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Published on May 7th, 2014 | by admin

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Thinking Outside Of The Box For Order Fulfillment

A growing number of SME’s are thinking outside of the box when it comes to storage. Instead of opting for a traditional warehouse to pack goods, more and more business owners are leasing self-storage facilities instead.

Somewhat mirrored by the growth of e-commerce businesses as online retailers have come to the fore, we learn that in the last decade the concept of renting space has increased significantly. There are now approximately 1,000 sites in the UK providing more than 30 million sq ft of storage space. So why the surge in popularity?

The benefits of self-storage facilities over traditional warehouse premises are actually numerous. For starters many self-storage facilities offer 24 hour access that many warehouses lack. Self storage units also tend to offer far more flexible terms which is an attractive proposition for a budding business owner, combined with low overheads because expenses such as council tax tend to be included in the rent.

In addition many storage centres also provide a front of house reception area meaning they can accept deliveries on behalf of busy business owners. What’s more businesses can claim the VAT on storage space which was introduced for these premises in 2012.

So for budding entrepreneurs setting up as merchants and looking for storage facilities in the local vicinity, it is handy to know that the Self Storage Association has a facility locator to get the ball rolling.

Of course it’s all very well identifying that self-storage location that will best meet the needs of the SME who has a thriving e-commerce operation but then creating an efficient warehouse type operation from the confines of a self-storage unit is quite another thing all together.

It is certainly imperative to have a clear grasp of current inventory levels to be able to create a streamlined order fulfillment system by undertaking regular stock takes on a periodical basis in order to swiftly process orders received.

It is also crucial to establish that there is an ample supply of mailing boxes and mailing pouches available to fulfill orders, complemented by orderly consignment address and bar code labelling prior to shipping.

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About the Author

patrick.maddison@vowretail.com'



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