It’s an exciting time, and your company is ready to take the next step. Setting up a warehouse distribution center can be a monumental experience for any organization. Maybe you’re fairly new on the market and shopping around for your very first site. Or, perhaps your successful company is seeing growth, and it’s time to expand. Whatever the reason, the site selection process for a warehouse is critical for your continued prosperity.
As you get ready to select a new site, consider these six factors to help you make the right decision and ultimately avoid building your plant in an unfit location.
1. The Role Of Your Warehouse
Before you do anything, it’s crucial to take a good, long look at your business plan. Examine and evaluate where you’ve been as a company and where you’re going. Determine if setting up a warehouse or distribution center is the best decision for your business at this time. If it is, think about the site’s purpose. Ask yourself: How much traffic will be within your plant? What capacity of people will need to be there at any given time?
Overall, you want to make sure you’ve covered the basics and fully understand how a new facility must meet your needs. This may sound like common sense, but it’s easy to overlook and can have serious consequences for your business.
2. The Building’s Layout
The design of your warehouse can be vital to productivity and the overall efficiency of product flow. Think about where you need the dock doors to be located to make the most of your new space. Should they be on one side? Opposite sides? How many dock doors will you need and what will you use them for? How will the building’s setup affect packaging?
If you’re focusing on e-commerce, your goal is to find something that will take your product from the picking process to the shipping process. Additionally, you want to consider any possible restrictions to the free flow of product, like interior walls or obstructions.
3. The Distance
During the site selection process for a warehouse, try to minimize the mileage between customers, materials and your plant. Keep in mind, the whole point of finding a new distribution center is to make life easier — not present more challenges.
Think about where your customers are located in comparison to the site you’re considering. If your organization uses raw materials in its manufacturing, where are they located and how far will you have to go to get them? Your warehouse location is important and should play a major role in your decision process.
4. The Overall Environment
As you visit potential distribution areas, examine the nearby industrial sites. Really think about their effect on the surrounding environment. Do they emit dust? Is there air pollution? Are there any odors or toxic elements left behind?
You never want to work at a site that’s contaminated or near other contaminated plants. This is really important in the food production industry, as well as beverage production. It’s also a significant factor for industries like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, so as to avoid cross-contamination.
5. Your Location Criteria
Depending on your warehouse’s purpose, you may find that you require certain elements to get the most use out of its location. For example, you might need additional land due to factors like drainage, topography and governmental regulations. Along with that, consider accessibility and transportation. Will your plant’s operations require that you have railway access? How important is it to be near the interstate? These are questions you want to answer when setting up a warehouse distribution center.
6. Utility & Water Costs
Your expanding distribution center is already an investment. Spiking water and electric bills are the last things you want. You can try to avoid this by determining the square footage you’ll require. Consulting a utility matrix should help with this process. In doing this, you can determine whether or not an adequate energy supply source is readily available. Be sure to review water and wastewater requirements, as consumption costs are often influenced by pre-treatment costs or additional wastewater sub-charges.
Let Span Tech Help with the Site Selection Process For Your Warehouse
At Span Tech, our goal has always been to “build the very best conveyor systems we are capable of,” and we’re dedicated to helping you with your expanding distribution center.
Our flexible and completely customizable distribution center conveyor systems take the stress out of choosing a new warehouse location. They can also improve the overall production efficiency of your facility and help you prepare for future success. We’re more than happy to assist you in setting up a warehouse distribution center through the use of our flexible and customizable conveyor solutions.
If you have questions or would like additional information about how our systems can improve your new warehouse or distribution center, don’t hesitate to contact Span Tech. We want to set you up for success!