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No matter what your business trades in, what products they sell, or who they sell it to, the act of stocking inventory can be a tricky process.

Particularly these days, during the unprecedented ecommerce boom of the past year or so, retail inventory storage has been at a premium. Warehouse space all across the country has been gobbled up by retailers big and small, and it’s left a lot of smaller businesses unsure as to what their options may be.

A popular solution that’s arisen in recent years is co-warehousing!

 

Co-Warehousing For Small Businesses

 

Co-warehousing has been described by some in the industry as “the AirBnB of warehousing”, but in truth it’s actually a little deeper than that.

Imagine, if you will, several businesses coming together to share one big warehouse, almost like a coworking space but for inventory. The warehouse typically comes pre-equipped with all of the warehouse shelving you’d need for your inventory, and you’re assigned a smaller space inside the warehouse to store inventory.

This warehouse space can serve a number of different purposes, depending on what your business does. Many businesses simply use it for inventory management, but it can also serve as an effective solution for last-mile deliveries (if you only ship to a certain geographic area), or as ecommerce distribution if all of your business is online.

 

Can Co-Warehousing Help Your Small Business?

Is co-warehousing right for you, then? You might need to ask yourself a few questions first:

 

How much inventory do I need to manage? If you run a physical storefront that always feels a little…crowded, or if you have a lot of online orders that need to go out, a little extra breathing room can always help.

 

Do I have items that are…a little awkward to put away? Ecommerce these days requires you to stock items of various sizes and weights, and it can be hard to find a home for all of them. The flexible wire shelving, rivet shelving, and pallet racking that most co-warehouses can offer will help you get even the most awkward items organized.

 

Do I sell a lot of items online? If your business is partially (or entirely) ecommerce, co-warehousing can actually serve a number of purposes. Co-warehouses can serve as a shipping hub for outgoing orders, a last-minute delivery hub for items coming from elsewhere, or simply a place to manage returns before you restore them to your normal stock.

 

Do I just need more room for inventory? Of course, sometimes the biggest solutions are the simplest. If your business has grown over the past year, or has found itself in need of a better way to organize the inventory it has, a co-warehouse can be an affordable way to get yourself started.

If any of these sound like familiar problems to you – it might just be time to look into some local co-warehouses.

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