As we’re sure you know, the recent e-commerce boom has led to a major shortage of space in the manufacturing industry. Business owners in need of warehouses are being forced to contend with expensive rents and selling costs. In fact, CBRE Group, Inc. reported that warehousing rents increased 5.6% year-over-year last year, with an average of $6.68 being charged per square foot.
This shortage has led to an increase of shared warehousing, where manufacturers come together to work under the same roof. Shared warehousing can be beneficial for all companies involved, provided there is thoughtful planning and distribution of resources, such as labor and material handlers.
Today, let’s take a closer look at how shared warehousing works, what it has to offer and why we believe industrial manipulators are a key factor to a successful multi-company facility.
What Does Shared Warehousing Offer?
This warehousing concept provides a variety the benefits. It allows you to share the resources of the other companies you’re working alongside, including tools, employees, storage capabilities and transportation options.
Shared warehousing can also be a less daunting real estate or renting commitment. As the sole occupant of a warehouse, you may have to sign a lengthy lease or invest a substantial amount of money upfront. Shared warehousing often allows tenants to sign shorter, more manageable leases (sometimes as flexible as month-to-month).
Additionally, by buying or renting your own space, your company is solely responsible for all costs, from machinery repair to electrical issues. You may also be paying for warehouse space and storage that you’re not currently using, which is a waste of money. Shared warehousing allows you to be financially responsible only for the space you’re using and the labor you need to build your products.
With the money saved with shared warehousing, companies will have the opportunity to distribute their products in multiple shared distribution centers. This way, companies will be able to increase their shipping reach and reduce pricy fees for their customers.
Who is a Fit for Shared Warehousing?
Although shared warehousing can be helpful for many companies, it is not a one-size-fit-all solution. Companies with these common traits are more likely to succeed in a shared warehousing environment:
- Less Complexity: How intricate is your production process? Shared warehousing works best when all the companies involved use essentially the same tools and types of labor to get their products out the door. If your company requires a customized production process, you should consider investing in your own dedicated warehouse space.
- Smaller Size: Shared warehousing spaces are a great fit for smaller, newer companies who are finding their footing in distribution and still working to cut costs. They can also be a helpful option for those who are testing new products and not yet ready to commit to a lease. If you’re an established company owner with a consistent supply chain and a sizable number of employees, dedicated warehouses will have more to offer.
- Flexible Location: If there’s little chance that your company will need to relocate in the foreseeable future, you may not have any qualms about signing a lease for the next three to five years. But some up-and-coming companies may need to change locations frequently and require more flexibility in their space agreements.
For those that fit these descriptions, shared warehousing can be a financially smart decision for you and your company. It can offer the labor, space and material handlers to help distribute your products more efficiently.
Why Industrial Manipulators Work in Shared Warehouses
In the past, we’ve discussed how industrial manipulators can benefit every manufacturing sector, from foundries to the plastic industry. Not only are they helpful for so many different industries, but they’re also adaptable enough to work in both dedicated and shared warehousing setups.
How do they make a difference in shared warehousing?
- They save space. Yes, industrial manipulators may look a little daunting. But they’re actually easier to integrate to your current process than robots and take up less space. With an industrial manipulator, your shared warehouse can cut down on clutter and trip hazards like ladders, step stools or dollies. Plus, instead of having multiple people moving one product and clogging up your picking path, one person can transport products quickly in a specified location.
- They boost storage options. For a distribution center serving many companies, storage availability is a must. Industrial manipulators allow your shared warehouse to make use of heightened storage spaces and offer tenants more places to keep their products.
- They bolster employee productivity. When employees are moving heavy objects by themselves, it drains their energy unnecessarily and puts them at risk for injury. With industrial manipulators, your employees can focus on finishing more important tasks quickly and won’t find themselves physically burnt out after every shift.
- They’re multi-purpose. Industrial manipulators are inherently adaptable and can be used to transport and store all kinds of products and packages. Having these material handlers in your shared warehouse will benefit every company working under your roof and keep your process running smoothly.
If you’re looking to find the right industrial manipulator for your shared warehouse (or your dedicated one!), talk to our experts today. We’ll find the perfect solution for your facility’s needs.