Warehouse

A Comprehensive Guide to Multi-Warehouse Management

  • Written by Rachael Pilcher
A Comprehensive Guide to Multi-Warehouse Management

Warehousing your inventory has a range of great benefits if you’re a high-volume seller. This includes the ability to keep more stock on hand, and pick, pack, and ship faster to keep your customers happy.

But the tools you’re using to manage your warehouse stock right now might not be powerful enough to handle things if you want to scale up to multiple warehouses. 

In this article, we’re looking at the benefits and challenges of multi-warehouse management, and tips on how to streamline your processes. 

Plus, we’ll show you how Veeqo’s free software can help you avoid potential warehousing chaos and common multi-warehouse problems, and bring a sense of order and calm to your ecommerce business as you scale.

What is multi-warehouse management?

Multi-warehouse management refers to all of the complex operational processes needed to manage retail inventory and sales across multiple warehouse locations.

With the growing global demand for online shopping, a multi-warehouse strategy makes sense for large businesses who need a more effective way to receive, store, ship, and redistribute their stock at speed and scale for customers all over the world. 

Using multiple warehouses means businesses can ship from the location that’s closest to a customer, or keep their inventory near major logistics hubs for speedy shipping and restocking. This keeps freight costs down, and ensures customers get their orders as fast as possible.

Benefits of multi-warehouse management for large ecommerce businesses

Keeping inventory in a central warehouse solves a ton of problems if you’re a fast-growing ecommerce retailer.

But there’s a point in your growth where you’ll probably need to expand to another warehouse…and another…and another.

You’ll either have too much stock for a single warehouse, or you’ll find it’s difficult to compete on shipping prices and delivery speeds for customers when you only have inventory in one location.

Splitting your inventory across multiple warehouses can solve all of these expansion problems, and more.

Faster, cheaper, and more sustainable 

Your customers like to keep their costs down as much as you do, and multiple warehouses can give you the best of both worlds.

By stocking goods close to major transport hubs, you can reduce freight costs when you’re restocking or transferring your warehouse inventory. And every time you make a sale, you can ship to customers from the warehouse location that is nearest to them. 

So not only can you offer competitive shipping and keep your costs down, you’ll also be promoting sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint, which can give you a big tick in the eyes of your customers.

Centralizes data

Having multiple warehouses will encourage you to level-up your end-to-end operations.

And if you’re using a centralized software solution like Veeqo, it can be a game-changer for managing and shipping stock from all your warehouse locations. 

With centralized data, you’ll know exactly what’s going on at every warehouse, and get unmatched visibility and control over your inventory, no matter where it is, or where it needs to go.

Reduces logistics hassles

Being able to ship from more than one location can help you avoid many logistics issues such as stockouts and supply chain problems.

You’ll have the ability to transfer inventory between warehouses to meet customer demand, or ship from an alternate warehouse if items of stock run out at one location for any reason.

And if there are seasonal delays, natural disasters or other unforeseen logistics hiccups that affect one warehouse location, you can easily ship from your other warehouses without breaking a sweat.

Improves customer satisfaction

All of the above combined can help you achieve the ultimate goal of your business - to provide an exceptional experience for your customers. 

With multiple warehouses, you can respond quickly to customer demands, and transfer inventory as needed to meet increased order volumes if you’re seeing a spike in localized interest for a product.

But as with every exciting new growth phase, multi-warehouse management comes with a few unique challenges.

Common multi-warehouse management problems

Here are a few common issues you’ll need to iron out to ensure everything keeps running smoothly as you expand.

Operational issues

When you’re shipping from multiple warehouses, managing communication, inventory, and shipping procedures across different locations and workforces is the key to success.

But it can be stressful trying to standardize your operations so everything stays consistent across each location.

You’ll need to ensure that your inventory, order processing, and shipping data is accurate, and that you have real-time visibility into what’s going on across all of your warehouse locations at any given time, so you can troubleshoot and optimize on the go.

Plus, you’ll need a central source of truth so that your most important data isn’t spread around multiple apps, spreadsheets, and documents.

Lack of inventory control

As a high-volume seller, it’s critical to have systems in place that can track and update stock across all of your warehouses instantly when sales are made.

This is even more essential when your orders are coming in from multiple websites, marketplaces, and other sales channels.

Overstocking and understocking can cause major headaches when you have multiple warehouses.

Transferring stock to the wrong warehouse can result in unnecessary freight costs, and stockouts can result in unhappy customers and lost sales opportunities.

When you need to control inventory at scale, spreadsheets simply won’t work anymore.

So you’ll need to invest in robust warehouse management technology that can automatically sync and update inventory levels, and give you complete transparency into what’s happening at any given time.

Increased costs

Stocking across multiple warehouses will increase your monthly costs, and unfortunately there’s no way around this!

To help you keep costs under control, it’s essential that you can access data-driven insights on your warehouses, and generate targeted reports for regular review. 

This can help you identify any overspending, logistics problems, or other weak spots in your operations processes that can be optimized to stop your business leaking money.

Security risks

More warehouses, and more workforce, means more risk for your business.

Internal and external data breaches are all too common, so prioritizing data security should be at the top of your list when you’re looking at multi-warehouse management solutions.

Lost sales

If you don’t have all of the above under control, it can lead to every retailer’s worst nightmare — losing customers to a competitor. 

Shoppers today have a huge amount of choice about where to spend their money. So if you’re struggling to manage your warehouses, even one order slip-up, delayed parcel, or stockout could cost you valuable sales.

