For warehouse based premises, efficiency is the key to business success. The building should be optimised to keep costs low and productivity high. As a building owner or manager, enabling a building for efficiency partly lies in the features of the building itself and partly from the way that it is managed. At Curchod & Co, we know how important location, size and utilities are when we counsel our clients in choosing their warehouse properties.
So if you’re looking for your first or next warehouse property, there are key aspects of your choice that will affect your efficiency. Then, once you’re in the building, are you making the right layout and process decisions to really optimise your productivity?
The first decision that you make is the most important! That is the location of your premises. Across the counties of Surrey and Hampshire, many key warehouse sites offer a wealth of benefits from their location. The areas enjoy easy access to London, major motorways such as the M3, M4 and M25 and access to ports on the south coast such as Portsmouth and Southampton. In addition, rural locations offer attractive sized buildings which can accommodate the growth of your business.
The pathways through your warehouse building should be coherent, so from stock rotation to picking to packaging, the flow of activity should be continuous. It’s important to monitor procedure to ensure that well-organised warehouse pathways do not gradually slip into chaos.
When you consider a warehouse building in terms of its cubic area rather than floor space, your approach will become more efficient. On average, the receiving, picking, packing and shipping aspects of warehouse capability use around 40 to 50 percent of the space. The remaining space is dedicated to product storage. So invest in racking, mezzanines and multilevel order-picking concepts to optimise the productivity of your facility.
A good inventory system will ensure that your stock rotation is optimised. Your pickers need to know that the right items are available to be picked, and your ordering systems should be fully integrated. Tracking systems are advancing to allow full traceability of products to keep up to date.
Product based businesses invariably encounter seasonal flows of activity. So occasions such as Christmas or the Summer holidays will have a bearing on your warehouse activity. Your technology can include demand forecasting which predicts seasonal changes in demand and adjusts automatic re-ordering accordingly.
Current warehouse technology uses data to optimise business. Plenty of options are available which include bar coding and voice-activated technologies. These new technologies are all designed to provide different levels of increased productivity and improved accuracy.
The key to optimising your warehouse staff comes down to more than training. Of course, this is important, but staff feedback is just as vital. Warehouse employees have daily experience with the building and the systems in place. In this way, they are best placed to make practical suggestions for incremental changes in the process.
The biggest challenge that your warehouse business risk is the loss of warehouse functionality. This is why it is imperative that your building is professionally managed with a thorough maintenance schedule. Stock can be damaged by leaking roofs, and insurance invalidated by insufficient building management. So if you don’t have the scope to manage this, ensure that you appoint a good property manager.
By optimising your existing warehouse or warehouses, the subsequent growth of your business will soon allow you to seek your next location. And you can guarantee that our helpful and experienced property professionals at Curchod & Co will be best placed to assist you in finding the perfect site to further expand your business.
Any time we start something new it is exciting and we are very motivated and committed. As time goes by, however, the burst of enthusiasm can wane as the reality of how much work is going to be involved kicks in. When you find yourself slacking a little and not being as enthused about the new change or goal you are working towards, that isn’t a sign to quit. It is a sign that it is time to re-commit.Meet the team