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The world of consumerism has undergone many changes over the last century–even within the last 30 years many things have changed. While more individuals and companies are choosing direct-to-consumer shipping instead of ordering from a vendor who acts as a middleman, this does not eliminate the need for business warehousing by any means.
As long as there is a need for products to be produced there will be a need for business warehousing–the need to store those products that are produced will always remain an essential part of supply chain logistics.
That does not mean that all companies have made the decision to outsource their business warehousing needs. There are still many companies that choose to maintain their own warehouses and inventory management staff. This is especially true of the larger corporate giants although they may maintain off-site business warehousing sites that they own, rent, or outsource.
For the most part the large corporations still operate business warehousing facilities that are under their control; whether this is for the convenience of customers or due to a lack of knowledge about outsourcing those functions is probably not something that will have the same answer from everything company-the answers may even extend beyond simple convenience and lack of knowledge about outsourcing business warehousing.
How important are the functions of business warehousing? Look at the functions for just a moment: after products are produced, they are stored in a warehouse until they are transported to customers. In another scenario the supplier may stock products in a warehouse until they are ultimately shipped from the business warehousing facility to the customers. No matter whether your company is a producer or supplier it is necessary to have business warehousing facilities in order to accommodate the needs of your customers.
That brings us to the purpose of this article: if you are dealing in a direct-to-consumer environment, doesn’t that mean the goods go from the manufacturer to the consumer, thus eliminating the need for an in between business warehousing operation? The answer to that question is “no.” Direct-to-consumer technology doesn’t necessarily mean the consumer is receiving goods directly from the manufacturer; it may mean the customer is receiving the goods directly from the supplier’s warehouse rather than having to order from the supplier and then receive the goods from the warehouse. It may also mean you are ordering directly from the supplier rather than the sales representative who comes to your place of business. All of these possibilities and many more make up the changes that have occurred in business warehousing because of direct-to-consumer technology.