Securing the right warehouse that meets your company’s specific needs is important for your success. Your warehouse needs to be large enough to store your stock, and should have appropriate applications for your business operations.
It can be overwhelming trying to choose a warehouse that suits your requirements, but here are some essential factors that you need to take into consideration before you commit.
Whether you’re a start-up business owner, or you manage a large-scale organization, you need to think about the amount of storage space you will need. If you move a large volume of stock each week, you will likely need a bigger warehouse to keep up with your customer demand. Additionally, think about the future. Will you have space to expand your operations if the business grows.
Rent and Taxes
Cost is one of the key criteria for choosing your warehouse. Rent varies significantly depending on location. Choosing an area that is expensive can reduce your profits and make it difficult to scale up your business in the long run. In the US, rent is calculated per square foot, and the average price for industrial space is between $6.34 and $8.47 per square foot.
This range in prices may seem small, but when multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of square feet that your warehouse covers, the difference is massive. In addition to rent, you should also research any local regulations and extra taxes that will bump up your outgoings.
Utilities include things like electricity and communications. If you’re renting a large warehouse, you’re going to use a lot of electricity, especially if you use multiple pieces of equipment or require several complex operations.
Internet costs will add to your ongoing costs, and you may have to pay for Wi-Fi installation if the warehouse does not currently have internet access. Check the availability of internet services, the speed, and the link type.
Your warehouse needs to be appropriate for the demands of your business. Have a clear picture of how your ideal space will look and the specific systems you need to put in place to help your business run smoothly.
Alongside storage of stock, your warehouse is the primary way to organize, distribute, and deliver your products, so it needs to be suitable for your workflow. If you require various warehouse automation solutions, is there scope to implement them? Removing the need for tasks to be completed manually can reduce labor costs by an average of 3% per year, so it’s worth locating a warehouse that can facilitate the implementation of these operational systems.
The warehouse you choose should be up to date with the latest management techniques. Using advanced machinery and computer systems can maximize work efficiency and productivity and minimize human errors.
The warehouse needs to be the correct size and layout for your unique operational systems to make distribution and deliveries much easier.
Location is an incredibly important factor when it comes to finding a suitable warehouse. The area that it resides makes a huge difference to the ease at which you can obtain and deliver stock.
Consider where your suppliers and customers are. Find a warehouse that is easily accessible to your employees, your clients, and your customers. For smaller businesses that exclusively ship locally, being located near to your customer base is a top priority. If you’re a larger company that ships internationally, aim to rent a warehouse that is in the best location to meet supplier demands. This way, the delivery of products to your customers is quick and efficient.
Location may also affect your method of operations. Your warehouse needs to be accessed by large delivery trucks. Ask yourself if there is enough room for delivery trucks to easily reach the right side of the warehouse to pick up stock. If you require several trucks to be loaded at once, choose a warehouse that has sufficient outdoor space.
The surrounding roadways and railways can influence your ease of operations. Search for a warehouse that is nearby to major highways or railways to make transportation as simple as possible. If you predominantly ship by air, you will want to be located as close to a major airport as possible.
On a similar note, the local traffic density is an additional factor to take into consideration. This is particularly important if your main mode of transportation is through vans or trucks.
Transportation costs will be affected by the flow of traffic in and around the area of your warehouse. It will also impact whether or not some of your customers or clients will be happy to visit the facility.
Before committing to a new warehouse, take the following into consideration.
- Traffic density around the local area
- Accessibility to major roadways and highways
- Average traffic speed
- Peak traffic times
- Road signage
When your warehousing facility is situated in a busy area that gets highly congested and has poor road signage, your clients and customers might be reluctant to continue their business arrangements with you. Not only does it increase fuel consumption and accident rates, but it wastes their time and money visiting your facilities.
There are always risks associated with moving large volumes of stock, and possibly several pieces of heavy machinery, into a new warehouse. If you’re renting your new place, ask the owner to provide a report on any previous accidents and injuries that have previously occurred in the building.
Be aware of the specific safety procedures that are in place, and always double-check the details of their insurance plan. This way, if accidents happen or if damages are incurred, both you and the owner of the facility are on the same page. With every five in 100 full-time workers being injured in the warehouse or storage industry in 2016, it’s important to know the protocols to follow in the event of a serious accident. Some warehouse owners might require you to pay a small fee towards insurance coverage, but this should be clearly stated on any contract that you sign.
When it comes to choosing a warehouse, there are several essential factors to take into consideration. It’s a long and complex process, but it definitely worth investing time into doing detailed research. Finding a warehouse that is optimal for the needs of your company will increase your productivity, and save a bunch of time and money.