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By Haley Crummett 

Warehousing plays a critical role in the supply chain. When goods are manufactured and

before they are in the hands of the consumer, they are often brought to a warehouse to

be securely held, and distributed to their next stop in the supply chain.

There are different kinds of warehouses based on what the goods are. Cold Storage

warehouses are typically for food or other goods that need to be stored at a certain temperature.

They look like any other warehouse on the outside but are typically at temperatures less than

45 degrees inside the warehouse. Fulfillment centers focus on storing goods and fulfilling

orders typically made online by the consumer these kinds of centers are more common with

e-commerce websites.

When goods come in, they are received in the warehouse. Pallets are unloaded from a

shipping container and put into the warehouse. They are then checked for quality and

damages and counted for inventory usually through a warehouse management system. Once

the goods are received, they are assigned to a storage location. The warehouse storage area is

designed to be as efficient as possible to streamline overall operations. Goods are assigned to

an area based on size, weight, and demand. Inventory is also stored in a range of ways from

floor storage, to automatic shelf racking. There are also manual and robotic storage systems

depending on the technology.

Once goods are in their place and orders are coming in, the items are picked and packed this

process is most common in e-commerce and fulfillment warehouses. Items are picked from the

storage area based on what is in the order. Depending on the company and its processes

employees can either pick items for one order or gather items for multiple orders and bring the

items over to their packing station. When the picker has gathered all of the items from the

storage area, they are then brought over to the packing station to be packed up. Items are then

staged to complete what is in the order and then packed efficiently to minimize shipping costs.

When the orders are packed, weighed, and labeled with the proper labeling from the WMS, they

are then assigned to a carrier for pick up. These items that have been picked and packed can

either go directly to a consumer who ordered them online, or they can be shipped out to a

store to replenish the store inventory. Companies partner with their preferred carrier and work

with them to get those items picked up from the warehouse and move them on to the next

step in the supply chain.

There is a type of warehouse that operates differently than the kinds of warehouses that are

mentioned above, and that is a cross-dock warehouse. A cross-dock facility removes the storage

piece of a warehouse. There is usually little to no storage, and the focus is to get the goods in

process and get them right back out to their next destination. These are more common

with store replenishment over e-commerce fulfillment centers.

As mentioned above, warehouses play an essential role in the supply chain no matter what they

hold or for how long. Finding talent in the industry can be challenging. Here at The Everest

Group we are the supply chain recruiting experts and have been placing warehouse

management roles for 30 years. If you need top talent in your warehouse contact our

team today to see how our services can benefit your team.

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