8 things to Look for in a Warehouse
If your business has reached the stage that you need to expand then first of all congratulations on reaching this point! Business expansion doesn’t always mean opening new offices or outlets however as those who in the ecommerce market may find that their warehouse no longer fits the bill and are looking for a larger one to support their increase in business. If you are searching for a new warehouse then here are 7 things to look for.
For some inexplicable reason, some warehouses have been built in locations which make large freight difficult to get to. You may think this is fine as you only have a fleet of small vans but what about your suppliers? Your stuff will be coming out with many others at the same time and those giant trucks will need to be able to get in with your stock.
Some warehouses come already set up with their shelving and designated areas already in place. Others are just a blank canvas to let you set up everything as you want. Which way you want to go very much depends on how much time you have and of course budget. If you are going down the rental route chances are everything will be there and they may even reposition the shelving etc to best suit your needs.
Plenty of businesses our there now also offer road haulage as part and parcel of their warehouse service. Warehousing and distribution, as well as freight-forwarding services allow businesses to integrate two important facets together. This allows you the opportunity to outsource these two elements and focus on the important parts of your business and help it to grow.
Be realistic about how much space you actually need. Are you planning on future expansion? Are you happy with the business as it is. Energy bills for warehouses don’t come cheap and you don’t want to be paying for vast expanses of space that aren’t being used. DMG-Freight Services advise that you calculate the space needed carefully, there are plenty of guidelines online to help you, as just seeing numbers in terms of square feet can be very confusing especially when it runs into the thousands.
Pick and Pack
Perhaps the most important part of a warehouse set up for an ecommerce business. This is where your staff speed around getting the products to fulfil customers orders. Taking on a warehouse which already has a pick and pack designated area can ease the burden in the manic days when you are stocking your new warehouse.
Do you intend storing your pallets inside or outside your warehouse? This can take up more space than you realise and can be dependent on the security around your website. Leaving a pile of pallets outside where anyone can access them is asking for trouble in terms of theft and/or arson. If you have no need for your pallets once your goods have been delivered then make arrangements with your freight company to return them so as they drop off new stock they collect the old pallets. This can make for a more productive effort.
This may not seem that important in terms of ecommerce but what if you decide that you are going to open your warehouse to the public as well? It needs to be easy to find, have adequate parking and fulfil a long list of criteria in terms of commercial properties to which the public has access including insurances etc.
Safety is also a concern here and you should be sure that the warehouse and anyone working in it is fully briefed on safety and has some of the following qualifications found here
This is where rather than taking over the actual running of the warehouse a company does it on your behalf. They provide the shelving, designate the areas, bring in the vehicles and offer support whenever needed. First timers often go down this route until they learn how to run their warehouse themselves.