By Pakdee Anivat, CEO and Founder, i-Store Self Storage
As we move towards a more digital economy we start to see the traditional stores starts to be replaced by vendors selling online. This can be through the use of your own tailor made eCommerce site or through the more mainstream mediums such as Lazada, Facebook marketplace and Instagram Stores. You have to manage your own inventory making sure you have enough inventory but also ensuring that you don’t overstock ending up without anywhere to store them. Traditionally when starting an eCommerce business people tend to use their homes as a makeshift storage facility but will soon realise it is not the ideal place for storage.
The simplest solution is to move your inventory into a store facility. This can either be through the traditional warehouse or a self storage facility.
How do I decide what is best for me?
You need to decide how flexible you need the storage space to be.
How easy and often can I access the storage unit.
How secure is the facility.
Do you need to store your inventory in a climate or humidity controlled facility.
1.Why should I use self storage over the traditional warehouse?
Self storage facilities can be thought off as a hotel for your inventory, there are cleaning services that ensures cleanliness, a front of house can help you with your need, they are also extremely flexible with the amount of inventory you are allowed to store especially with the different sizes on offer. An added bonus is the given amenities such as wifi and an area for working. This is especially important if your eCommerce store is not your primary job as you can use their space to pack the product into boxes and ready it for delivery, acting almost as your second office.
2.The ability to use the facility whenever you want.
An important aspect for businesses is the ability to pick up and drop off inventory on demand. Most facilities now offer 24 hours access to their facility which can be very appealing to businesses that want to hold onto less stock and those whom need to deliver their products in a short period of time such those whom require same day delivery. Most eCommerce businesses will package their product and deliver it every day before handing it off to a courier company such as lalamove, TNT or the more traditional DHL. This allows for a more streamlined door to door service, drastically reducing delivery time. This has helped facilitate same day and next day delivery.
3.Safety & Security
Your business is your livelihood and you should do what you can to protect it. Storage facilities is one of the safest places to store inventory. Storage facility have multiple layers of security such as security guards present outside the building at all times, requiring keycard access to enter the building, security cameras covering every angle of the building and a padlock for your storage unit. By not having to worry about inventory going missing you can shift your focus to growing your store. If you have a “messenger boy” or someone you trust you can even allow them access to your unit giving them the ability to access your unit when you cannot do so.
These are units where the temperature and humidity levels will always stay consistent. Having climate-control protects against dust, mold, mildew, and elemental damage to items, which can be important to certain businesses whose products rely on consistent temperature.