5 Tips For Picking The Best Spot For Your Warehouse
Industrial – Workplace September 2016
Location – it’s so important that people usually mention it three times in a row. But, as a manufacturer, it’s of no concern of yours, right? You can make things down any Mt Wellington backstreet, unencumbered by such concerns as “foot traffic” and “signage”. Indeed. But there are other concerns to be, well, concerned about. And, guess what? They involve location. And location and location.
1. A new base – or many?
First thing’s first – and maybe second and third. You may think you’re just searching for a new warehouse, but maybe you should be on the hunt for a few. There’s an international trend for companies to have a series of smaller, strategically-placed warehouses, so as to be capable of delivering in the short times that are now demanded. Think less about one mega warehouse and more about a few compact centres – each located in order to best feed your supply chain.
2. Getting your goods out
How do your products get where they’re going? Do they go by road, rail, air, or sea? Start there.If you rely on truck access, check for accessibility to off-ramps from the motorway. If your products are transported by plane, check travel times to the airport. Around 20% of manufacturing costs come from transportation, but this can rise considerably if you choose the wrong location for your distribution needs. So don’t.
3. Consider the environment
The manufacturing industry has a bad rep when it comes to pollution – let’s not add to it eh? Check if your potential location is suited to handle your particular needs. Are there, for example, any waterways that could be affected? Whether you’re dealing with hazardous or flammable materials, or the continuous disposal of nostril-invading waste such as rotting food, check that your location allows for your circumstances in a way that’s safe for your staff and the surrounding community.
4. Where are your workers? Be somewhere around there
Before signing your lease, evaluate the local job market – will you be able to secure all the staff you need? You may be running the greatest company since bread companies started slicing, but maybe someone else in the area is doing a similar thing almost as well – and in doing so, giving all the staff they’re hogging little reason to leave. Or you may be looking at saving costs by leasing a building in a remote area – but if you can’t get enough workers to man it you still won’t be making any profit. The best locations aren’t too far from high-density residential areas,while keeping a respectable distance in the interests of not being a menace. Widen your search to check that lots of normal houses are within an easy commute of your chosen warehouse.
5. Visualise the future
Moving warehouses is a pretty (read: unpretty) labour-intensive undertaking – especially if you have a lot of stock to take with you. So, think long-term. Make sure any new spot not only has the storage facilities you need, but the ones you’ll need in a few years’ time. Also consider things such as how your noise levels, emissions and access needs are likely to change as your business grows. You may fit neatly into a tidy little warehouse now, but need more space this time next year. And moving twice in 12 months? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
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