Over the past few years, Ware2Go’s analysts have held thousands of conversations with merchants of all sizes and industries that are selling their products across North America. The purpose of these conversations was to determine how merchants are managing their warehousing and fulfillment workflows and what their major considerations are when selecting an outsourced provider like Ware2Go. By categorically documenting the focal points of these discussions, our analysts have assembled a list of the most common questions that merchants have as they evaluate the use of our warehousing services.
In order to provide the highest degree of transparency and visibility back to merchants, this Q&A-formatted list is offered here as a comprehensive resource that highlights the scope of our warehouse network, analyzes the breadth of functionality we offer, and expounds upon the costs that are tied to leveraging our facilities.
Although this resource is intended to give merchants all the insight they need to understand how Ware2Go’s warehousing network operates, we encourage you to reach out with more specific questions. To contact our team with an inquiry, click here.
1. How does warehousing fit into Ware2Go’s broader service offering? Ware2Go provides a comprehensive suite of warehousing, fulfillment, and technology services that enable merchants to outsource their entire fulfillment process to a dedicated group of experts. As part of this service offering, our warehousing network plays a pivotal role. Through this network, we give merchants access to dozens of warehouse locations across the U.S. that they can use to store their products as close to their end customers as possible, thus guaranteeing expedited delivery times (within 1-2-days in 99.5% of cases). Typically, merchants will leverage anywhere from 1-3 warehouses in our network and will have new orders picked, packed, and shipped by the operators at these locations. This warehousing and storage component, coupled with the fulfillment services provided by these facilities, serves as the core function that drives Ware2Go’s broader service portfolio.
2. How many Ware2Go warehouses are there & where are they located? Ware2Go’s warehouse network currently extends across the entirety of the United States, with deliveries also available cross-border into other select regions of North America (such as Canada). Although not every state has a warehouse placement, practically every region (save certain areas of Hawaii and Alaska) is provided with guaranteed 2-day delivery. This works by segmenting the geography of the U.S. into three “super regions” (west, central, and east). Each region is then serviced through the strategic deployment of facilities within specific sub-regions.
Depending on the unique customer footprints of our merchants, we can store their products in as many or as few warehouses as necessary for purposes of guaranteeing 2-day delivery speeds. For example, a merchant that needs to reach customers across the entire country in two days could leverage a warehouse in all three super regions – such as Salt Lake City, Kansas City, and Richmond – to achieve this level of efficiency. Today, Ware2Go is actively maintaining dozens of warehouses across our network, and we onboard roughly two-dozen new facilities every year. Although the Ware2Go network is targeted to the U.S. today, we our actively engaged in projects to extend our reach across North America, and then into entirely new regions like Europe. For updates on our progress, stay tuned via our newsletter!
3. Who operates the Ware2Go warehouses & how does customer support work? As a merchant using Ware2Go, you are free from any responsibility regarding the warehousing and fulfillment workflows directed through our channels. Instead, our warehouses are all independently operated by dedicated teams of operations personnel that manage the storage and fulfillment processes on our customers’ behalf. The way it works is that Ware2Go maintains a network of best-of-breed 3PLs and distribution centers that possess the storage space and capabilities our customers require. Provided these facilities are able to pass an extensive vetting and testing process (see next section), they are added to Ware2Go’s network, their workflows are integrated with our technology platform, and then merchants can begin leveraging them as needed.
For customer service, merchants never need to contact the individual warehouses on their own. Once a merchant is onboarded to Ware2Go, they are assigned a customer success manager (CSM) that will become their primary contact for all types of inquiries moving forward. If merchants ever have issues or questions regarding the operations at warehouses they are leveraging through our network, this CSM serves as the primary point of contact and can be relied upon to facilitate quick responses and solutions. In this way, merchants can rely exclusively on Ware2Go personnel for warehouse support and can also maintain daily visibility to the operations at their warehouses via Ware2Go’s cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS).
4. How and when are new warehouses added to the Ware2Go network? As Ware2Go identifies a need to service more customers in a particular region (such as the Southwest) or with a particular capability (such as cold storage), we can efficiently onboard additional facilities to support these needs. The new warehouses we accept are strategically selected for purposes of offering a broad variety of specialized services and storage options so that, regardless of a merchant’s unique fulfillment requirements or customer footprint, Ware2Go is able to effectively service them.
As part of Ware2Go’s due diligence process, there are numerous steps our team takes to ensure each facility can provide satisfactory levels of service. This process begins with our operations team conducting research to identify new partners, either through a referral program or direct outreach. These efforts are followed up with phone interviews and online questionnaires to ensure potential partners have ample warehouse capacity and service-level expertise. Next, the warehouses that pass these screens are extensively vetted via in-person tours of the facilities and direct interviews with management. Finally, we will test-trial the use of each new warehouse for at least a 30-day period before officially onboarding them to our network. If you’re interested in learning more about this process or determining whether Ware2Go has facilities that suit your needs, click here.
5. Is there a minimum number of warehouses or amount of storage space that merchants are required to leverage? No. The scalable nature of our service structure means that merchants are free to leverage as many (or as few) warehouses as necessary to meet the needs of their customers. Through the use of our supply chain optimization tools, our team will work with merchants during the onboarding process to determine the optimal number and location of warehouses, the optimal amount of inventory to maintain at each facility, and the optimal reorder points. This enables our merchants to minimize their inventory carrying costs while maximizing fulfillment efficiency.
