When you’re looking for a new warehouse space, a variety of things need to be taken into consideration. It is important to understand how warehouse planning works in terms of choosing a site that will best suit your warehouse storage needs.
Choosing a new warehouse is an important decision for any company to make. There are multiple complexities involved in the process, making it not only confusing but quite overwhelming for a majority of people. Cost is obviously a very important factor, but there are more things to think about besides that.
Let’s dive into the entire warehouse planning and identifying the process to help you find a warehouse that will suit your overall operational needs.
One of the most important factors during the warehouse selection process is the location. The following questions should come to mind as you’re determining where the storeroom should be located:
- Is the location of the warehouse in close proximity to the customers?
- Will suppliers have trouble shipping goods to your warehouse?
- Is the closest carrier near your warehouse?
- Will goods reach their destinations in a timely manner?
- Will employees have trouble commuting to the warehouse?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you should be able to pick the warehouse location that works best for your business.
Your future and present needs should be taken into careful consideration when you’re determining how much space you may need for your new building. Space requirements for a warehouse are typically determined by how much space is needed for storage inside the facility.
In addition to calculating the space required for your warehouse, it’s important to note that 70% of a warehouse total space is primarily used for storage. The remaining 30% of the space is utilized for reloading space, ventilation, passageways, and proper handling. There should also be enough space to accommodate seasonality variations in production.
When considering space, don’t just think of floor space either. Think of the warehouse as a cubed area. With pallet racks and forklifts, you have the ability to utilize that vertical storage space. You should be looking for a ceiling clear height that will fit your needs. Just remember, that in most jurisdictions, your products must be at least three feet from the sprinkler heads.
Relocation Cost Factors
Yet another significant factor to consider is the cost of relocating. If you have an existing warehouse, it can be expensive and time consuming. It is ideal to have a plan and a budget in place before you start. There are a lot of costs associated with the move that may not be obvious when you first start planning.
Some companies prefer to pay a premium and lock in a price with a full service moving company. If you go this route, make sure you are very clear with your expectations on what is and is not included in the price. Other companies prefer to act as their own general contractor and coordinate the move themselves. This could save the company money, but it will be more time consuming. Either way you decide to go, make sure you have thought through each step in the process to ensure all the costs are accounted for in your budget.
Things to Avoid When Selecting a New Space
- Not taking shipping and receiving areas into account when determining the space requirements for your warehouse
- Not taking into account the needs of your company staff including sanitation, noise protection, lighting, ventilation, and heating
- Not giving any thought to possible developmental changes in the future in your warehouse chosen location
- Not taking into consideration the cost of transporting goods from the warehouse to the consumers
- Not involving key warehouse staff or top management in the purchasing process
After giving these factors some considerable thought, selecting a warehouse that fits the needs of your overall budget and operations should be somewhat less burdensome. It’s important that you compare operational costs in different warehouses in order to find the one that will work best for your business.
In the end, the bottom-line will ultimately be your company’s final decision in terms of choosing a space. If you choose a warehouse that meets the needs of your space, location, and budget, more efficient procedures will eventually lead to improved revenue and reduced operational costs.