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Posts Tagged ‘Warehouse’

12 Tips for Improving Warehouse Distribution Services in China

Your warehouse in China needs to run efficiently and adapt to the ever-changing nature of modern business. So… how can you maximize your distribution systems while keeping costs down?

Today we’re going over our top 12 Tips for improving warehouse distribution services in China. You’ll discover how to not only overcome common logistical challenges but to turn your warehouse into a pivotal asset for your business’s success.

1. Optimize Warehouse Layout and Design

smart warehouse layout sets you up for success from the start. The goal is to make sure that everything in your warehouse has a place and that place makes sense.

Think about arranging your warehouse so workers can get to items quickly and safely. This means putting popular items closer to the shipping area.

Designing your warehouse also means thinking about the space. You want to use every inch wisely. Sometimes, going up, not just out, is a good idea. Tall storage units can hold a lot without taking up extra floor space.

But remember to keep things safe. Make sure aisles are wide enough for your team to move around easily, especially if they’re using carts or forklifts.

Another tip is to keep an eye on how things change. What works today might not be the best setup next year. It’s all about staying flexible and ready to adjust when needed.

2. Implement Advanced Inventory Management Systems

Having a good system to manage your inventory is vital. It’s about knowing what you have and where it is, as well as keeping track of what’s coming in and what’s going out. This helps avoid running out of items or having too many on the shelves.

There are many software options that can help. They do things like scan barcodes and update your inventory in real-time. This means you always know what you have without having to count everything by hand.

It’s also important to train your team on how to use it. Everyone from the person receiving shipments to the one packing orders should understand how it works.

3. Enhance Supply Chain Visibility

Seeing the whole picture of what’s happening with your goods from start to finish is important. This big picture is called supply chain visibility.

To get this visibility, it helps to use technology that lets different parts of your operation talk to each other. For example, your shipping system can share information with your inventory system.

This way, you know when to expect new stock and when to reorder items. It also helps you tell your customers when they can expect their orders. Everyone likes to be kept in the loop.

Staying informed helps you avoid problems. If something is delayed, you can plan around it instead of being caught off guard.

It’s also great for spotting trends. Maybe you notice that some items are always running out fast. You can then adjust your orders to keep up with demand.

4. Adopt Lean Warehousing Principles

Lean warehousing is all about doing more with less. In a warehouse, this means getting rid of anything that doesn’t help you.

You focus on keeping the tasks and items that add value and say goodbye to the rest. This can help you save money and make your warehouse work better.

One part of lean warehousing and distribution is organizing your space so that everything is easy to find and reach. This might mean rearranging your shelves or creating clearer labels for everything.

Another part is looking at how you do things and finding ways to do them faster or with fewer steps.

Getting everyone on your team involved is key. When everyone looks for ways to improve, you’ll find lots of small changes that can make a big difference.

5. Focus on Workforce Training and Management

Having a great team is key to a smooth-running warehouse, and your warehouse team needs the right training. It should cover everything from how to safely lift boxes to how to use your inventory system.

It’s also important to make sure your team feels valued. When people feel good about their job, they’re more likely to work hard. This can mean anything from saying “thank you” for a job well done to offering chances for your team to learn new skills. It’s about creating a place where people are happy to come to work.

Another big part of this is making sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. Clear roles and responsibilities help prevent mix-ups and ensure that tasks are completed correctly.

6. Leverage Automation and Robotics

Using robots and automation in a warehouse is becoming more common. These tools can make things run faster and with fewer mistakes. Imagine a robot that can move items around, keeping track of where everything is without getting tired.

This means your team can focus on tasks that need a human touch, like checking for quality or solving problems that come up.

Automation includes software that makes scheduling deliveries and managing inventory a breeze. This kind of technology helps avoid errors, like shipping the wrong item. It makes sure customers get what they ordered on time.

Bringing in automation and robotics might seem like a big step, and it is. But it’s worth it for how much smoother and more efficient it can make your warehouse.

7. Improve Packaging and Handling Procedures

Good packaging and handling protect your goods and make sure they get to their destination safely. When items are packed well, they’re less likely to get damaged. This means happier customers and fewer losses for your business.

Plus, handling items correctly can prevent accidents and injuries in your warehouse.

Packaging is more than simply wrapping things up. It’s about choosing the right materials and methods. Some items need bubble wrap, while others might need sturdy boxes. Think about the journey your items will take and how you can protect them every step of the way.

Training your team to handle goods properly is important. This includes teaching them the best ways to lift and move items, so they don’t hurt themselves or the goods.

