Selecting a Warehouse Site

Selecting a warehouse site can be a highly complex decision that will impact the success of your business both short and long term. In this guide we briefly review some of the top factors to consider when selecting the best warehouse site for your business. These factors apply regardless of whether you are planning new construction of your supply chain facility or leasing an existing property. Be sure to involve key team members throughout your organization in order to get a more holistic view of what your business truly needs and may need in the future.

Initial considerations should include your plans for the future layout of your warehouse or distribution center. You must plan for both current and future needs so that your facility can remain flexible. Learn more about planning a flexible distribution center. Your facility selection team should also evaluate the ease of truck access to the facility. If entrance to the facility or turn-arounds are difficult it may discourage transportation partners from working with your organization. If trucks and excess containers will be stored on the property compare forecasted or historic figures to available yard space. Selecting a facility with limited yard space can make the organization and movement of trailers much more difficult, costing your team valuable labor hours. Selecting a location near major transportation infrastructure such as freeways, ports and railways can help to reduce overall transportation costs – a notable expense for any supply chain operation. While placement to transportation infrastructure is important, the general geographic location of your facility is key. Identify what location allows you to be nearest to and best serve your customers. This geographic location must also have an available and skilled workforce. If only high levels of transient employees are available it will significantly increase training and onboarding costs. As mentioned earlier, it is critical to plan for the future of your operation, creating a flexible warehousing environment. Consider the growth potential that each location can provide to your supply chain. Do not select a facility that will limit your ability to take on new customers, add new equipment and adapt service offerings. It is also critical to consider how local weather conditions will affect your ability to provide consistent levels of customer service. Delivery delays, facility shut downs and workforce deficiencies all lower the productivity and effectiveness of your overall operation. If these types of disruptions are likely to occur often it may be worth considering an alternative facility location. Lastly, evaluate any zoning restrictions for both lease and new build locations as this may restrict what hours you can operate, what types of equipment and modes of transportation can be present on your property and much more. These restrictions, if not known in advance can result in excessive fees or facility shut down. If your team would like to learn more about developing or selecting a warehouse facility contact Datex experts today at marketing@datexcorp.com or 800.933.2839 ext. 243.

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