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Companies often need to relocate their warehouses. Sometimes they consolidate regional centers into one national distribution center. Or they may have outgrown their current facility and need more space. However, fulfillment is critical to business success. Any move requires careful planning.
Consider the following factors when planning your warehouse relocation.
1. Select the ideal location.
The right location will minimize transportation costs, be the ideal size, and have an efficient layout. An adequate labor supply should live within commuting distance. The best site will also have room for growth, so you can avoid moving again for several years.
2. Set a realistic budget.
Your relocation budget will include several items. It will consist of the expenses of relocating the warehouse and building or renovating your new warehouse space. It also will have the costs associated with running parallel operations for a time.
Building a warehouse from scratch can cost between $20 to $60 per square foot. The cost depends on several factors, including intended use, location, and building materials. Renovating an existing building might be even more costly.
3. Stay well-organized.
Set up a team of senior managers across the company who will plan the move and sign off on critical milestones. Ensure you have all the necessary permits and licenses for your new location.
Also, hire an expert to manage the move. Most companies need more staff to keep their operations running while planning a significant move.
4. Organize your existing inventory.
Take stock of your company’s inventory before the big move. Sort the items you intend to move and get rid of any stock that is outdated, useless, or not a product you still sell. Your company's resources are limited, and you should not waste time and energy moving outdated equipment and other things.
5. Determine new opportunities.
Moving to a different site brings an opportunity to bring in new processes that may not have been possible at the old location. Review your procedures to see what works well and what you could improve. Engaging a consultant might provide a new perspective.
6. Avoid downtime.
Migration requires a specific plan. Transitioning operations from one location to another should be done gradually over some time. Be sure to allow enough flexibility in your lease at your old site to pause the transition if you need to resolve issues.
Also, if you are changing IT systems, run your old one and your new run in parallel until you're sure the new system works well.
If you are also planning to transition other aspects of your operations, such as changing to a new warehouse system or automation, put those off until you've successfully transitioned to the new location.
7. Communicate your move.
Let vendors, customers, and employees know of your move. Ensure employees understand the changes and how they can help. Send letters and emails to customers and vendors. Always stress the benefits of the relocation.
Also, while you may have a relocation date in mind internally, allow yourself flexibility in your relocation date externally. A three-month contingency window is reasonable.
Remember to update your address and phone on the Internet, social media, and all print listings.
8. Verify your permits are valid.
Before moving warehouses, you must secure the proper building, fire, and occupancy permits. If you do not have the required paperwork, you run the risk of delaying your warehouse relocation. To confirm you have the necessary documentation and requirements in place, contact your local governments. This is crucial if you are moving states, cities, or counties because local laws can differ significantly.
Want a Smooth Warehouse Transition?
Whether you're looking to move your warehouse from city to city or interstate, Chipman Relocation & Logistics has the experience, knowledge, and equipment to help you smoothly transition to your new location.We can assemble and disassemble equipment and machinery efficiently. Our specialized technicians can handle complex relocations. Contact us for a quote today.