What Is Industrial Warehousing?

Modern logistics have given birth to warehousing solutions of industrial proportions — and warehousing needs so closely conform to individual needs that numerous systems have arisen. These solutions range from automated to manually managed warehousing systems. How does industrial warehousing differ from warehousing at large, and what are the applications? This guide dives into the nature and applications of industrial warehousing and how they play a crucial role in business operations.

Warehousing Defined

Warehousing facilities and industrial storage facilities usually operate separately in different locations. We can define warehousing as the complex range of processes involved in:

  • Storing inventory
  • Sorting inventory
  • Securing inventory
  • Packing inventory and preparing it for distribution – a process that sometimes includes assembly
  • The administrative work required to ensure that inventory storage and distribution unfold smoothly

Companies may operate their own warehousing solutions or outsource warehouse operations to a 3PL provider in a centralized location. Warehousing may primarily be designed for storage space, or it may take the form of an active order fulfillment center that processes customer orders.

In contrast, industrial facilities are those where manufacturing, processing materials, and fabrication take place. Inventory is typically prepared to be sent to warehouses in these structures. However, industrial facilities are not usually set up to facilitate long-term storage or operate as distribution centers.

What Is Industrial Warehousing?

Industrial warehousing is a system that combines manufacturing and related activities with warehousing — within the same facility and often under the same roof. These industrial buildings are often located near transportation hubs and cater to the entire manufacturing process, from the processing of materials to packing and distribution.

Industrial warehouse facilities can include:

  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Warehouse facilities designed for storage and distribution
  • Loading and unloading docks parking lots
  • Administrative and security facilities
  • Waste management systems
  • Secure perimeters

All steps in the manufacturing and distribution process, from processing raw materials to picking, packing, and shipping stored goods, can take place in these massive facilities.

Concentrating these distinct processes in one distinct area, the industrial warehouse complex allows for greater control and a more efficient system. Industrial warehousing ensures that the industrial supply chain functions without a hitch. When all cogs work together, time management becomes more predictable.

The materials used in the construction of industrial warehousing facilities are industry-dependent. However, they typically include metal and concrete, with a heavy focus on prefabricated buildings that can be erected in record time.

How Do Logistics Centers Relate to Industrial Warehousing?

Logistics centers have become the gold standard in managing storage and efficient distribution. These services may be organized in-house or outsourced to a 3PL provider. Industrial warehousing can meet the same demands as a logistics center, but this system also fulfills additional roles. All industrial processes can take place within an industrial warehouse, but logistics centers only manage storage, packing, and distribution.

Industrial warehousing does not completely eliminate the need for logistics centers, including 3PL providers. Industrial warehousing facilities simply serve as the main hub from which the supply chain is organized. Meanwhile, logistics centers expand a company’s reach and serve as secondary hubs.

What Are the Benefits of Industrial Warehousing?

Warehousing is a complex process. Essential components include predicting inventory influx, managing security needs, and managing the storage and distribution process. Obtaining permits, managing the workforce, and maintaining excellent health and safety standards are other parts of the operation.

Industrial warehousing solutions have the ability to streamline all of these processes. This system ensures that the industrial and warehousing components of the operation work in tandem, seamlessly. In turn, some of the benefits of implementing an industrial warehousing system include:

  • Greater streamlining leads to reduced costs.
  • The efficient organization ensures that inventory is managed adequately and shipments go out when planned.
  • Seamless communication between different parts of the organization ensures stock is available.
  • Improved monitoring abilities lead to better security, quality control, and worker productivity.
  • Efficient systems lead to satisfied wholesale customers.

Industrial warehousing solutions that combine industrial facilities with storage and distribution are not only suitable for industry giants. Smaller manufacturers can benefit from this efficient system and adapt it to their needs, too.

As companies consider the best way to move forward, they should take the following factors into account:

  • The number of SKUs and storage space required to store your inventory.
  • Seasonal demand fluctuations within your industry.
  • The location of your industrial warehouse complex and the scope of your operation.
  • Warehouse management software (WMS) can play a great role in managing your daily operations.

MAI Fulfillment | Warehouse Storage Chicago, IL

Warehouse | Cross Docking | Fulfillment | Kitting | Inbound/Outbound Voice | Freight Broker

Established in 1981, MAI is a privately-held 3PL company in Chicago specializing in warehousing, fulfillment, and omnichannel contact services. As an experienced outsourced provider, we provide value-added solutions designed to help companies build and maintain relationships with their customers.

The MAI business model offers clients the efficiency and convenience of dealing with a single accountable resource for a wide range of services. MAI areas of specialization include:

  • Custom B2B and B2C warehouse/fulfillment solutions
  • Omni-channel contact center services
  • Technology support

A wide range of service offerings, strategic problem-solving skills, and experience make MAI a valued partner to a broad range of Fortune 500 companies. “Quality” is more than just a word here – it’s the foundation of how we conduct business and an integral part of the processes and metrics we use to deliver value to our clients every day.

Contact MAI today to learn more!

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