If you want to run a successful business, then endeavor to keep records and track of all your stock or inbound goods via proper inventory management.
Any business that fails to have a proper handle on their inventory will often run into problems with things like lost/misplaced stock, excess stock, mis-picks and so on. If you have a lot of these problems, the cost could be fatal to the business.
In this article, we look at how you can use storage trailers to improve on your overall inventory management.
What Is Inventory Management?
Inventory management is a component of supply chain management, which is integral to how a business handles the whole process of obtaining and storing products or raw materials.
Inventory management helps companies track the flow of goods or raw materials in and out of warehouses. It is inventory management that makes it possible for a company or business to know every detail about new stock or inbounds that occur from reverse logistics.
Essentially, inventory management means having a tracking system in place that captures all the information regarding what is in stock – in storage or transit.
Inventory Management for Businesses
Whether you run a business to customer (B2C) or business to business (B2B), a proper approach to inventory management ensures that every purchase, sale, or stock order is properly handled.
When done correctly, a business will know what needs to be stocked or ordered, when to do the ordering, in what quantities, and maybe even more importantly, where to store the new stock.
Massive technological developments and a growing trend towards international trade have seen inventory management become more encompassing, with processes taking on a more digital face. Now you can do a little more than just manage and track stock in and out of a warehouse or storage facility.
You can choose from a host of inventory management applications and software to manage aspects like inventory reports and product supply and demand forecasting. But in all these, the need for storage is perhaps one of the top needs any business has to master in order to succeed in its inventory management.
How Does the Need for a Storage Trailer Develop?
To understand why there is such a huge need for extra storage space, you need to understand what and how the warehouse industry has changed over the years.
What has happened over the years is that companies and businesses have gradually found warehousing facilities developed in the last two decades to be limited in what they can offer in reference to modern storage demands.
The inadequacies come down to developments in the business sector, with the advent of e-commerce pushing the need for modern facilities even higher. And that has increased in 2019 given the massive inventory businesses are generating.
A CBRE report recently noted that most of the early 2000 warehouses offer space that would need to be overhauled to suit e-commerce businesses. For instance, the low ceiling designs, or poor docking simply doesn’t work with most e-commerce companies.
And things get even tougher when peak season hits the market from around August to mid-October and over the festive season running into January/February. To cater to reverse logistics, companies need every inch of extra space to store volumes of returned items.
Again, peak season heralds a boom in business for many companies- driven by the age-old demand and supply metrics. When prices shoot up, businesses often find themselves looking for additional space to handle their increased outbound inventory. To so many companies, that extra space is increasingly coming in the form of storage trailers.
How Can a Storage Trailer Help Improve Inventory Management?
Forecasts note that a spike in online shopping is set to maximize the clamor for extra storage space. The forecast points out that inventory surge will continue to push companies towards mobile storage.
That same demand will be replicated across all retail stores and warehouses in the next seven years. Storage trailers are thus set to become one major solution to storage challenges facing companies and which have impacted inventory management.
Storage trailers offer premium spaces that often provide conditions suited to product storage- dry, clean environments. Again, docking level loading and unloading make the trailer great for use when handling distribution or point of sale inventory.
If a company or business’ storage needs comprise the use of multiple stock-keeping units (SKUs), then inventory control could be a challenge. However, storage trailers can help reduce that challenge by providing identifiable units that can function as receiving stations or stock areas.
Essentially, these can act as standalone inventory locations for maximum utilization in servicing customer needs.
By adopting new solutions like the use of trailers, companies are finding it easier to monitor and track any inventory. Technology like RFID means that companies can easily keep track of specific inventory, even if it is moved from location to location.
What are the Advantages of Using a Storage Trailer for Inventory Management?
First, consider that trailers allow you to have “warehouses on wheels,” meaning you can handle inventory management “on the go.”
We know trailers come in several sizes, and so the question is: does the size of the semi-trailer matter? If you are looking to use a storage trailer for inventory management, the size of trailer you pick only needs to suit your needs. As with any warehouse space, one can still organize the storage trailer to ensure quick access to stored items.
Trailers offer flexibility, which boosts overall inventory control. All you need is integrate workable yard management systems (YMS) and warehouse management systems (WMS). When properly integrated into the trailer monitoring system, YMS and WMS can significantly improve how a company handles any excess inventory.
Summary of Benefits of storage trailers in inventory management:
- Provide extra storage space in all sizes of up 53′
- Storage trailers keep inventory load dry, and clean in secure yards
- Rates more competitive compared to commercial warehouses and do not need as much commitment (Milestone Equipment estimates that the cost of trailer storage could be as much as 50% lower compared to standard warehouses)
- With trailers, you access other services like portability and delivery to your location
- Easy access to inventory- you can adopt either of First-in, first-out (FIFO) or Last in, first-out (LIFO) methods of inventory accounting.
- Can be customized to offer specific storekeeping unit (SKU) functionality
- Minimizes the cost of running inventory- Storage trailers can help a business avoid peak season surcharge (PSS), which can increase inventory costs.
Advantages of Renting Storage Trailers Rather Than Owning to Cover Inventory Management
When you decide to use storage trailers to assist in inventory management, one of the key considerations would be to identify what specific needs the business has.
Is it short term storage occasioned by a peak in demand? Or is it for an extended period as you reorganize and modernize your inventory records? Whatever the need, it is important to identify it to tell whether you need to rent/lease or buy a storage trailer.
Owning a trailer gives you greater control over the use of the trailer, including customizing it to suit your needs. However, you might want to consider trailer rental as opposed to ownership due to several advantages congruent to renting.
- The upfront cost for renting is less than what you need to buy and own a storage trailer
- Access to other services like repairs, maintenance, and insurance allows you to set and work within a given budget
- You can return a rented trailer and get a different size or model to suit your inventory
How to Tell if Handling Inventory Management with Storage Trailers is Working?
Companies all around the globe have turned to trailers for to solve their storage needs as inventory swells and warehouses fill, and reports show that the strategy is working.
According to collated details, a shortage occasioned by a slowdown in growth in the commercial warehouse space is the reason more trailers have become “storage on wheels.”
To a growing number of companies, part of the inventory requires storing in mobile warehouses. That explains the increased use of trailers, which are then being used to move the inventory to areas where customers need them.
Supply Chain Dive estimates that there could be over 500,000 trailers around the U.S that are in use, providing “temporary warehousing,” and inventory management solutions.
Although making out which trailer is a “store” and which one is just idle is a bit challenging without exact figures, it is estimated that storage trailers have made inventory management much easier for companies struggling to deal with excess stock or returned goods.
Where Can You Get Storage Trailers for Inventory Mangement?
Whether you need to rent, lease or buy storage trailers to add onto your warehouse space or for use over a short period, getting the right deal depends on what you need and where you look.
If you are looking at storage trailer rentals or leasing, then a thorough examination of what is available vis-a-viz the payment terms should be top of your mind. The same applies to whether you want to purchase the trailer, only that the latter also requires that you examine your financial books to see if the business can afford an outright purchase or loan arrangement.
Apart from the specific need in mind, proceed by determining the following:
- Is it a new or used trailer that you need?
- What size(s) do you need?
- Where are you keeping the trailer? In your yard or at a third-party facility?
- Should your trailer be customized to suit your inventory needs?
- Will the trailer be moved or will it be stationary throughout?
Search parameters for finding storage trailers include narrowing down your focus to the type/make of trailer, its model and location. You should be able to define your needs down to whether you want to get a reefer, dry van or pods.
Of course, the best place to get storage trailers is from B&W Trailer Rental by calling 1-800-227-5134 today.