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entrepôts mutualisés 3PL opérations logistiques pooled warehouses 3PL logistic solutions
Por Aurélien HENRY
on 13 Jun 2019 2:02 PM

Several supply chain players such as Walmart in the US or Carrefour and Danone in France have recently begun operating pooled warehouses, in the hopes of reducing logistics costs and optimizing transportation methods to turn storage facilities into more profitable enterprises. Today, storage and transportation are the two most commonly pooled resources along the logistics chain. Such strategies offer a multitude of advantages and challenges for 3PLs.

 

The dawn of pooled warehouses 

In a traditional organization, supply chain providers store their clients’ merchandise in multiple warehouses according to specific instructions, such as dry or cold product storage. These specifications require that they seek out additional storage locations, depending on product nature. 

Ever since multi-temperature warehouses hit the market, logistics chain professionals have been revising their organizational model, which begs the question: how can separate storage locations be used when delivering to the same end client? Manufacturers that use 3PL are sometimes competitors, but their products are usually complementary and intended for a single group of clients. Additionally, logistics and transportation professions do not change according to product type.

In this context, pooled warehouses are particularly effective. They have begun developing abundantly in the agri-foods industry and the highly selective perfume, DIY, and household electronics sectors. 

 

Advantages of warehouse pooling 

On today’s market, pooled warehouses are a boon for both manufacturers and 3PL providers. 


Adaptable to task sharing and specific needs 

From a manufacturer standpoint, pooling helps reduce product storage costs. Providers can benefit from a warehouse space that is tailored to their needs and can split the burden of some logistics tasks, while also enjoying improved quality of service. 

 

New services and risk management 

On the 3PL provider front, pooled warehouses are particularly interesting when offering new services for managing the activity of each provider present at the warehouse. They also efficiently limit risk following the loss of a client. Real estate costs when managing a warehouse can also be shared between several clients. 

 

For further reading: 3PL: transportation of the future - a pooled resource

 

Pooled warehouses: challenges for 3PLs 

In a multi-client environment, pooled warehouse management can be particularly problematic for 3PLs when each client has its own warehouse management system (WMS). When this happens, operators must become proficient with each system used in order to optimize storage space and order preparation management. This can, however, be simplified into one single solution, either through upstream negotiation or a call for tender. 

 

Unlike a pooled transportation system with its significant challenges, the pooled warehouse is a tried and true solution with relatively few problem areas. Although not a true growth catalyst, pooled warehouses are an efficient way to reduce the costs and risks associated with product storage. Looking to simplify management at your warehouse and make the leap to pooled supply management? Take a closer look at the collaborative Generix Group GMA – VMI solution. 

 

Discover Generix Group GMA – VMI solutions

Aurélien HENRY

Engagement Manager