Selecting a warehouse can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to all the important factors you need to consider.
You probably have very specific warehousing needs for your business, and it can be difficult to get past all the complicated lingo and sales pitches to find just what space is a good fit for you and your business.
So we thought we’d save you some stress.
We’ve outlined some of the most important things you should think about when selecting a warehouse.
1. Consider the age of the building
The secret is to choose a facility that balances both old and new. A perfect property will have weathered the test of time, while also embracing modern technology to make things flow efficiently.
Too old and the building can be an antiquated relic, but too new and it can mean there are still teething problems. So somewhere in-between is just about ideal.
2. Think about the size
It is vital that you compare the size of the facility you are looking and take into account the amount of employees that work for you.
This is so you can ensure it is a good fit for the kind of operation you run.
Too much space and the move will not be cost effective. Too little room for manoeuvre and your productivity could be hampered – which will ultimately have an impact on your customers.
3. Be sure on the layout
It’s essential to inspect the building plans thoroughly before making a decision to determine if your layout will fit within the given space.
Older structures often lack the necessary space for modern material flow.
Large columns and ceiling heights can often limit the goods and stock that will fit in a given space and can affect the flow of materials in, and orders going out.
4. Choose the right location
Purchasing a building in a remote area may cost less, but it can come at a cost.
You need to think about things like what is the predominate mode of transportation of your goods? Is it rail, road, air, or sea?
As much as 20% of your costs can come from transportation costs, so you need to be sure you are ideally placed for your preferred mode of haulage. If you regularly ship your goods, being 50 miles from the coast could all add to your outgoings.
You also need to take into account things like ease of accessibility for your staff, not to mention customers.
Selecting a warehouse in the middle of nowhere could eventually lead to your business being left in the wilderness, so always remember, location, location, location.
5. What technology can it support?
You need to ask yourself a few key questions about your new warehouse.
Things like, What type of Warehouse Management System can it support?
And What type of handling equipment is it suitable for?
It may be that you need to search for a facility with more advanced sorting systems to minimize human error when picking, loading and dispatching.
Also you’ll need to think about one that can provide regular reporting that you can access at any time, from any location.
Put simply. It’s not just the building you are investing in, it’s what goes inside and how that can benefit your business.