In my previous blog, which you can find here, I addressed best practices when considering the insource vs. outsource decision for managing transportation within an organization. Many of the same principles apply when considering the same decision regarding warehouse management. If the chosen strategy is to outsource warehouse operations, it is paramount that the bidding community understands all operational requirements in the most detailed levels possible. It is best to provide these operations details via six components – Receiving, Putaway, Storing, Picking, Packing and Shipping.
To elaborate on this point, let’s take a look at those processes and information needed to define the requirements of each:
There are also common requirements across all processes, such as:
A best-in-class warehouse RFP contains answers to all of these questions, as well as any unique operational characteristics that require additional labor, material handling equipment, IT infrastructure and storage requirements. This will help obtain the ultimate goal of an apples-to-apples comparison of bid responses and selection of the warehouse services provider.
—Brian Fish, St. Onge Company
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