Why Is IT Warehousing Important? 5 Ways It Boosts Competitiveness
Consider these two facts:
- A well-run warehouse is a valuable commodity no matter what industry your business competes in.
- Your IT infrastructure is the backbone of your organization.
Now, let’s put those two thoughts together. Have you ever made the connection that an IT warehouse can be a competitive differentiator for your business?
I’ve been part of an IT logistics team at Kelser Corporation for more than ten years. I’ve done every job from floor lead to delivery driver to supervisor and manager. I’ve seen first-hand how a well-managed IT warehouse can contribute to the efficiency of a business.
While I know that everyone doesn’t have access to an IT warehouse, and some might not benefit from one, I’m writing this article so that you can have the information you need to decide whether an IT warehouse could enhance efficiency for your organization.
In this article, I’ll explore 5 concrete ways that Kelser uses our IT warehouse to enhance the experience of our customers: cost savings, logistics enhancements, storage solutions, on-demand deployment, and supply chain delay mitigation. I’ll explain what kinds of organizations might benefit from an IT warehouse and what kinds might not.
After reading this article, you will have a full understanding of an IT warehouse and will have all of the information you need to decide whether or not an IT warehouse could be a competitive differentiator for your organization.
What Is An IT Warehouse?
To ensure that we are all operating from the same understanding, let’s define what an IT warehouse is.
Most people are familiar with the concept of manufacturing warehouses, which serve as holding facilities for goods that have been manufactured and are awaiting shipment. Warehouses are designed to streamline the order and delivery process. (Think Amazon for an example.)
IT warehouses operate the same way, providing a safe environment to protect expensive IT assets and streamline the requisition and delivery process.
What Are The 5 Ways An IT Warehouse Can Boost An Organization’s Competitive Advantage?
IT warehouses have the capacity to boost an organization’s competitive advantage in a number of ways.
1. Cost Savings
Most consumers know that when you order in bulk, you can often get a better price. Whether it’s shoes or IT equipment, the same principle applies.
When you have the advantage of an IT warehouse, you can order in bulk and know that your IT assets will be well cared for by people who understand the sensitive storage needs of computers.
2. Logistics Enhancements
An IT warehouse team understands the shipping requirements necessary to get your IT equipment safely where it needs to be.
As logistics experts, they know how to package your computers to avoid damage, how to track the shipments to ensure that the equipment arrives on time, saving you the time, hassle, and responsibility of handling the shipping yourself only to have your technician show up on-site to find that the equipment hasn’t arrived.
3. Storage Solutions
With an IT warehouse, you don’t have to worry that expensive IT assets will be damaged while awaiting their final destination. Warehouse staff will keep your devices safe from shoddy treatment ranging from temperature extremes to damage caused by overzealous or untrained forklift operators with a lead foot.
4. On-demand Deployment
Echoing the “just-in-time” philosophy, IT warehouses make it possible to deploy your IT devices when and where you need them at a moment’s notice. IT warehouse teams have the ability to shift gears at any moment to prioritize specific orders or tasks for the customer’s benefit.
Many small warehouse teams provide white-glove deliveries to local customers. They also build relationships with different carriers to provide reliable delivery to a customer destination anywhere around the country or the world.
5. Supply Chain Issue Mitigation
When you have the ability to plan ahead and order the IT resources you know you will need ahead of time, you can rest assured that your devices will arrive before you need them and the IT warehouse team will care for and ship them out as needed. This helps compensate for supply chain issues that could crop up.
What Are The Downsides To An IT Warehouse?
There are costs associated with warehouse space and staff. Depending on the size of your organization, these costs might or might not be worth the investment.
While we’ve explored the efficiencies that can be achieved by using an IT warehouse, it’s important to understand the warehouse team’s commitment to meeting your delivery schedule. Make sure the details are spelled out in your contract.
How Do You Know If An IT Warehouse Offers Your Organization Competitive Advantages?
While IT warehouses can offer significant advantages, they are not the right fit for every organization.
If you are part of a large organization with projected significant growth or a device refresh planned, an IT warehouse might make sense for you.
If your organization is small and doesn’t have significant growth projected, maybe it doesn’t make sense for you.
As with any critical business decision, make sure you understand what your business needs and weigh the pros and cons outlined in this article.
How Can Your Business Reap The Advantages Offered By An IT Warehouse?
If you work for a large organization, you might already have a company-owned IT warehouse. Work with your company’s warehouse and logistics team to put into place procedures that will provide the advantages we’ve mentioned.
If you work for an organization that doesn’t have access to its own warehouse, you have two options:
1. Lease space
Leasing space is always an option, but staffing may be tricky. Do you need to use the warehouse owner’s staff? Do they understand the intricacies associated with storing and shipping IT devices?
2. Work With IT Service Provider That Offers An IT Warehouse
Not every IT service provider offers the services of a warehouse, but there are some that do. Explore your options.
Ready To Find Out Whether An IT Warehouse Can Provide Competitive Advantages For Your Organization?
This article has demonstrated some of the competitive advantages that an IT warehouse can provide for some organizations.
While an IT warehouse isn’t the right solution for every organization, if you are interested in cost savings, logistics enhancements, storage solutions, on-demand deployment, or supply chain delay mitigation, it may be right for you.
At Kelser, we offer our customers access to our two privately owned and managed IT warehouses.
Between the increases in the at-home workforce and recent supply chain issues, customers have been ordering a high volume of equipment. Kelser continues to see the number of IT equipment shipments from our warehouse increase, with a 100 percent increase in shipments from 2020 to 2021.
If you’d like more information about working with Kelser, the advantages our warehouses may provide for your organization, and the other services we offer, read this article: How Much Does Kelser Charge For Managed IT Services? What’s Included?