There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that your business has grown and prospered. Now that your once small business has reached a certain point of success, you must start thinking about your next step – setting up a new warehouse.
A bigger space for your business will likely be needed as soon as you start hiring more people and purchasing new machinery and equipment. The thought of setting up your own warehouse may be scary, and you might probably want to cling on to your current small space. But a good business owner knows when it’s time to step up.
If you have decided that it’s time to rent a bigger space for your growing business, here’s how to handle the rigorous process and significant changes that come with a warehouse setup.
Regardless of what you intend to do, all warehouse planners have specific objectives in common. Everything else should either be incorporated to help achieve the objectives, or addressed later. The number of forklifts or pallet racks in your facility may hinder your warehouse operations if you don’t take these factors into account.
Limit the distance that items need to move around the facility and the number of times they have to be handled.
People, products and equipment all need room. However, when your storage, machinery and employees are spread over a large area, operations will require more time, creating inefficiency.
Develop a system to ensure your workers know exactly what products are stored and where they’re located in the facility.
A warehouse is a busy place with the workers, vehicles, products and equipment. The layout and activity can create workplace hazards to both staff and items. Site safety is both a moral and legal requirement for any company. Therefore, safety procedures must be developed and implemented to ensure safety in the workplace. All staff require safety training with a person designated to monitor and report on implementation and infringements.
Finding the right warehouse space
In finding the right warehouse space for your growing business, there needs to be a balance in the convenience of location and storage requirements.
The location of your warehouse is an important element that will directly affect your business. Before you decide the right location for your warehouse, consider the locations of your employees. Having a warehouse space that is in close proximity to your current staff is a win-win situation for your business and for your staff. A convenient location for your staff impacts your company’s employee retention, turnover rates, and productivity.
After considering your employees, the storage requirements of your business, come next. Make sure that the warehouse space you choose can properly accommodate your business’ needs. However, if you don’t have enough budget to be able to afford sufficient space for your business, consider space options that allow you to add and modify storage spaces.
Setting up your new warehouse
After deciding on warehouse space, you need a well-thought-out layout for it to become an efficient workspace for you and your staff.
The first step in setting up your new warehouse is to create a floor plan. Prioritising this allows you to have a clear picture of where you want to store items. Visualising your space helps you decide if you need to change your current system and prepare you for any problem that may arise.
Creating a floor plan lets you plan ahead on how to manage the space limitations. Depending on the nature of your business, you can deal with these limitations of space by adding storage and shelving solutions. Adding tool storage cabinets and extra stillage cages to your new warehouse help maximise the space and provide easy access to your tools.
Now that you have a bigger space, labelling everything from warehouse shelves and racks contributes to better organisation. Incorporating a label system saves your business and your staff a lot of time by not needing to navigate through dozens of aisles and sections to find what they need.
Warehouse equipment checklist
Once you’ve figured out your warehouse’s location, size, layout and the quantity of items that you’ll be storing, it’s time to focus on the equipment.
This includes equipment such as shelves, racks and drawers. Different items, based on the weight and size, have different storage needs. Even if your warehouse specialises in particular items, like parts, engines, components or clothes, you’ll still need a variety of storage options. Some items will be packed on pallets up to two metres high while others may only need a dozen pieces for inventory.
Material transportation equipment
This includes any machinery used to move items from one location to another. Hand carts, dollies and push carts move objects over short distances while walkie stackers handle heavier and larger loads, transporting goods onto shelves or pallet racks.
Powered transportation equipment such as forklifts and cranes are used for moving heavy items and pallets. They can retrieve and place pallets on tall shelves and for moving materials over longer distances (10 metres or more).
A conveyor belt is another efficient piece of equipment for transporting goods within the facility. Rollers move a looped belt along a fixed route to transport items along the distribution line. The conveyor belt is exposed, so operators can identify and check or remove items as they are transported.
Packing and positioning equipment
The equipment includes tables and workbenches used for packing. If you’re packing orders for shipment, you’ll need a steady supply of cardboard boxes, bags and packing filler. You’ll also need stapling machines, tape, glue guns and other packaging materials. Depending on the length of time your staff working at the packing station, stools and chairs will be necessary for their comfort.
Durable and Cost-efficient Warehouse Equipment at Containit
Getting a bigger space for your business entails a lot of work and changes. Setting up and organising your new warehouse is easier said than done.
At Containit Solutions, we provide quality and unique industrial storage and transportation systems for your business. Be it warehouse trolleys, plastic storage bins, long span shelving units or workstation benches, we have the solutions to successfully set up an efficient warehouse.
Browse our website and you will find what you need or call us on 1300 603 110 and let us help you transform your warehouse and maximise its full potential today.