For companies and e-commerce businesses that operate in the current markets, correct warehouse management represents a crucial element.
It is here that a series of tasks converge which represent the operational heart of the activity and which, if structured in an uneven manner, can have a negative impact on the entire process. From this perspective, particular attention must be paid to the storage of goods, an essential aspect to optimize the use of available space, to reduce order processing times and thus improve the overall efficiency of the supply chain and customer satisfaction.But what is the warehousing activity? The term refers to the process of organizing and maintaining goods within a warehouse or distribution center. This process is not simply limited to the physical placement of goods on shelves or in designated areas, but includes a series of practical and strategic operations that together aim to maximize the efficiency and responsiveness of the entire supply chain. It is a vital asset that significantly impacts the company balance sheet, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups. The investment required, both in terms of structural costs and in terms of operational management, is considerable. Therefore, it is essential to maximize the effectiveness of this space to minimize the risk of inefficiencies that can slow down operational processes and increase costs. Addressing this challenge requires the adoption of targeted strategies and the use of advanced technologies in order to achieve operational excellence. Let us examine how.

What does the storage of products in the warehouse involve?

Warehousing activity represents a crucial process within a company's logistics management and is directly linked to the efficiency and speed with which products can be moved, both incoming and outgoing. This phase of the supply chain, which is located at the beginning of the fulfillment process, includes a series of operations ranging from the acceptance of goods to their identification and cataloging, up to their arrangement in a designated space, in order to guarantee their integrity and make picking operations as quick and error-free as possible. Here are what they are:

Global e-commerce will exceed $8 trillion by 2027

Having tools capable of keeping inventory under control allows you to prevent stock outages and reduces the risk of overstocking.

Receipt of the goods: The storage activity begins with the receipt of the goods, when the products arrive at the warehouse and are checked in terms of quantity and quality. This step is crucial to ensure that the incoming material corresponds exactly to what was ordered and to prevent discrepancies that could influence subsequent stages of the supply chain.

Classification and arrangement: Subsequently, the goods are classified according to specific criteria - from type to size to picking frequency - and placed strategically within the structure. The decision about where to place each item depends on various factors, including ease of access or the items' compatibility with certain environmental conditions.

Inventory management: A key component of the warehousing business is inventory management, which includes the continuous monitoring of stocks to ensure an optimal balance between supply and demand. This involves the use of automation processes capable of keeping stocks updated based on orders and returns.

Order preparation: Order preparation is another critical operation, which consists of selecting and picking the goods. This phase requires precision and speed to minimize waiting times and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction.

Delivery: Finally, the warehousing activity culminates with the shipment of goods to customers or points of sale. This phase includes packaging, labeling and delivering the products, as well as managing any returns or exchanges.

Factors influencing storage capacity and optimization strategies

According to Insider Intelligence, global e-commerce will exceed $8 trillion by 2027, or 23% of total sales. This is a figure which, while on the one hand highlights the enormous growth prospects of those operating in e-commerce, on the other hand poses clear challenges in terms of logistics and the ability to manage market fluctuations and order peaks. Greater sales possibilities imply the need for companies to equip themselves with more efficient warehouses and advanced tools that allow them to manage a greater quantity of products and orders.

There are several factors that must be taken into consideration to optimize storage capacity. Among these, the most relevant include:

Type of goods: Different products require different storage methods - on the floor, on shelves, on pallets - which can affect the amount of usable space.

Identification of areas: the efficiency and configuration of spaces and the presence or absence of shelving and other equipment can significantly increase usable space.

Workflow and accessibility: the need to easily access goods and maintain an efficient workflow, as well as the presence of machinery such as forklifts and conveyor belts, can limit the amount of space.

Safety and compliance regulations: Safety rules and regulations may impose limitations on how and where goods can be stored and affect the freedom of movement of pickers.

To optimize storage capacity, companies implement several strategies, including:

Space organization: Careful planning allows you to maximize the use of the available area without necessarily expanding the structure. Furthermore, an accurate analysis of the available space, with the height development of the warehouse thanks to special shelving, allows the use of innovative vertical solutions. The position of the goods must then be chosen based on practical aspects, such as the picking frequency and the travel distances of the picking workers, in order to make this phase quick, fluid and error-free. To do this, specific procedures, tools and adequately trained personnel are required, with consequent costs in terms of time and resources.

Tools and technologies: Implementing inventory tracking systems allows for more efficient management of space and inventory, reducing waste and improving accuracy in order fulfillment. Having tools capable of keeping inventory under control allows you to prevent stock outages and reduces the risk of overstocking, essential aspects to avoid being caught unprepared in the face of an increase in requests or to avoid the danger of investing precious resources in products that remain unsold for too long.

Storage costs

All of this, as is easy to imagine, involves the use of structures, tools and professionalism that are not always present within small companies, start-ups and e-commerce: for this reason, more and more companies are deciding to entrust the warehouse management to third parties . According to a study conducted by Imarc Group, this trend is constantly growing: the global size of the warehousing and storage market reached 505.1 billion dollars in 2023 and will reach 700.2 billion dollars by 2032 , with a growth rate of 3.5% over the period examined. The growing adoption of structures managed by specialized players helps companies to reduce costs, to have easier access to advanced technologies and to quickly enjoy the benefits of know-how and consolidated manufacturing practices, guaranteeing delivery in line with expectations of the user.

MBE Fulfillment is the service designed to meet the needs of companies that want to equip themselves with efficient product storage procedures, in line with market dynamics and the needs of their business. Thanks to advanced tools and technologies, a widespread network of centers and professionalism capable of always guaranteeing high standards of service, Mail Boxes Etc. is the ideal partner to help SMEs, artisans and e-commerce grow.

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Storage capacity refers to the process of organizing, maintaining and managing goods within a warehouse or distribution center, in order to maximize the efficiency and responsiveness of the entire supply chain.
The main phases include receiving the goods, classification and arrangement, inventory management, order preparation and shipping.
Efficient storage reduces order fulfillment times and improves the use of available space, significantly contributing to overall supply chain efficiency and end customer satisfaction.
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