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Blog postsNovember 29, 2016

On-Demand Warehousing “Best Practices” Guide for Warehouse Operators

Do you struggle with losing money on empty warehouse space at different times throughout the year? Are you looking for a way to generate capital by renting short-term warehouse space to shippers in need of space?

On-demand warehousing might be the right fit for you. FLEXE's online marketplace connects people with extra warehouse capacity to those in need of extra space. Our technology platform makes it easy to manage multiple projects and track all inbound and outbound pallet activity from a single dashboard. 3PLs, manufacturers and retailers alike have been turning to on-demand warehousing to boost revenues during down times.

We’ve put together a “best practice” guide for supply partners interested in leveraging on-demand warehousing to turn their empty space into valuable capital.

The guide walks you through the following sections:

  • On-demand warehousing 101
  • Getting started in 4 easy steps
  • One-and-done legal contracts
  • How the technology works
  • How to increase revenue over time
  • See how others are doing it

1. On-demand warehousing 101

You have extra capacity

When your warehouse has extra capacity that is “dead capital,” FLEXE will help you fill the space and generate revenue. You join FLEXE’s network and we add your space on the marketplace for others to find.

Companies search by location and need

Companies in need of space enter their specific needs (space, capabilities and location) and search the marketplace for a match.

FLEXE connects you with the right partners

Once a match has been made, FLEXE will work with both parties to make sure it’s a good fit and ensure a successful partnership.

Technology wraps it all together

FLEXE’s cloud-based system supports each project from load scheduling and processing through to billing.

2. Getting Started

Step 1: Start by signing up online

Sign up online: at www.flexe.com/list-your-space.After signing up you will receive an email confirming your email address. Please click through the email to take the next step.

Step 2: List your facility

List your facility following the prompts provided. If you can’t answer every question that’s ok - we can finalize the details later in the process.

Step 3: Review and accept our agreements

Terms of service: When logged in, go to the dropdown in the upper-right hand corner of the screen and look for Terms of Service. This will bring you to a page where you can review and accept our Terms of Service.

Quick conversation with our operations team: You will receive an email from our operations team to schedule a quick conversation and finalize details.

Review and approve the Warehouse Service Agreement (WSA): After your operations call you will be granted access to our WSA, which is the agreement that governs the operating terms between you and any customer you service through FLEXE.

Step 4: Start turning “dead space” into new revenue

Once you’re in the system, we will send you projects to drive new revenue for your business.

3. One-and-done legal contracts

One contract; many customers

One contract allows you to work with any customer FLEXE brings to your business. Through FLEXE’s contracting process, all shippers and warehouse partners sign and acknowledge the same set of terms & conditions. Partners (shippers and clients alike) that go through FLEXE’s one-time, up-front contracting process are free to do business and transact with any and all partners within the FLEXE marketplace.

Managed online

We aim to take the never ending back and forth of redlines out of the equation. All contracts are managed and reviewed through our online portal, and can be signed/accepted with the click of a button. Scope and pricing exhibits are managed at the reservation level, and get reviewed by both parties online before agreeing to move forward with live operations.

4. A closer look at the technology

FLEXE generates demand for your warehouse space and provides the technology to run the business. We built a cloud-based, “WMS lite” system to handle all of the receipts, inventory management, outbound shipping and billing.

Listing / Search: Your space is listed in the cloud-based platform and searchable by potential customers.

Management: Everything is managed on one dashboard. Supply partners can easily and quickly process incoming orders and track customer inventory.

Billing: All billing is handled through our platform.

Reporting: All the details about your customer’s inventory can be seen online. You and your customers can track inventory levels and see a complete inventory history.

5. Scaling-up

Add more warehouses

Once you are a part of the FLEXE warehouse network, it’s easy to add warehouses and grow your revenue potential.

Expand your capabilities

There are a variety of ways to increase your revenue by expanding your warehouse capabilities:

Carton fulfillment: If you are only offering pallet storage today, what would it take to do carton fulfillment?

Floor storage: Consider putting in racks and you can handle more products.

Keep in touch with FLEXE

Let us know how you’re doing and keep us aware of upcoming peaks and valleys. By staying in touch regularly and keeping us informed, our team is better equipped to market your services and help you proactively plan for future needs.

6. See how others do it

$500K in new revenue

One of the world’s leading document storage companies leveraged on-demand warehousing to build a new business model around e-commerce product fulfillment. Last year, it brought in $500,000 in additional revenue. Next year, it’s predicting it will bring in upwards of $4 million.

  • $500,000 in additional revenue was brought in through the FLEXE network
  • $4 million in additional revenue is expected for next year (revenue boost in slow season)

Slow season revenue boost

An international wholesaler of novelty holiday goods put 400,000 SF of its warehouse space on the FLEXE marketplace to help regain revenues during non-peak seasons. It earns around $0.75 per square foot monthly, storing pallets in its four high racking system and providing related materials handling services.

  • Revenue boost in slow season
  • 400,000 SF of warehouse space is available on the FLEXE network
  • $0.75 per SF / month is earned storing pallets
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