10 tips for shifting to a new warehouse successfully
Whether you’re expanding or downsizing your business, moving to a new warehouse is a common part of the trade. But it’s not something that you can do on the spur of the moment. It takes a lot of planning, from selecting the right location to delegating tasks to hiring a professional moving company.
A well-developed warehouse relocation plan makes transitioning to the new facility easier. If this is what you’re dreaming about, this blog is for you. I’ve got a list of tips to help you shift to a new warehouse successfully.
Tips that will make your warehouse shifting a breeze
1. Find out what’s the Reason
Why are you shifting to a new warehouse? Is there insufficient floor space in the current facility? Or do you plan to increase your product line and need extra storage? Or have you found a location that is strategically more cost-effective?
Whatever the reason, questioning yourself will help in defining what to expect from the move. After all, relocating your warehouse is expensive, and you need to have your priorities straight.
2. Analyze Issues in the Current Facility
Ok, you realize that you have to move. Now take a moment to highlight aspects of your warehouse you need to change. For instance, is the loading/unloading dock too congested? Is the warehouse management system outdated? Are the aisles and racks too crowded? Is the vertical space not being optimized?
Listing all the issues at your current facility creates the opportunity to develop and design a more efficient warehouse at the new location. Moreover, it ensures the long-term success of the business.
3. Create a Team to Manage the Move
Relocating your entire inventory to a new facility is a huge undertaking. However, with the right management, the relocation can go smoothly. One way to do so is to appoint managers on both sides of the move. They can help delegate responsibilities and communicate effectively with your employees. This ensures tasks are completed on time, and you stay within the estimated project completion timeframe.
Without proper management, transition operations would be less effective, costing your business more time, money, and resources.
4. Plan the Transition
You need to plan the finer details of relocating your warehouse. Estimate the time, budget, resources, and personnel required to move to the new location. Consider any special requirements needed to transport your merchandise. More importantly, make sure all legal documents, such as licenses, permits, inspections, etc., are in order.
5. Assess the Condition of the New Warehouse
Before moving your equipment and inventory to the new location, inspect the infrastructure of the warehouse. Repairing the building can become costly and time-consuming later on.
Common aspects you should assess include the floor, ceiling, fire suppression systems, HVAC systems, loading/unloading docks, roll-up doors, etc. If any of these features are not in good condition, they could hamper operations within the facility and incur losses.
6. Create an Effective Warehouse Layout
Now comes the fun part. Design a layout that utilizes the space to the hilt yet does not hinder internal operations. Plan everything, such as where you want to install the racks in the warehouse, how much space to leave between the aisles, the location for loading/unloading docks, a safe exit route in case of an emergency evacuation, etc.
I have a couple of tips to help you create the right layout to optimize efficiency.
- Consider the current layout of your facility and identify what works and what doesn’t. Use the inefficiencies of your current layout as a stepping stone for a better design.
- Devise a warehouse blueprint that facilitates the flow of inventory and equipment. Make sure it doesn’t cause congestion in the aisles.
- Make changes depending on the warehouse storage solution you intend to use and the storage needs of your products.
- Leave adequate space for warehouse equipment, loading/unloading inventory, order fulfillment areas, staff rooms, etc.
- Determine the exact location you want to place the stock at the new facility. This helps keep the inventory accurate and speeds up order fulfillment time.
7. Clean Up Inventory
One of the easiest ways to reduce relocation costs is to cut down the amount of merchandise you transport to the new facility. Review your inventory months before the move and eliminate all your old or obsolete products.
Another benefit of cleaning up your inventory is that it frees up essential space at your new warehouse.
8. Assess Your Racking Needs
As you close one warehouse and open another, it’s time to consider your racking, shelving, and storage options at the new location. You might ask yourself that should you reuse the previous storage solution or invest in a new rivet rack shelving system.
Remember that reusing your current storage solution comes with hidden costs. You should hire specialists who can dismantle and assemble your storage equipment. Also, there is the additional cost of transporting them. Moreover, if the dimensions of the new warehouse are different from the existing one, the storage solution may not utilize the space efficiently.
Some businesses consider walking away from their current racks and shelves. Instead, they invest in custom storage solutions that optimize the storage capacities of the new warehouse. In fact, you can use this opportunity to upgrade your storage solutions, such as mobile racking and shelving or automated storage systems.
But if you plan to reuse your current storage solution, inspect the condition of the racks and sleeves. Damaged structures may compromise the durability of the units and become a security threat to your employees. Check for sagging beams, dents, cracks, rusted components, and other signs of damage.
9. Hire Warehouse Relocation Services
Once the layout and racks for the new location are ready, it’s time to transfer your merchandise. Now you need to hire professional warehouse relocation services. You should research companies near you that align with your budget and schedule.
If you’re lucky, you may find a company that helps move your goods, as well as dismantle and reassemble all your warehouse equipment. However, the key to a stress-free move requires booking months in advance. This ensures you’ll be able to avail their services at the right time.
10. Re-route Order Deliveries and Returns
As you begin winding down operations at the old warehouse, start sending all your merchandise to the new facility, including new stock and returns. This minimizes the amount of inventory you need to transfer from one location to the other.
So inform your vendors, customers, and suppliers about the change in address at least a couple of months before the final move. And remember to update the changes on your website as well.
Over to You
With the above tips, moving to your new warehouse should be more organized and less stressful. Planning the transfer and monitoring the progress ensures an efficient transition without impacting the company’s bottom line.
So are you ready to relocate?