differences between warehousing and distribution

Storage vs. Movement: Understanding the Key Differences Between Warehousing and Distribution

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The big difference between warehousing and distribution is that warehousing simply stores items, while distribution goes further by managing the entire flow of goods from production all the way to getting them into the hands of the final consumer.

Differences between warehousing and distribution

Both warehousing and distribution services play crucial roles in the supply chain management process. While both involve storing products before they reach their destination, they have distinct priorities:

Warehousing focuses on managing inventories and all aspects related to storing products.

Meanwhile, distribution centers primarily aim to efficiently move goods and meet established deadlines.

In these two processes, which differ in focus, management can either be handled internally by the company or through the hiring of external logistics services.

Choosing between these options depends on factors such as budget, available space within the company’s facilities, and growth objectives, among others. It’s important to consider factors like the flow of merchandise, required capacity, and necessary timelines for each phase.

What is warehousing?

Warehouses are spaces where various types of merchandise can be stored. They’re highly versatile, accommodating everything from raw materials to finished products ready for delivery to the end customer.

There are specialized warehouses tailored to specific storage needs. Some handle small goods, while others manage large packages that can be easily stacked, all aimed at caring for products and simplifying management.

Some companies require short-term storage, as their products will soon be delivered to buyers. Others may require longer-term services due to the need for a stock they can’t maintain in their facilities.

Tools like the Kanban system help maintain a detailed and organized process, preventing delays in transportation systems or during merchandise pick and pack.

Benefits of warehousing

If you have delicate items, hiring a warehousing service can make a difference. It’s also handy if you’ve got oversized goods that won’t fit in your own storage space.

It’s a service that can save a lot of costs on building your own warehouses and allows you to store products efficiently. Not only will they remain in excellent condition, but they will also be organized, making their delivery much simpler.

differences between warehousing and distribution

What is a distribution center?

While products are indeed stored in distribution centers, their primary function revolves around distribution, put simply, these places aim to get merchandise into consumers’ hands as quickly as possible.

Their role in the entire distribution process is pivotal, which is why distribution centers are strategically positioned to maximize merchandise turnover. They must ensure they have ample storage space available as needed, as well as access to channels for efficient merchandise distribution.

With the growth of direct sales, manufacturers increasingly rely on the services provided by distribution centers. Some services particularly beneficial for these facilities include E-Commerce distribution services and RMA administration returns programs.

Benefits of distribution center

By placing a greater emphasis on the distribution stage, they become exceptional spaces for companies with fast-moving merchandise. Utilizing their services ensures that product sales occur more swiftly and conveniently for both the company and its customers.

Additionally, they aren’t solely focused on the end customer; they can also serve as intermediaries between the factory and other distributors. This proves highly beneficial for companies that prefer not to handle all the details of delivering merchandise to individual distributors.

These centers can also handle other services such as distributing items for employees or delivering promotional materials.

The differences between warehousing and distribution centers lie in the primary purpose of each of these spaces. The former is more directed towards storage, while the latter focuses on distributing goods. Both complement each other and are useful for companies according to their particular objectives.

If your company needs warehousing services, at EP Logistics you can find the ally you need to carry out an effective supply chain. Get in touch with us to find out how we can assist you.