We’ve all heard of the supply chain, but rarely does anyone actually talk about it. We know that products get to our doorstep, our local grocery store, furniture warehouse, etc., but we never really consider that it’s the supply chain that gets it there.
The supply chain is a term that is used to describe how a product gets made, where it’s manufactured, and then how it gets to you. It’s not as difficult a concept as you might think to describe. Let’s start with an example such as a toaster.
A toaster is manufactured from attained resources in a factory and then boxed up with several other toasters. So begins the supply chain. That box and many others are contracted out to trucking companies who then transport it to a central hub, usually a central warehouse in a major city. From there it is placed on another truck and then sent to a local region where it is likely to be transported to a distribution centre in the area. At that point, the toaster is sent to a local department store, where it is placed in its ownwarehouse. When there are more toasters needed on the shelf, the box is opened, and the toaster is placed on the shelf for sale. Once you’ve purchased it, you’ve completed the supply chain.
Now, be aware that supply chains can be simpler or considerably more complex than the example stated here, but that is the essential idea behind a supply chain.
So, how does warehousing affect your family and yourself? A great deal. Everything that’s in your home, in your garage, and even in your yard all spent some time in a warehouse somewhere! What about at work? Everything there was in a warehouse at some point, too!
The fact of the matter is that we hardly ever see those warehouse workers and managers in our day-to-day lives, but they have an important job to do, and one that we can’t live without. Not only that, but you might be surprised just how many people involved in warehousing are part of your lives.
If you know someone who works in security, then you just might know someone who works in warehousing. Warehouses need tight security due to the fact that there are so many different items that are housed in one. Technology, jewellery, and other valuable pieces spend some time in a warehouse, and as a result, they need twenty-four hour security. You might just know a security officer who works at one.
Truckers are also involved in warehousing as they both drop off and pick up loads to bring to all the various destinations involved in the supply chain. If you know a person who has a career as a truck driver, then you definitely know someone involved in warehousing.
There are also clerks who are involved in cataloguing and tracking everything that goes through a warehouse. All items in a warehouse have to be scanned and inventoried so that everything can be tracked. After that, there are other employees responsible for tracking a package wherever it is. If you never asked a friend what they do for a living, you might be surprised to find out that their office job is actually at a warehouse!
Not only do you know someone who works in warehousing, but everything about it affects your everyday life. If groceries don’t arrive on time, then you might have difficulty getting ingredients for supper that night. The reason why you always have flour and bread when you need it is because of warehousing professionals who ensure that they always know where a product is and they always make sure that those products arrive on time. It’s their careful consideration of goods that also ensure that those oranges are in good shape and not bruised!
That sounds fairly simple, but warehousing and distribution is an international effort. A toaster may be made in the same country you live in, but if you’re looking for a pineapple, for instance, then you bought something that might have started out in the Philippines! That’s right, that tasty fruit may have started out on the other side of the world and made its way all the way here in a short period of time through warehousing and distribution.
In the end, everyone should take a minute and reflect on just how much we rely on warehousing companies and distributors for all of our needs. We rarely think of them, but warehouse workers and companies are all around us in many ways. When you’re on the road and see a transport truck, that’s part of the warehousing network. Those products on the shelves of your department store, grocery store, and technology centre are all stocked thanks to warehousing companies. Some of those airplanes going over your head are also part of that process, even the big cargo ships at sea have something to do with it! Warehousing is part of everyday lives, even if we don’t always realize it.
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