Essential Requirements of a good Warehouse
Warehousing is the process of receiving goods in a warehouse, recording them, ensuring their appropriate storage, preservation and security and eventually releasing them to the owners or consumers when they are required. Warehousing is a very important aid to trade, since it helps to bridge the gap between the production and the consumption period. Trade cannot take place smoothly in the absence of warehousing since goods cannot be consumed immediately they are produced at all times. Warehousing is considered as a stage in the production process since it creates time utility in products.
Functions carried out in a warehouse
• Receiving of goods. This involves ordering, receiving and inspecting of goods to ensure that what was ordered is what has been received.
• Storing and controlling of goods. This involves the grading and marking of goods to ensure ease of identification, storing them in the right facilities or places, periodically checking the goods in the warehouse to ensure that they are in good condition, and periodically taking physical inventory of the goods so as to ensure that the books records tally with the physical stock.
• Releasing of goods. This involves receiving of the requisition forms from the various departments in the organization, identifying the goods required and releasing the same to the users. This may also involve arranging for the transportation of the goods to the users.
• Recording. This involves recording the movements of goods in and out of the warehouse.
This function may also include maintaining all stock records of the goods in the warehouse.
(1) Private warehouses
This is owned privately and is used solely for storing goods belonging to the owner. It is designed to serve the needs of the owner and is normally located within the owner's area of operation for ease of use. Such a warehouse could be:
(i) A producer 's warehouse.
(ii) A wholesaler's warehouse.
(iii) A retailer's warehouse.
(iv) A consumer's warehouse.
(2) Public warehouse
This is owned privately but rents out storage space to other people who wish to store their goods there temporarily. It is usually located in industrial zones, transport terminals and at the ports.
(3) Bonded warehouses
These are warehouses that specifically store imported goods whose duty has not been paid. The goods are only released once duty on them has been paid and a release warrant issued. They may be privately owned but bonded by the government. A few are, however, owned by the government. They are usually located at the country's airports, seaports and the country's boarder entry points.
(4) General warehouse
This is a warehouse where general merchandise is stored.
(5) Specialized warehouse
This is a warehouse that is specially designed for the storage of particular products.
Possible reasons for a producer to establish depots in many parts of the country
• To minimize damage since the goods will require to be transported for only a short distance to the customers while in small units.
• To ensure that there will be a continuous supply of the goods to the consumers.
• It ensures that the producer suffers minimal loss since the goods will only be transported over a short distance in small units.
• The producer is likely to increase his sales volume since the product will always be available in the market.
Differences between private warehouses and a public warehouses
Features of a bonded warehouse
• Goods can be prepared for sale, e.g. breaking bulk, mixing, sorting, packing and branding while in the warehouse.
• Goods can be sold while under bond.
• Arrangements can be made for goods to be re-exported elsewhere while in the warehouse.
• Goods are held in the warehouse until duty is paid.
• The importer gets time to find money to pay for duties while the goods are in bond.
• Goods are held in the warehouse until the-importer produces a release warrant.
• Storage charges are imposed for all goods stored in the warehouse.
Importance of bonded warehouses to the government
• Generates revenue by charging duties and in cases where the warehouse is owned by the government, storage fees as well.
• Enables the government to collect the taxes due.
• Enables the government to verify the documents of goods entering the country.
• Enables the government to certify the quantities and quality of goods imported.
• Enables the government to regulate the importation of harmful goods.
• Enables the government to control the importation of banned goods.
Benefits of a bonded warehouse to an importer
• The importer can look for a buyer and sell the goods while they are still in the warehouse, thereby passing the task of paying duty to the new owner.
• It gives the importer time to arrange for the clearance and transportation of the goods.
• The importer can prepare the goods for sale, i.e. break bulk, mix, sort, pack and brand while in bond.
• The importer can remove the goods in small quantities as he pays duty.
It gives the importer time to arrange for the payment of duty.
• It relieves the importer the need to have his own storage facility.
• An importer who imports goods for re-export is given time to arrange for their export.
Essentials of a good warehouse
Must be in a suitable location, e.g. a producer's warehouse should be near his factory, while a bonded warehouse should be at a country's entry point.
The warehouse should be accessible to the users. For example, it should be in a location that is well served by a good transport network.
• The warehouse should be well equipped with communication equipment for ease of communicating with the users.
• It must be well designed to give adequate protection to the goods stored there.
• It should be spacious enough as to allow for easy movement of goods and personnel.
• It must have proper handling equipment for moving the goods in and out of the warehouse. These may include wheelbarrows, trolleys, forklifts and conveyer belts.
• It must be manned by well-trained staff to ensure efficiency.
• Where necessary, it should have suitable facilities for goods requiring to be stored under special conditions, e.g. cold rooms, dark rooms and so on.
• It should be located in a secure place and be well secured.
• It should be fitted with safety gadgets, such as fire fighting equipment and first aid kits.
• It should abide by the law that regulates the operation of warehouses.
• It should have a good recording and handling system for the receipt and the release of goods. Ways in which the efficiency of a warehouse may be guaranteed
• Ensuring that there are adequate handling facilities.
• Ensuring that the staff are well trained.
Ensuring that appropriate security measures have been put in place for the security of the goods stored and the people working there.