The past two decades have seen an exponential surge in on-line sales. Because of this, there has been a growing scarcity of e-commerce fulfilment centre space.
Businesses that want to gain a competitive edge by meeting customers’ increasing demands have shown interest in a new kind of offering, Warehouse-as-a-Service, or WaaS.
So, what is WaaS, and how can it affect the future of logistics?
What Is Warehousing-as-a-Service (WaaS)?
At present, there are a significant number of retailers that have spare warehouse space in their quarters. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to utilise that space and provide an extra stream of income by giving access to these spaces to other retailers?
Well, it sounds perfect, but the crucial thing is to make the process efficient and speedy by quick demand matching and price transparency, instead of long and tiresome searches and complicated negotiations.
This is where Warehouse-as-a-Service (WaaS) comes in. This innovative solution provides a revolutionary way to connect retailers who have extra warehouse space with those who need it.
The service matches a retailer’s demands with available spare spaces in the area, and the entire process, from duration to location, is entirely flexible. A retailer can commit for as low as one month and, importantly, it’s a ‘pay as you go’ method as well.
Aside from providing storage space, this on-demand service also provides a host of other warehousing services, such as inventory movement, which can be scaled according to requirement.
The WaaS model transforms the pace at which retailers can access new warehouse space rather than spending inordinate amounts of time searching for and negotiating a new lease with all the cumbersome details involved in contracts. It’s much akin to Airbnb for B2B businesses to store their goods whenever the need arises.
Retailers using the WaaS model can locate, secure and move into a warehouse within just a week. They can then scale up or down the amount of space by setting minimum and maximum requirements in response to, for instance, seasonal up-or-downturns, customer demand and other factors like Brexit.
This makes doing business more agile than ever, and costs are also kept directly proportional to sales in every area of operation.