It also means using tools like dollies or forklifts when necessary. These tools can make moving heavy or awkward items much easier and safer.

Regularly checking your packaging and handling methods is also a good idea. This can help you spot problems before they cause damage or injuries. It’s like doing a health check-up for your warehouse operations.

8. Strengthen Quality Control Measures

Quality control in a warehouse means checking items to ensure they’re up to standard before they head out the door. This step can save you from a lot of trouble, like unhappy customers and returns.

Start by setting clear standards for what counts as ‘good quality’ for your items. This could mean different things for different products.

For example, a quality check for a book might look at whether the pages are clean and well-bound. For a piece of furniture, you might check for scratches or sturdy construction.

Training your team is key here. They need to know exactly what to look for. It’s also helpful to have a system in place for when they find something that doesn’t meet your standards.

This system might involve fixing the issue if possible or setting the item aside if it can’t be sold as new.

Regularly reviewing your quality control process is a good idea. This can help you catch any new issues early and keep improving how things are done.

9. Optimize Transportation and Shipping Strategies

Optimizing transportation means making sure this process is as efficient as possible. And choosing the right shipping methods is a big part of this.

Some items need to get there fast. With others, you might prioritize cost savings over speed. Knowing the options and making smart choices can make a big difference.

Another important piece is planning the best routes. This is not just about the shortest distance. It’s also about avoiding traffic jams and other delays.

There are tools that can help you do this planning. They take into account things like road conditions and delivery schedules.

Working with reliable shipping partners is also crucial. They are your team in this relay race. Picking partners who are known for being on time and taking good care of packages can boost your reputation with customers.

Finally, keeping your customers informed about their shipping status is key. This transparency can build trust and patience, even if there’s a delay.

10. Utilize China Assembly Services

Using assembly services in China can be a game changer for your warehouse and distribution. Assembly services work by putting together parts of your products before they even reach your warehouse. This can save you a lot of time and space.

When you choose to use these services, you’re tapping into a system that’s designed to be efficient. It means less work for your team in putting things together and more time focusing on getting products out to customers.

This can be especially helpful if your products are complex or require a lot of steps to assemble.

Another benefit is cost savings. Often, assembling products in China can be cheaper than doing it in your home country. This is because labor and parts may cost less.

It’s also about speed. These services can often put your products together faster than you could on your own. This means your customers get their orders sooner.

Finding the right China assembly service is key. You want a partner who understands your products and your quality standards. They become an extension of your team, so their work directly affects your reputation.

11. Explore Opportunities for Contract Manufacturing in China

When you think about making your products, imagine you could have a partner who does all the hard work for you.

In China, there are lots of companies that specialize in this. They can make your products, which lets you save on costs without sacrificing quality.

Choosing the right manufacturing partner in China is a big step. You want someone reliable who knows what they’re doing, and who can get things done on time.

Look for manufacturers with good reviews and a track record of making products like yours.

Once you find a good partner, clear communication is key. This means talking about your expectations, the quality you want, and how often you’ll check in with each other.

Finally, think about the long-term. Building a good relationship with a manufacturing partner takes time. But a strong partnership can lead to better products, smoother production, and even new opportunities for your business.

12. Stay Informed on Regulatory Changes

Keeping up with the rules and regulations in China is also important. This means knowing about new laws or updates to existing ones that could affect how you run your warehouse or make and ship your products.

One way to stay informed is by following news sources and websites that talk about business and trade laws in China. This can help you prepare for changes.

Another good idea is to build relationships with local experts or consultants who specialize in Chinese business regulations. These experts can help you understand how new laws might affect your business and what you need to do to stay compliant.

Remember, staying informed and adaptable is key. By keeping an eye on regulatory changes and understanding what they mean for your business, you can steer clear of problems and take advantage of new opportunities. This proactive approach can make all the difference in running a successful operation in China.

Taking Your Warehouse Distribution to the Next Level

Mastering warehouse distribution in China demands a mix of smart strategies, from optimizing layouts to embracing technology and staying regulatory savvy. By applying these tips, businesses can enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Which means they can stay competitive in the bustling Chinese market!

Shield Works is a WFOE (Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise) setup in full accordance with PRC laws and regulations for assembly, manufacturing, and product distribution and exportation. At Shield Works, we believe in Western standards of service, communications, and quality. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you!

The Ultimate Guide to 3PL Inventory Management

Is your business growing too quickly? While your business growing fast might seem like a good thing, you could be left with burnt-out employees, frustrated supply chain partners, and disgruntled customers.

