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These days, thanks to the increase in ecommerce purchases, a lot of warehouses are considering purchasing a second facility.

On paper it makes perfect sense! You’re dealing with a greater volume of packages than ever before, you’re probably running out of space for some of your most important items, and frankly it might be nice to just have a little more breathing room sometimes.

That said, we’ve noticed that a lot of warehouse managers tend to…jump the gun when it comes to getting a second facility. Industry reports show that warehouse real estate and secondary locations are at an all time high, leading to something of a bubble in real estate property – but what if these purchases could be avoided?

With a little careful planning and rearranging, you might actually be able to squeeze a little more life out of your current warehouse without having to move.

 

Making More Space In Your Warehouse (So You Don’t Need To Buy A Second One)

The majority of all secondary warehouse purchases can be boiled down to one of two major reasons: either you’re running out of space in your current one, or you need to be able to better serve a different geographic area by offering a closer distribution center.

While you can only do so much about the geography issues, buying a second warehouse to make more space should only be a last-ditch effort after you’ve exhausted your potential for making new space in your current warehouse.

Ask yourself the following questions to see what your next step should be:

  • Am I just running out of shelf space? One of the fastest ways to make your warehouse feel more cramped is to run low on storage space for the things you need to stock. Take some time to review your current industrial shelving and see what improvements you can make – do you need more wire shelves to organize incoming or outgoing packages? Is there enough room for the seasons where your inventory ramps up, such as the holidays, or are you constantly running out of space at crunch time? These might be signs you could just add more shelves to handle overflow, instead of moving into a different space.
  • Do I need to widen my aisles? Sometimes, that cramped feeling comes from your pallet racks being too close together. By widening your aisles between pallet racks, you can create more space for traffic to flow through, as well as the opportunity for more shelves to be added in the empty space to increase capacity.
  • Is my traffic being managed properly? Similarly, the flow of traffic can start to give the illusion that your warehouse is way more cramped and stuffy than it really is. Reassess your traffic patterns and see what you can do to help your staff get from point A to point B better – and then see how much help that does for your productivity.
  • Are my analytics tracking everything they need to be? Finally, a lot of warehouses assume the need to move into a new facility is a numbers game, but if you’re not looking at the right statistics, you might not be able to make the right decisions. Check out your volume of incoming items, your sales volumes, your mispicks, and your order errors to see if the problems are more organizational in nature instead of being confined to a cramped warehouse.

After you ask yourself these questions, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not you need to get a second warehouse – or if maybe you can just make your first one work better.

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