The definition of a warehouse is a space for storing goods, but that does not mean that an empty building will be a good warehouse. There are a number of factors that should be considered when building or renting out a warehouse, and these will determine whether you, or your business, can properly make use of the new space for storing your goods. Below are the most important characteristics that need to be considered:
- Location – arguably the most important factor when building or selecting a warehouse is its location. For certain types of businesses, as well as depending on the purpose of storing goods, the location of the warehouse can make an enormous difference. Generally, the warehouse should be in an easily accessible area close to the business or the marketplace: this is to reduce transportation costs, which will then reduce the overall cost of production. For example, goods that are perishable, or emergency orders will benefit from being close to the marketplace.
- Size – naturally, warehouses are generally spacious, as their purpose is to store goods. That said, the size of warehouses depends on the size of the business itself: a small sole trader will hardly need a warehouse the size of what a public limited company will need. To maximize the benefit of a warehouse, as such, it is important to carefully consider exactly how much of storage space is needed: buying too large a warehouse simply means it will be largely vacant, whereas too small a warehouse will hardly solve storage issues that are already present.
- Facilities – depending on the type of industry and the goods being managed, a warehouse should have the necessary facilities in order to ensure that the goods can be safely stored. For example, a warehouse for perishable goods should definitely be climate-controlled and have refrigeration facilities; likewise, a warehouse where gases are stored would benefit from equipment such as gas bottle cage.
- Handling equipment – in addition to the necessary facilities to store the goods, the warehouse in question should also have equipment and machinery that allows for easier and quicker handling of goods. This becomes more important a characteristic the larger the warehouse is. Cranes and forklifts are two common additions amongst necessary equipment for very large warehouses. For example, a warehouse catering to vehicle-related products would benefit from forklifts and cranes to carry and move tyre racks and similar heavy objects. In this case find the best tyre racking for sale near you.
- Emergency and safety considerations – finally, do not forget to consider the safety aspect of a warehouse. Warehouses are amongst one of the most common places where fires occur, and this is usually because the owners fail to consider such possibilities. Regardless of whether you are storing flammable goods or not, make it a point to include the necessary equipment to deal with emergency situations.