5 Tips for choosing the right warehouse facility to support your business
02 Sep 2020
Choosing a new warehouse and business premises is always a strategic decision. It requires careful consideration that should be based on the key aspects and future development of your company’s business operations, including logistics, physical goods and people. Ideally, a carefully selected warehouse will also adapt to your needs as your business changes and its location enables it to serve as a crucial link in an efficient supply chain.
See below our top tips to help you choose the right warehouse facility for your needs.
We have listed our five top tips to help you choose the right warehouse for your business.
1. Conduct a comprehensive assessment of your space requirements
When you start to look for a new warehouse, conduct a timely and comprehensive assessment of your current and expected future warehousing requirements. If companies only start looking for new warehouse facilities when their existing premises are at full capacity, they may find that their options are limited and finding the right facility can be difficult. A warehouse rarely suits your operations without some modifications and alterations, so time for that should be factored in.
2. The location of your warehouse should be sensible in relation to your logistics network
When you think about location, consider the impact that the location of your warehouse has on the efficiency and operations of your logistics network as a whole. You should also consider which flows of physical goods are the most significant to your company in terms of delivery times and costs. What is the optimal location that would best support your logistics chain as a whole? Is it important for you to be in a port area or close to one? Where and how do your goods flow? Do you have warehouses in other locations? Will the warehouse be part of a network that needs to be accessed conveniently?
3. Ensure smooth day-to-day routines at the warehouse
Before committing to a property, you need to familiarise yourself with its technical specifications, structural solutions and floor plan to determine whether you can achieve the desired level of efficiency at the property. In the planning stage, you also need to consider the extent to which the premises can be altered to adapt to potential future needs. For example, can the desired flow-through of goods be achieved? Are the areas for inbound and outbound logistics large enough in relation to your current needs? Does the facility support warehouse automation solutions? Are the outdoor areas adequate and is the turning radius sufficient for large vehicles?
4. Choose premises that support workplace safety and job satisfaction
Employees are the most important resource of any company. With this in mind, your premises must provide the best possible support for their work. Among other things, this means enabling efficiency through the provision of ergonomic and safe workstations. Well-designed workspaces increase employee satisfaction and operational efficiency. You should either bring employee representatives with you when visiting potential warehouse premises or ask employees to describe what they need to perform at a high level.
5. Make sure your warehouse is future-proof
When choosing a warehouse, consider the space’s ability to expand or be modified in the future. Part of choosing the right warehouse is ensuring it suits your needs today as well as tomorrow. How will your business develop and what does it mean in terms of your warehouse requirements? Can the existing warehouse space be expanded? Do factors such as the floor’s load bearing capacity or the height of the space make it possible to increase storage capacity within the existing building?
We hope these tips help you get started and remember, the starting point for choosing a warehouse should always be your business needs.