To move or not to move - That is the question
05/06/2012 - When it comes to your family home, the golden rule of real estate is to improve before you move. But what are your options when your current warehouse operations start to leave money on the table?
The first signs of discomfort
You may not notice is at first. Stop for a minute. Observe the activities in your warehouse.
How much double and triple handling are the forklifts doing? Are they rushing, shuffling stock as if they were cars in a busy city car park; costing time, consumables, and presenting increased multi-faceted risk? And, unless you use RFID or your staff have elephant memories and they never get sick, if stock is constantly moved, chances are, it will be misplaced or damaged. Result: increased cost and reduced throughput; a perfect storm.
The above problems are minor compared to real risks of running a warehouse that is not fit for purpose.
Rushing forklifts in an overcrowded environment and double handling doubles the risk of accidents and damage to the goods, and, importantly to people.
It ‘s a known fact that it costs five times more to win a new customer than keep an existing one. Warehouse management is critical to your company’s selling process. When your efficiency slips, late deliveries may cause customer loss. What is less realised is the growing importance of social responsibility. Ethical companies today don’t want to be associated with businesses with bad record in human safety.
Overcrowding in the warehouse can often be addressed by a smart design. An experienced storage and handling supplier will take into consideration all factors that will improve efficiency in your existing facility and even balance the cost of specialist handling equipment.
In choosing the right supplier expect detailed CAD plans, a walk through the design and implementation process, and look for signs that of project management to minimise disruptions to your operation.
Invite quotes and look for the speed of response and their willingness to come out promptly and engage in a consultative process.
Cast your thinking wider. Is your location optimal to your distribution network? Will you lose staff through relocation? Consider this comprehensive relocation checklist to realise the full scope of decisions. A good removalist company will take care of most aspects of the move. But staff and customers factors, and the warehouse design, is still up to you. You will need to lead the process.
The Bottom Line
An upgrade, with a better design and the right equipment, can potentially double or triple your storage space and vastly improve your performance.
The extra costs of relocation cannot be avoided. So, think hard about the future of your business and be very realistic about the long term benefits.
The first step is to consider your options through an informed discussion with an experienced supplier.