As iBenchmarking Warehouse Performance reports, less than 30% of warehouses operate efficiently. This indicates poor space planning and a lack of effective warehouse layouts early in the process of purchasing or moving. Businesses should determine their present and future storage requirements first and then find a warehouse space that will meet their needs, rather than trying to change their operation according to a building’s size and floor plan. When businesses neglect to figure out their storage needs first, they will likely have trouble with warehouse storage systems in their new space, and lack of proper storage can lead to costly downtime.
Buying or leasing a warehouse is one of the larger investments your business can make. Before you make a purchase or sign a lease, you’ll need to be sure the new warehouse space will be adequate for your current and future needs. The following is a list of dos and don’ts for businesses seeking to avoid problems with warehouse storage systems.
Warehouse Planning Dos
- Hire a professional designer. This person should be knowledgeable about efficient warehouse layouts and have the ability to examine your present operations. This will help the designer to create an effective layout for the warehouse you want to buy or lease. In addition, have the designer determine your storage needs based on the types of inventory and how they should be stored, physical characteristics such as weight and size, operational characteristics such as flow velocity and shipping and receiving practices, building measurements, and equipment considerations.
- Have your designer create CAD images. These images should be based on an examination of your present warehouse space. This can allow you to see what an effective warehouse storage system would look like in your new space.
- Ask your designer about specifics. Such specifics might include information about whether the overall warehouse space is big enough for all of your storage and operation needs or which aspects of the design will result in more storage.
- Use free professional warehouse design services. If they are offered to you as part of a service plan, take advantage of options that will keep your project on-budget.
- Keep current on building codes.Building codes, zoning, and industry rules can play a significant part in your design. Be sure to consult a professional who is knowledgeable in this area.
- Seek advice on warehouse choices. This will make it more likely that you’ll opt for the building that is best for your business. If you have already settled on a particular warehouse, get your designer’s help to make sure the space will be optimized for your setup.
Warehouse Planning Don’ts
- Choose warehouse storage systems too quickly. Don’t choose your warehouse storage systems, workspaces, and offices until you’re about to move into a new space. Large warehouse design projects can take three months or longer to complete, resulting in costly downtime.
- Stick with a familiar setup. Resist the urge to place newly purchased racks and related storage items in a new warehouse according to your prior building’s design, simply because the setup is familiar. Just because it’s familiar won’t mean it’ll work in the new space.
- Forget to plan for growth. You won’t want to risk decreased productivity, storage, or capacity by neglecting to plan for growth and changes in inventory.
There are many more details to think about when you’re moving a warehouse, so use this list as an outline for more involved planning. Sketching out a realistic time frame and getting help from a professional who’s experienced in warehouse storage systems and layout are crucial. If you need help with warehouse design and renovation, contact our team today.