E-commerce grew by 44 percent during the pandemic, with many people discovering the benefits of shopping from home during nationwide shutdowns. Even now that restrictions are being eased, many consumers want to continue to enjoy the convenience of online shopping, and in turn, companies are expanding and relocating their warehouses in order to supply orders faster and more efficiently. If you’re among them, make sure that you consider all the items on this list during your search for the perfect warehouse:
- Your Inventory
Think carefully about what you’ll be storing in your warehouse facility. How much space does it require? How high can it be stacked? How much does it weigh? Are inventory levels likely to stay the same, increase or decrease in the months to come? What environmental conditions does your inventory need to remain in good condition?
Answering these questions can help you determine how much square footage and cubic footage you require. The square footage refers to the area of the warehouse considering the length and width of the rooms, while the cubic volume takes the ceiling height into consideration. Analyzing your inventory’s needs will also help you identify what climate controls and fire suppression systems need to be in place to protect your goods.
- Your Equipment
Think about the kind of equipment that will be used every day in the warehouse, considering everything from material movers to tablet computers. You’ll need to make sure that doorways and passageways in the warehouse are large enough to allow large machinery to maneuver safely and that the wiring in place matches your electrical requirements. Also, assess connectivity in the area to be sure that mobile devices can get a strong signal.
- Your Supply Chain
How will items move in and out of your warehouse and where will they be coming from and going? Knowing the answers to these questions can help you choose a warehouse located near the major routes that trucks will be taking. In addition, the specs of trucks responsible for carrying your inventory must be taken into consideration when you’re touring the loading dock and parking areas to ensure that there is enough clearance for the vehicles.
- Your Team
How many people will work in your warehouse and during what times of the day? Make sure that there is enough parking space for everyone and that the parking area is well-lit during the hours when your team will be on the premises. Put yourself in an employee’s shoes when touring the warehouse. Ask yourself if you would want to come to work there daily. If the location is too remote or conditions are too uncomfortable, you may suffer from increased employee turnover.
- Your Other On-Site Operations
What else needs to happen in your warehouse space? Will you need any offices for management or HR? A training room? A conference area? Have a clear picture of everything else that will take place in the facility, so that you can double-check that any prospective warehouse has the right layout and enough space to fully meet your requirements.