Executive Briefings

Matching Empty Warehouses With Short-term Inventory Storage Needs

A lean operation with a brilliant idea - caffeinated club soda - wants to crack the L.A. market during the spring. Sounds like a slam dunk, but they don't want to commit to a long warehouse lease while they're still getting a foothold. Meanwhile, a Christmas-decoration warehouse sits largely empty. It's a classic missed connection - and it’s common.

"At any given moment," says Karl Siebrecht, "There are many, many businesses out there who have too much space, while other businesses don’t have enough."

Siebrecht is trying to solve that problem with Flexe, a warehousing marketplace he helped found in Seattle in 2013. Just as Airbnb turns unused guest rooms into a commodity, and eBay lets you sell grandma's dusty porcelain, Flexe's mission is to connect partially or temporarily empty warehouse space with companies that need short-term inventory storage. (And yes, the caffeinated club soda company is an actual customer.)

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"At any given moment," says Karl Siebrecht, "There are many, many businesses out there who have too much space, while other businesses don’t have enough."

Siebrecht is trying to solve that problem with Flexe, a warehousing marketplace he helped found in Seattle in 2013. Just as Airbnb turns unused guest rooms into a commodity, and eBay lets you sell grandma's dusty porcelain, Flexe's mission is to connect partially or temporarily empty warehouse space with companies that need short-term inventory storage. (And yes, the caffeinated club soda company is an actual customer.)

Read Full Article