When opening a new warehouse facility, there are several factors to consider. These range from location and build to storage requirements and labour force availability; choices which could make a major difference to your company in terms of warehousing and distribution methods.
Here is an important but not all-inclusive list of the several key factors to look at when picking out a new warehouse location.
The first pointer to always consider is the physical location and of course it goes without saying that the best one is the top pick. The first question to ask yourself at this stage is – Which region are you looking to serve? Having your product stored in a location that is close to your customers is crucial as it will mean prompt deliveries. This is also linked to cost because of calculating landed transportation expenses from manufacturing to costs, and expected transportation costs from facility to end customer. These assist in figuring out where you can afford to store your product.
How close the warehouse location is to carrier facilities needs to be considered too. Find a solution that is inclusive of all factors and offers both warehousing and transportation options that save on cost; or make certain that your storage facility is close to your carrier.
After considering location and have found a warehouse that best suits your needs, the next step would be deliberating over the locations build and lease factors. Does the warehouse provide rail siding or transloading? Will racked or bulk storage be offered? And which of these options will be appropriate for you?
What should be considered too is what type of rental contract will be offered by your warehouse. It would make sense to find a location that offers seasonal warehousing if your product is seasonal; the same way it would make sense to choose a location that offers an amount of space that depends on the time of the year if your product’s demand ebbs and flows. Be properly informed of immediate storage size offerings in addition to the long-term options available.
A lot of companies manufacture products such as hazardous materials, flammable products and food items and all these have strict storage and firefighting requirements. Will the location you have chosen be able to handle your unique needs? How will they also handle the different requirements for products that need a chemical/foam system as opposed to a water based system? Don’t forget to consider environmental concerns as looking at this and all the other factors will help avoid disastrous consequences at a later stage.
Labour Force Availability
Have a full understanding of the labour force available at your new warehouse location. Being aware of your labour’s needs in relation to the facility’s needs is important as it means on-time delivery and future growth are certain. Will the warehouse facility operate 2nd and 3rd shift (24 hour operation)? Are there competitors nearby that will hinder your growth by limiting labour capacity? These are key questions to keep in mind.
Layout and Flow Of Building
The optimal layout of any warehouse is determined by the type of operations that are going to be conducted inside of it. It does happen at times that other buildings are not equipped to handle and carry out the modem material flow. Factors such as ceiling height and column spacing can restrict the type of equipment that can be accommodated in the given space. This can also disrupt the flow of raw materials in and finished products out. Therefore, before making a decision, determine whether or not the layout will fit in the given space.
When you have chosen the best warehouse location suited for your needs, see the 9 Habits To Adopt For Inventory Flow and Warehouse Efficiency!