Time for a new warehouse? Here’s what to look for when buying a warehouse. When selecting an additional location, your first location, or simply moving to a new facility there are some big items which will make all the difference in your search. Of course, depending on your business, there are going to be different needs. This post will be short and sweet to get right to the point on what you should be looking for.
- Ceiling Height – this plays a role with the type of product you have, the equipment you have to retrieve that inventory, as well as the taxes, cost of real estate, and utilities. The key here is to get a space big enough so that it fits your growing needs, while making sure you aren’t increasing warehouse ownership costs with under allocation of space.
- Accessibility – will the space have enough loading/unloading bays given your volume? It is close in proximity to major highways? Will trucks have plenty of room to turn around etc.
- Ordinances – will your new warehouse be legally allowed to have the truck traffic volume you intend? Are there any laws against storage of the type of goods you are selling?
- Access to Rail – for certain industries, having rail access can be a deal-breaker for some wholesalers. Be sure you have sufficient access with a way to get product to/from the rail
- Rack and Bay Sizing – The racking in place at a warehouse will affect how much of an item you can store. This may be a good thing or a bad thing depending on if you can maximize the space of the racks/bays/bins
- Dock Doors – do the dock doors adhere to the guidelines for efficiently moving product from truck to storage to truck again? The number of doors, size, and proximity of the door to loading/unloading areas will be a key piece of the efficiency puzzle going forward.
- Price – this one is semi-obvious but may be complicated by market timing, availability of warehouse space, local zoning laws and more. It’s best to speak with an independent commercial real-estate broker.
- Flexibility – when you get a new warehouse space, you need it to adapt with your current needs. This is an important consideration, especially if you’ll be adapting the space with new racks, conveyors and more. Check Precision Warehouse Design for racking setups, conveyors, scales and beyond
- Location – this should be no surprise, but do some serious thinking on what you will need from the location – is it close to schools, is it next to a major airport, is it nearby major metropolitan areas etc. all these factors will make a difference on the overall profitability of your warehouse.
- Technology – is the building modern and efficient with cooling or heating systems? Are there security features in place? Do you have the ability to run high wattage systems or change the circuitry? These may not come up right off, but it should certainly be taken into consideration.
These are all big things to look for when buying a warehouse. Whether an element comes up right away or two years into the new lease when you are growing 30% month over month, always keep these items in mind.
When it comes to the WMS software for the new warehouse, there are other considerations to take into account as well. Most often the WMS is what will adapt to meet the needs of your warehouse, not the other way around. For help in matching the needs of your business with those of the WMS system, reach out to a firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a introductory call – or check out Distribution Hub – an all-in-one mobile warehouse & distribution software.