Many businesses can benefit from warehouse storage, but the challenge comes from deciding not only where the space should be but also how you use it. Depending on the products and goods stored and moved around, you might find some properties more suitable to your needs than others.
You can choose a warehouse space that also accounts for the growth you expect to see, but remember that if you have a lot of empty space, you’re still paying for the whole unit even if you’re not using it all.
To make sure you get the most out of your warehouse, especially if it’s a smaller storage unit, we’ve picked some of the best tips we’ve come across to help.
When Is Warehouse Storage Needed?
Your business could benefit from warehouse storage if you have a large amount of products, goods or equipment that’s central to your operation. Equipment that is rented, sold or used on jobs needs to be stored in a place that you can get to easily when this is needed.
If you’re selling goods, especially from an online store or a physical shop where you can’t stock every product, you could see a lot of movement as products both arrive and have to be shipped out.
These are just some of the times when a warehouse can be really useful to a business, but you might find other situations where this kind of large space really helps.
Where can you find warehouse space for rent?
There are a lot of warehouse units across the South Manchester and Cheshire areas that could be perfect for your business. You want a warehouse that has good access to your store or business place, as well as being well connected to transport routes.
Inner city locations can offer a small gap to your business, but you’ll see smaller roads and more congestion in a lot of cases. You can find retail parks or industrial parks on the outskirts, closer to motorways and ring roads, where you can get the best of both worlds, finding a great price at a location that works for your needs.
How big should your warehouse be?
Finding the right warehouse space goes beyond where it is. You’ll find units of different sizes to suit every need a business might have. Whether you’re storing equipment or goods to be sold on, you’ll need enough space to not only store these items safely, but ensure there’s access to them when needed.
Take into account how much you expect your business to grow and what kind of demand this will put on your storage needs. More items means more space to hold them. Even with a high turnover of products coming and going, you’ll need enough space to rotate goods.
The right shelving and stacking can increase how much you can store in a space without needing to move to a bigger unit, but if you expect big increases in the short to medium term, you can invest in a bigger space to make sure you won’t feel the squeeze later.
What else should you think about?
The location of your warehouse is a big decision that can affect the operation of your organisation in a number of ways. For example, if it’s too far from the store you sell goods from, that means more logistical planning to keep things moving and avoid shortages.
At the same time, access to the warehouse matters. If you need large vehicles to transport products, goods and equipment, then there should be good road connections, parking and even entrances to the unit itself.
If your warehouse is part of a larger complex, then you might have other costs for site management that you have to take into account, too.
How To Maximise Your Warehouse Storage
Finding the right warehouse space is as big a task as choosing the right retail or office space. This is a fundamental part of your business and crucial to your success. Once you have a warehouse, you should think about how to use it effectively so that you can get the most out of your investment.
Depending on your business, the goods or equipment being stored, and how often you need access will have an impact on everything to do with the warehouse space. There are a lot of ways to improve efficiency within a warehouse, but it could mean fundamental changes to your operation.
Creating A Logical System For Your Warehouse Space
One of the easiest ways to improve efficiency in a warehouse is to make sure there’s a system in place for storing goods. Depending on what you trade in, and how often items are moved in and out, will help determine what system to use.
For example with perishable goods, or items in high demand, keeping these close to the entrance can speed up the process. On the other hand, date tracking can help you move goods that need to be used first.
You can store items by type, making them easier to find within the warehouse, and different areas assigned to categories or types can help you see what, visually, what products sell the best. Combine this with sales data and it can refine the products your business can focus on.
Balancing Space With Storage
With dedicated warehouse storage, you might be tempted to increase the number of products or goods bought and stored, filling the warehouse as much as possible. The more goods you have, the more you can sell and the better your profits will be, right?
However, what if the products you need are at the back of a large unit and there’s no way to get to them without moving everything in front of them? That takes more time to find and ship a customer’s order.
To ensure a timely delivery, there needs to be enough space to find everything stored. Whether you have pallets of goods or shelving units reaching up high, the space needed should allow for equipment to be used to reach hard to reach items when necessary. This means you can use more of the space, keep workers safe and be efficient all at once.
Other Distribution Warehouse Ideas
There are other distribution warehouse ideas that you can look at to make your space more effective.
Electronic product catalogues can help track goods coming in and out of the warehouse, helping improve sales data and stock tracking. This means a better understanding of what products customers are looking for. We’ve long passed the days of manually entering goods on a spreadsheet, with barcode scanners and other tools readily accessible.
Improving stock rotation can also stop products from gathering dust over time. Ensuring that new goods are able to easily be placed behind others can be tricky, depending on the items, but with forward planning as to how you’ll store and access goods, you can stop goods sitting in a dark corner.
Looking For The Right Warehouse Space?
Whether it’s your first warehouse or you’re looking for a new one – either as an additional unit or a replacement – there’s a lot to consider before making a choice. The implications for your business are huge, as this is where supplies and products will be stored and if you can’t access them easily and quickly, it could make some processes tricky.
In some cases, an objective opinion can help identify both advantages and disadvantages to a property you might not have thought about. This is where the experts at Williams Sillitoe can help, as we know the South Manchester and Cheshire areas, and where the best warehouses can be found, and what your business needs from a warehouse space to get the best from it. If you’d like to know more about how we can help, get in touch with a member of our team today.