal, right? Here’s a few things we think you should keep in mind if you’re considering participating in Flexe:

 

  • Do you have the room to spare? Leasing your space to Flexe may demand a little more space than you’re expecting it to. You’ll need more than just some empty shelves or an unused corner—make sure you can really offer your potential clients enough space to make it worth the investment, and you’ll get more customers. Remember: you wouldn’t just offer your couch for an Airbnb, so you can’t just offer two shelves for Flexe.
  • Where is your warehouse located? Many retailers or vendors who seek out extra space with Flexe use it to reduce the ‘last mile’ costs many shipment companies or retail companies run into. If your warehouse is closely located to major shopping areas or shipment hubs, you may have an easier time locating Flexe customers, as they can use your warehouse to reduce the expense of shipping out things like replenishment stock or special orders.
  • Do you have shelves you can provide? Obviously, anyone taking over a temporary part of your warehouse isn’t going to be able to provide their own fixtures. Stay competitive by offering a variety of pallet racks, wire shelving, and other types of warehouse shelving to make sure they know they can store whatever might come their way.

 

If you can meet all of these requirements, you just might find yourself a little more successful on Flexe.

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