Top 7 Factors to Consider for Warehouse Location & Construction
If you head an eCommerce business, your very first task must be investing your money as per a researched and curated business strategy. A warehouse is one such essential segment of your online business strategy. It is used to manage and store the products to be sold online.
So, if you’re thinking about constructing a new warehouse and going through the selection criteria for choosing the best location for the building, you must take care of a few factors.
These are the top factors to be considered for finalizing the warehouse location that also affects its construction:
Layout and Flow of Building
The optimal design of any warehouse is determined by the type of operations that would be conducted inside it. Remember that the old buildings are not very useful in carrying out the material flow for any business. Certain factors such as ceiling height, as well as column spacing, can restrict the type of equipment that can be accommodated in the given space.
For instance, according to warehouse design standards, new centers built in the last ten years or so are designed to have clear spans between 24’ and 34’. Larger, automated centers with very narrow aisles and picking systems are now built to 54’.
Improper design can also hamper the inward flow of raw materials and the outward flow of finished products. This means that the flow of products within the warehouse must be formulated and identified before the design is built. The flow and operations within the warehouse will help in the final design.
So, before you decide on making a particular building as your warehouse, it is essential for you to thoroughly determine whether the layout and space will aptly fit your requirements or not.
According to a report, warehousing and Storage makes up 25% of the largest employers of the material moving machine operators—by far the highest among any industry. This means that your layout and design must be ergonomic so that you can prevent injuries and accidents. For instance, it must not include uneven surfaces, unprotected edges in racks and bins, etc.
Related Post: Warehouse Management 101 for Small Scale Businesses
Availability of Skilled Workforce
Purchasing a building at a remote location will surely be pocket-friendly. However, finding a skilled workforce at such a place can be a challenge. If you plan on moving your trained or trainable workforce from a different location to the warehouse, it can be a pricey affair. Therefore, it is recommended to have your warehouse in the area that will have an adequate supply of mixed skill sets of labor to facilitate the operations adequately.
The locations that are linked to high-density residential areas with negligible worker transience can be an ideal choice of your warehouse. However, if you plan on establishing your warehouse to an area with an annual supply of workers, make sure that this seasonal workforce does not hamper your organization’s needs. For non-seasonal requirements in such areas, the labor costs can escalate to a greater extent.
Zoning and Desired Customer Base
How intense operations are you planning to conduct in the warehouse? What are the future trends of this intensity? In case your activity demands light assembly, you can choose the location of your warehouse that has less intensive usage. However, you must also consider other factors like emissions, noise levels, and the availability of outdoor storage. These requirements will also influence the districts that you can target for your future operations.
Moreover, if your target audience lies in a particular region, you can buy or construct a warehouse right there. It will help you cater to their needs faster and understand their requirements in a better manner.
Proximity to Major Linkages
What are the most predominant means of transport used by you? Do you prefer land, rail, water, or air transportation to move your goods? So, whatever your needs are, it is essential to have your site easily accessible to such a means of transport. Besides this, proximity to your customers is another factor that you must consider. For example, if you sell actively in Bangalore, you can store your products in the Shiprocket Fulfillment facility as the warehouse is in close proximity to the highway. You can deliver products faster and reach your destination without any hassles of being situated away from the city!
For instance, if most of your products are exported by sea, and the remainder is delivered via land to the retail locations, it is imperative for you to have a comfortable railway and highway access. Always remember that more than 20% of your cost comes from the transportation of the goods. Moreover, high gas prices, as well as the massive increment in the driver wages, now and then, may nudge your decision towards rail transport as opposed to shipment by truck. Moreover, if the goods are less perishable and shipments are not too sensitive then opting for rail transport can be an ideal choice.
Material Handling Capabilities
Another factor that you should consider when choosing a location for the warehouse is the availability of the handling equipment and staging facilities. In case the primary model is a truck, make sure whether the facility has the depressed docks. Ask yourself if there is a need for docks to be internal. It is certain that a highly intense distribution will often require cross-docks. Furthermore, are there enough storage facilities available? These will help you understand if the material handling capabilities can be handled by your warehouse or not.
If you ship fragile items like glassware, crockery, cultures, etc.you should make sure that the products are not housed very high. Therefore your warehouse must be larger horizontally rather than vertically. You must pick a location that can give you a chance to grow horizontally. Also if you handle potentially hazardous substances, they should be dealt with care and precaution and the warehouse must not be located very close to the city.
Related Post: How Automation in Warehousing is the New Trend
Size of the Warehouse
Size, of course, is an obvious criterion. Your warehouse facility must be capable of accommodating your inventory and fit in the size of your company’s requirements. For all startups and new companies, it is essential to ensure that there is enough room around the facility for expansion. This will help save time and money when your business is riding high on the ladder of success.
Before you buy any warehouse facility it is important for you to inquire about all the regulations and policies that are prevalent in that location. There may be certain locations that do not allow the storage of certain types of goods. If you deal in those goods, it is best to avoid them so as to avoid any future hassle.
Before you buy any warehouse facility, it is crucial for you to inquire about all the rules and policies that prevail in that location. There may be particular locations that do not allow the storage of certain types of goods. If you deal with those goods, it is best to avoid them to reduce the chances of any future hassles.
The bottom line, these are just a few of the many factors that you need to consider when looking at a new warehouse location. Apart from these seven factors if there are any other factors that you consider essential, do let us know in the comment box below.