3 tips to streamline multi-warehouse management

Despite all these challenges, managing a number of warehouse locations doesn’t need to be a struggle. These are our top tips to help keep your warehouses organized.

Automate as much as possible

Technology is your friend when it comes to multi-warehouse management. Automating inventory, admin processes, and workflows can save a ton of time every week and reduce the risk of human error. 

With smart software automations, you can ensure that everything from inventory, to picking, packing, shipping, and returns run like clockwork.

Implement a warehouse management system

A good warehouse management system (WMS) can help you set up automations and processes that will improve efficiency and ensure customers get their orders on time. 

Your WMS should give you the ability to:

  • View and monitor activity in every warehouse location in real time

  • Manage multi-channel orders

  • Transfer stock to the right locations at the right time

  • Integrate with other essential tech tools you already use

  • Ship orders from the best locations to ensure the lowest possible shipping costs and fastest delivery speeds

Use an all-in-one solution

Using a WMS is good. But using all-in-one software is even better.

As we mentioned earlier, having a central source of data is one of the keys to successfully managing multiple warehouse operations.

So being able to keep all of your most important business data in one place practically gives you superpowers.

We’re a little biased, but Veeqo’s all-in-one shipping, warehousing, and inventory software can help you with all of the above, and more!

How Veeqo makes multi-warehouse management simple

Veeqo might be completely free to use (and incredibly easy to set up), but it’s also designed to handle the most demanding multi-warehouse needs at an enterprise level. 

Connect and manage multiple warehouses in one place

Our comprehensive suite of inventory, picking, and warehouse reporting tools let you connect as many warehouses as you need, standardize your operation processes, and manage everything from a central dashboard.

Whether you’re stocking products in standalone warehouses, building a new warehouse, using Amazon FBA or MCF warehouses, or a blend of these, Veeqo keeps everything synced and running smoothly.

Effortlessly manage inventory

Manage incoming and outgoing stock with ease across all sales channels and warehouse locations.

Veeqo’s inventory management software lets you automatically sync stock levels across your brand websites, Amazon, Shopify, eBay, and other sales channels — ensuring you never have to worry about stock-outs, overstocking, or running out of inventory in any location. 

The moment an order is made on one channel, Veeqo automatically updates your inventory everywhere. This gives you complete transparency into stock levels, so you can see which locations have too much or too little inventory, and re-order or transfer specific items accordingly.

Ship at lightning speed with the Veeqo scanner

The Veeqo Scanner is a standalone wireless device that helps your warehouse teams pick faster and more accurately. 

It’s the same picking scanner used by Amazon Fulfillment Centers to process hundreds of millions of Amazon orders, and it’s fully integrated with all of Veeqo’s inventory tracking, shipping, and warehouse management tools.

Mobile picking app

Don’t need a scanner? You can also pick using the free Veeqo iOS and Android app — right from your phone!

Help customers save on shipping

Veeqo automatically displays the lowest possible shipping costs every time a customer makes an order. And you can send these orders to the most practical warehouse for processing and speedy shipping — helping you turn happy customers into repeat customers.

Plus, you can save up to 5% on each eligible shipment with Veeqo credits.

Infinite scalability

Whether you’re managing 2 warehouses, or 2,000, you need technology that can help you handle every aspect of your ecommerce sales without missing a beat.

Veeqo gives you peace of mind that you’re always ready for the next level of growth, with software that can easily handle increased stock levels, orders, shipping, and warehouse expansion - all while keeping your costs down.

Integrate with your existing tools

Sync our software with all of your existing sales channels, and connect it with the tech stack you’re already using to make your workflows more streamlined.

With our native integrations and API, you can easily sync with tools for 3PL, POS, accounting, help desk, email, marketing tools, and more — making your multi-warehouse management even more simple and efficient.

Unmatched security

As part of the Amazon family, Veeqo has the highest possible levels of data security built in.

And if you’re shipping with Amazon, you can use Single Sign-On (SSO) technology to securely connect your store with Veeqo in just a few clicks.

Make data driven decisions

Having access to analytics data is a critical part of efficient multi-warehouse management.

Veeqo gives you robust tools like inventory forecasting and reporting to help you predict product demand, and see what’s selling best on specific marketplaces. 

This means you can make faster, smarter decisions about your inventory and marketing to ensure you’re driving growth.

Get the enterprise-level support you expect

Whether you need training, troubleshooting, or any other kind of help – Veeqo has dedicated support teams based across North America and Europe that can quickly respond via chat, phone, or email, no matter which time zone you’re in.

Further reading

If it’s time for you to think about expanding to multiple warehouses for your ecommerce business, you’ll need to make sure you have the right systems in place to ensure you can continue to deliver an exceptional customer experience.

There are plenty of software options out there that can help you manage inventory and orders.

But for maximum efficiency (and minimal problems), you need to ensure that whichever software you choose can handle the demanding needs of multi-warehouse management, and can scale with you as your business continues to grow.

Veeqo can help you effortlessly handle increased inventory, high order volumes, and multiple warehouse locations — with zero monthly fees, unlimited users, and unlimited customer orders.

Sign up to Veeqo today to discover how simple multi-warehouse management can be.

About the author

R

Written by Rachael Pilcher

Copywriter

Rachael Pilcher is a freelance copywriter specializing in content for B2B SaaS and tech companies.

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