As your business grows, you may find you have outgrown your current warehouse and need to relocate to a bigger site. Warehouse relocations can be an enormous and stressful task, so it is important to follow a plan to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.
We have pulled together a warehouse relocation checklist to help your warehouse move run as smoothly as possible. The checklist has been split into three sections for tasks that need carrying out before, after, and during your warehouse move.
The warehouse relocation checklist
Before relocating warehouses
- Evaluate your layout
- Clean and tidy your stock
- Plan how to move your inventory
- Check regulations and permits
- Inspect your existing racking
- Choose a warehouse relocation company to help you
During your warehouse relocation
- Be on high alert for theft
- Watch out for product damage
After you have moved warehouse
- Maintain safety and reduce risk
Things to consider when relocation warehouse
There are a number of things to consider when looking to relocate that can help the process, such as how operational you will be during the move, are utilities set up and does the move allow for further growth if needed.
If it is a large warehouse relocation that is happening during working hours, it is important to consider the impact the move will have on the operational ability of the business. For example, will the move take place over a number of days to allow orders to be fulfilled or will all inventory be moved at the same time? It is also important to speak with the supply chain to ensure deliveries in the build up to the relocation are kept to a minimum to allow reduced stock holding and thus limiting the amount of inventory to be moved.
Another key consideration before the relocation can take place is to assess the set-up of the new warehouse. Does lighting need to be changed / removed to improve working conditions? Is the new warehouse fire safe – will it need a sprinkler system installed or does the racking need to be built around a current system? Are there low beams or uprights which will impact the configuration of the racking? These questions all need to be addressed before the racking and inventory turn up at the new warehouse.
The likelihood is that the relocation is due to business growth, so it is important to consider future growth and if the new warehouse will support this. Is there enough space to add further storage, if needed? Will the stock profile change and need different types of racking, such as cantilever, high density or stock rotations? And don’t forget, the solution could be vertical – taking advantage of unused head space to install a mezzanine floor or a VLM automated solution.
Once these issues have been considered, there are a few things to plan to help make things that little bit easier.
Tasks to complete before moving warehouse
1. Evaluate your layout
Moving warehouse is the perfect time to think about maximising warehouse space. Question your workflow and consider if you can move or reconfigure the space to work in a better way for your business. Consider adding functional areas such as mezzanine floors or exploring alternative space saving racking options.
2. Clean and tidy your stock
During everyday operations, slow moving stock can get forgotten about and just gather dust. When planning a warehouse relocation, it is the perfect opportunity to have a tidy up, re-arrange stock to accommodate new arrivals, and discard obsolete stock which will only be a cost during the relocation.
3. Plan how to move your inventory
Once the stock has been organised, it will give a clear indication of what products and quantities need to be moved to the new facility. Now is the ideal time to plan how this will be moved – will it be moved in bulk or small batches to allow for day-to-day business to continue as best as possible. Engaging the supply chain will also allow for smaller deliveries, if possible, and reduce the cost of transporting extra inventory. However, it may be more beneficial to the business to have stock delivered to the existing warehouse to cut down on deliveries to the new site during the initial setting in period which can be hectic.
4. Check for new regulations and permits
Make sure you know exactly what permits are required and which restrictions apply at your new facility before moving warehouse. Be smart and do your homework before relocating so that nothing gets delayed and you don’t have the headache of getting caught out while you’re focused on moving.
5. Inspect your existing racking
There will already have been a significant investment in the storage systems at the current warehouse. So it makes sense to try and utilise it if possible. Depending on its condition, it is possible to remove it and re-installing it in the new warehouse, providing a cost-effective storage solution. And if it isn’t to be used in the new warehouse, it can always be sold to a second hand racking company.
6. Choose a company to help you relocate
Moving warehouse is stressful enough but when it comes to moving racking systems it is beneficial to seek the help of professionals. A storage expert will offer a full dismantling and reinstallation service to relocate racking efficiently and professionally. They will also be able to provide a suitable solution for the new warehouse and re-install the racking system.
Tasks to complete during your warehouse relocation
7. Be on high alert for theft
Moving warehouse can put inventory at risk of theft, both during the move itself and the unpacking process. One way to avoid any issues is to assign trusted team members to moving zones and double check systems for loads. It is also important to stay on top of inventory and to thoroughly monitor everything that comes in and goes out of the warehouse during the move. Once the move is complete, it is important to quickly have security measures, such as CCTV and boundary fencing, implemented and operational to protect all inventory.
8. Watch out for product damage
When pallet racks or shelving are being unloaded there is a high possibility of spills, bumps or poor repacking. This can prove costly so the best way to reduce the risk is to reiterate to staff that it is important for things to be moved safely and correctly, rather than being rushed.
Tasks to complete after your warehouse relocation
9. Maintain safety and reduce risk
The likelihood is that things will swiftly return to normal as the settling period ends, but it is important to ensure the safety of staff within the warehouse by carrying out annual racking inspections and any repair work that arises to help reduce the risk of accidents and injury.
There’s a lot to think about during any warehouse move. Quickline have experience of relocating warehouses locally and nationally. We can provide a professional and cost-effective relocation service. Contact us to discuss your next warehouse move.