To avoid these problems, you need a solution that works. 3PL inventory management can help you meet your growth expectations.

Third-party warehouses entail a lot of different services. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is 3PL Inventory Management?

Inventory can sit in a warehouse and keep your company’s cash tied up. Businesses need to fulfill product demand without overstocking warehouses.

3PL inventory management helps you identify what products you need to order and when. They can monitor the inventory you order from when they are purchased to when they are sold to customers.

3PL software can also help with digital inventory management systems so that you can keep an eye on inventory levels as well.

How Do 3PL Inventory Management Solutions Work?

A 3PL inventory management system involves integrated software solutions designed to manage operations, including:

  • Inventory control
  • Order fulfillment
  • Shipment
  • Invoicing
  • Reporting

The software is data functional by providing your business with the analytics tools you need to optimize operations and improve your customer service.

Let’s dive deeper into the key functions of inventory management systems:

Inventory Control

A 3PL software solution will include data on stock levels, goods tracking, and reordering capabilities. These features ensure that your products are efficiently distributed.

Because your stock levels remain in a good place, you won’t be overstocking which will save you money.

Order Fulfillment

manual order fulfillment process is almost unheard of these days. If you can afford 3PL warehouse management and software, say goodbye to manual operations.

A 3PL system automates the order fulfillment process from beginning to end. It includes functionalities like automated packing and barcode scanning as well.


For businesses, the most important step in warehouse management might be reporting. A 3PL system provides real-time insights into your inventory performance so that you can identify and address issues.

Customer service levels, delivery time, and product availability are just some of the things you can track.


If you already use accounting, ERP, or e-commerce software solutions, a 3PL warehouse management system can integrate into them. This eliminates the need for manual entry and makes it easy to continue using other software programs.

With an integrated system, you’ll improve how accurate your data is across the board.

3PL Inventory Management Best Practices

Managing inventory should not be a lackadaisical process. If you choose 3PL inventory management services, it’s important to follow best practices for operational efficiency. Best practices include:

  • Automated replenishment
  • Accurate forecasting
  • Effective warehouse layout
  • Real-time inventory tracking

Automated replenishment can help with optimal inventory levels to minimize the risk of excess inventory and stockouts. Accurate forecasting also helps with inventory levels by reducing holding costs and improving order fulfillment.

Don’t underestimate the effects of an efficient warehouse layout either. A great layout improves overall warehouse operations by reducing handling time and picking efficiency.

Real-time inventory tracking uses barcode scanning to ensure optimal inventory turnover by preventing stockouts and overstock situations.

Benefits of a 3PL Warehouse

Business management is a time-consuming process so don’t add the stress of inventory management to your to-do list as well. 3PLs can take on the responsibilities of cycle counts, inventory reporting, labeling, and more.

In addition to these services, there are major benefits you can experience when you work with a 3PL warehouse:

Speed and Accuracy

Consumers demand speed and accuracy from the businesses they buy from. Hiring a 3PL warehouse that specializes in these processes can help a growing business that doesn’t have the infrastructure needed to take on these operations.

This type of warehouse will use 3PL software and technology to manage inventory, automate routine tasks, and provide your business with visibility into the process. All of these things drive value and efficiency.

Regulatory Navigation

Another reason to hire third-party warehouses is for regulatory navigation. If your business products are controlled by various rules and regulations, your warehousing needs to accommodate them.

For example, some products that have regulations regarding storage are:

Without the right accommodations, the inventory and your business will be in jeopardy.

Industry Expertise

A 3PL will offer an array of expertise because of their years of industry experience. They can combine several warehousing services under one roof.

A great 3PL service will be able to:

  • Negotiate lower shipping rates
  • Manage materials
  • Increase picking and packing efficiency

Although these are things you might think you can do on your own, it is more cost-effective to hire 3PL services. You save even more money if you outsource your 3PL warehousing to China.

B2B and B2C Management

A 3PL system should be able to manage B2B and B2C products through multi-channel distribution.

With a system like this in place, you won’t face duplicates of inventory that could throw your supply and counting cycle off track.

Not only will this save your business money, but you can lower your warehouse footprint. The days of needing to account for inventory surprises will be over.

Custom Solutions

A great 3PL warehouse recognizes that all businesses are different and require custom solutions to succeed. When you choose a 3PL service, make sure they provide all of the services you need.

Your agreement could combine cross docking, dryage, transportation, warehousing, etc.

An integrated and customizable approach enables your warehouse to pull any strings necessary to efficiently move your products to the right location.

Is 3PL Inventory Management Right for Your Business?

