Top 7 Factors to Consider for Warehouse Location & Construction
As an eCommerce business owner or manager, your very first goal is to invest your money as per the properly researched and curated business strategy. A warehouse is an important segment of the online business which is used to manage and store the products to be sold online. So, when thinking about constructing a new warehouse and going through the selection criteria process to choose the best location for the building, there are few factors that need to be taken care of by you while making the final decision.
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 layout of any warehouse is determined by the type of operations that would be conducted inside it. Know that older building usually are not every useful to carry out the modern material flow. Ceiling height, as well as column spacing, can restrict the type of equipment that can be accommodated in the given space. This can also hamper the flow of raw materials in and finished products out. So, before you decide on making a particular building as your warehouse, it is important for you to thoroughly determine whether the layout will rightly fit in the given space or not.
Availability of Skilled Workforce
Buying a building in a remote area is definitely going to be pocket-friendly. However, finding skilled workforce there can be a task. So moving trained or trainable workforce from a different location can then be a pricey affair. Therefore, it is recommended to have your warehouse in the area that will have the adequate supply of mix skill sets of labor so as to facilitate the operations adequately. The locations that have linkages to high-density residential areas with negligible worker transience can definitely be an ideal area of your warehouse. In case you plan on locating in an area with the seasonal supply of workers, do ensure that this seasonality does not hamper your organization’s needs as this can otherwise escalate the labor costs.
Zoning and Intensity of Use
How intense are your operations going to be in the warehouse? What is the intensity going to be like in the future? In case, your operation demands light assembly, you can go with the less intensive allowed usage. However, you must also consider other factors like emissions, noise levels and the availability of outdoor storage. These needs will influence the districts that you can target for your future operations.
Proximity to Major Linkages
Which 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 be your need it is important 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 instance, if most of your products are exported by sea and the remainder are delivered via land to the retail locations, it is imperative for you to have easy railway and highway access. Always remember that more than 20% of your cost comes from transportation of the goods. Moreover, high gas prices as well as the massive increment in the driver wages, every 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, you have to check if the facility has the depressed docks? Is there a need for docks to be internal? It is certain that a highly intense distribution use will often require cross docks. Further, are there enough storage facilities available?
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This, of course, is an obvious criterion. Your warehouse facility must be capable of accommodating the inventory and fit in the size of your company. For all startups and new companies, it is important 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 enquire about all the regulations and policies that are prevalent in that location. There may be certain locations that do not allow 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.
Bottom line, these are just a few of the many factors that you need to consider when looking a new warehouse location. Even following these basics will definitely help you get an ideal location. Apart from these 7 factors if there are any other factors that you consider important, do let us know in the comment box below.
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