Based on the current structure of our model, we generally recommend that merchants hoping to service the entire U.S. with guaranteed 2-day delivery would leverage three locations (one in each super region). For next-day delivery, it is typical that merchants leverage anywhere from 6-10 facilities. However, depending on where a merchant’s customer base is located and what their average order volumes are, these deployment strategies can vary broadly. Learn more about how we help merchants optimize their distribution strategy by reading about our supply chain optimization tools here. For customized insights regarding how we can optimize your own distribution network, get in touch with one of our experts.
6. How much does it cost to use the warehouse space offered through Ware2Go? Merchants that store inventory in Ware2Go’s facilities are charged only for the exact amount of warehouse space they use, during the exact duration of time that they use it. There are no long-term contracts or service minimums involved. Instead, billing is dealt with on a bi-weekly basis (based on average pallet positions occupied during that time) and merchants are free to scale their storage capacity up or down as they see fit. This has proven vitally beneficial for merchants who would otherwise have to spend excessively on purchasing and managing their own warehouses, or on long-term 3PL contracts that require excessive inventory minimums. It is also advantageous for merchants with heavily seasonal sales cycles, as these businesses are able to effectively scale their usage up or down throughout the year in-line with demand. Learn more about the total pricing package for Ware2Go’s services by viewing our pricing FAQs or speaking with a representative.
7. What types of products can be stored at Ware2Go’s warehouses? By onboarding warehouses with a variety of storage capabilities and capacities, Ware2Go can collectively service a broad range of products through our network. And, we are constantly working to expand the scope of our offering in this regard. Most recently, we have onboarded new warehouses that specialize in areas like refrigeration and the storage of pharmaceuticals, which has enabled us to quickly and effectively accommodate the needs of a whole new tier of customers. We can also store packages of virtually any size and weight and are in the process of rolling out nationwide freezer storage. Other requirements related to the storage of retail, nutraceuticals, and fragile or bulky items are already supported.
In addition to the breadth of product types we support, Ware2Go can also facilitate custom kitting or packaging workflows as a value-added service for merchants that request it. As merchants are onboarded to our platform, they can outline the unique kitting requirements they have or the custom packaging workflows that need to be supported. The requirements communicated by merchants should be very detailed so that there is no confusion about the process for our operations personnel. Once these requirements are conveyed and confirmed, Ware2Go can assign them to the appropriate warehouse to ensure a seamless pick, pack, and delivery process.
8. How can I maintain visibility to the inventory I have stored at Ware2Go’s warehouses? As warehouses are evaluated for acceptance into the Ware2Go network, one of the key prerequisites is that they integrate with Ware2Go’s cloud-based warehouse management system (WMS). This enables Ware2Go to capture and report on items like inventory levels, fulfillment statuses, and delivery updates for our merchants in near real-time. In this way, the merchants that leverage our services can create an account through the front-end of our WMS that allows them to monitor the operations at their selected warehouses. Through this system, merchants can perform a variety of functions including inbounding additional stock, analyzing the accuracy and efficiency of order fulfillment, and running various reports on their operations to gauge seasonality and demand metrics for particular products or regions. Merchants can also use the WMS to upload new orders for fulfillment and connect with Ware2Go’s support teams. If you’re interested in learning more about our WMS, click here to schedule a demo.
9. Can Ware2Go’s technology integrate with my e-commerce platforms and order management systems? Yes! On both the front and back-ends, Ware2Go actively strives to ensure the seamless transmission of data from our WMS through to the other platforms and solutions that our merchants use. This includes API integrations with e-commerce marketplaces and platforms like Shopify, Amazon, and BigCommerce, as well as ERP platforms like SAP, Oracle, and NetSuite. The goal is to automate the process of uploading orders from e-commerce platforms to our WMS for expedited fulfillment, and then from our WMS to an ERP or other system for data management, reporting, and analysis. However, note that Ware2Go’s WMS can also be used on its own to perform a variety of reporting, analysis, and inventory management functions.
10. How do I begin using Ware2Go’s network and how do I select my warehouses? It’s easy! To get the process rolling, simply fill out this form to connect with our team and a representative will quickly reach out to learn more about your business. Moving forward, Ware2Go will ask for information related to the customer base that you service and the types of products and number of SKUs that you plan to fulfill through our network. As this information is captured, Ware2Go will work with you to identify the warehouses in our network that can provide maximum coverage for your situation.
Depending on your criteria, Ware2Go will typically recommend the deployment of your inventory in anywhere from one to six warehouses. Once the merchant has reviewed and is satisfied with their warehouse selection and deployment strategy, Ware2Go will help them inbound their product to these locations and then the merchant can use the WMS portal to monitor inventory levels and fulfillment statuses, run analysis and reporting, inbound more inventory, update their SKUs, upload additional orders, and communicate with their customer support representative(s). Sound enticing? Click here to get started!
As Ware2Go grows, our warehouse network continues to expand across new regions and will increasingly accommodate a broader variety of product types and specialized services. Given the highly scalable nature of our service model and the broad scope of needs we’re able to address, it’s no wonder that companies ranging from large motorcycle helmet manufacturers to small CBD dog treat suppliers see value in our offering. And as the breadth and capabilities of our network grow, so do the range of benefits we’re able to provide.
Having perused this resource, if any merchant has further questions about the warehousing services we offer, we encourage you to reach out to speak with a representative. You can also review our FAQs page for more information about Ware2Go’s complete product and service portfolio or visit our case studies page to see how our network is providing value to merchants today.
It’s an on-demand world. Keep scaling!