3PL inventory management is a great option for growing businesses that want to prevent overstocking and low inventory levels.

Choosing a reputable and experienced 3PL warehouse in China is essential to the success of third-party involvement.

Our British-owned and managed company, Shield Works, offers a wide range of services, including 3PL inventory management in China. With 19 years of China-based manufacturing experience, we’re equipped to help businesses like yours.

Contact the pros at Shield Works today to get started.

international warehouse

What Are the Benefits of an International Warehouse in China?

Did you know that China’s industrial output rose by over 9% last year? With low labor costs and great infrastructure, it remains the manufacturing hub of the world. So how can you benefit by conducting business in China?

If you are finding warehousing increasingly costly and hard to manage, then this country could have the answers. Read on as we discuss the benefits of an international warehouse in China.  

Global E-commerce Is Competitive

If you want to access a global e-commerce audience, you have to be prepared to work for it. Whatever your product is, you will have numerous competitors, many of whom sell the same items. That means you need to take every advantage you can to get a competitive edge. 

Having a new warehouse service in China lets you speed up your fulfillment process. You can reach audiences in the far east and Australia much quicker than you would do by posting from the US. You also get the chance to cut down on costs, which you can pass on to the consumer or absorb as profit. 

Efficient Processes

There are numerous different challenges when it comes to warehousing. To deliver the most efficient service, you need to manage inventory, fulfillment, and transportation. Doing them properly requires organization, time, and the hiring of a large team. 

By outsourcing to an international warehouse in China, you relinquish these jobs to a third party. You won’t have to manage a workforce or juggle your own team with those handling logistics. Instead, it will all be done for you.

All of this improves the efficiency of you and your team. You can redeploy workers to perform other tasks, and you can concentrate on what really matters: Getting leads and improving conversions.  

Cost and Profits

While you save a lot of time, the financial advantages should not be underestimated either. In the US and Europe, warehousing can cost a lot of money. Once you start paying for the space, you also need to hire the staff to operate it for you.

With this model, you don’t have these incurred costs. Instead, you have to pay the third party for their service, which will work out much cheaper.

In China, the cost of labor is lower, meaning these operations can be performed at a reduced price. Added to this is the fact that a lot of the shipping costs are lower, making it competitive to send items across the world.  

Access to Major Shipping Solutions

If you find shipping challenges to be a constant and recurring headache, then the right warehouse in China can help. By finding the correct one, you can have your products next door to one of the world’s major ports. 

These will often have both land and air routes close by as well, so a whole range of shipping options is accessible quickly. With 24-hour customs clearance as standard at most major ports, your items can be on the way to buyers in an instant. All of this provides a huge advantage when it comes to international trade. 

Easy to Scale Up

A time may come when you need to scale up. However, retail is a fickle business and what may be needed one year or season could drop the next. If you invest in space and staff, once in place, you are left with the ongoing costs. 

It also takes time to put these things in place. If you want to do it fast and with minimum costs, a warehouse in China is a viable solution. The warehouse management will inform you of any leftover products lying in your inventory, so you are not paying for space housed with products that are not converting.

If you ever need to scale back the business, this works in the same way. You can reduce the space and stock you need without cost. 

Human Resources

The last few years have seen what has come to be known as the great resignation. For businesses, this has made it hard to attract and retain employees in a wide range of industries. This process can be long, involving advertising, interviewing, and then the time of settling a new employee into the job. 

China has human resources in abundance. There is a large population who are always looking for work, especially in the warehousing sector. Manpower is easy to hire and lets you scale up much more efficiently, without the long processes. 

For specialist jobs, these people will already be on hand. You won’t have to train people or even put them through courses and certifications. Instead, the company will have what is needed at its disposal. 

Networking and Experience

Once you have a warehousing company, you may need other contacts. It could be a manufacturer, or you may want access to other foreign trade zones. When you don’t speak the language and understand the culture, this can be extremely hard, and making the step is a huge financial risk. 

The operators of warehouses will have numerous contacts. You will be able to ask their advice on who to use and, crucially, trust. As well as this, you can tap into their expertise and knowledge on everything from handling to shipping. 

Finding an International Warehouse

Now you know the benefits of an international warehouse in China, you just need to find one. There are several companies online and middlemen who will help you navigate the cultural and language gaps. 

If you need precision engineering, manufacturing, or warehousing in China, then Shield Works should be your first stop. We can provide a range of solutions, lowering your costs and improving efficiency. Contact us to discuss your needs and let our expert staff begin increasing your company’s efficiency.