There are many challenges with a new warehouse. If you are considering a new build, one of them is the time it takes to get planning permission. The government’s own statistics for April to June 2023 admitted that only 20% of major applications submitted at the district planning authority level in England were completed within the statutory period of 13 weeks. Unfortunately, once the application is submitted, and as long as it is correct and compliant, there isn’t much you can do to speed the process.
Also, local planning authorities aren’t the only potential cause of delay. Many companies who have successfully completed the planning process have still found delays due to difficulty with contractors and materials and sourcing the appropriate warehouse equipment for the fitout. Many suppliers of automated systems, for example – such as material handling equipment – currently have a full order book or experience delays in sourcing components.
The net result is you may not be moving into your new facility and as quickly as you would like, and facing a longer transitional period than planned. In these circumstances it often pays to look at strategies to optimise your current space, improve efficiency and increase output. Such as:
- Maximising space utilisation: While waiting for your new premises, make sure you’re making the most out of every square metre of your current unit, considering vertical storage solutions or mezzanine floors to increase your storage capacity.
- Inventory management optimisation: Organise your stock and warehouse inventory based on frequency of use and ease of access. Items that are frequently picked should be placed nearer the dispatch area to reduce travel times.
- Optimising the layout: If you use forklifts or other machinery in your warehouse, review your layout, routes and aisles to ensure they are appropriate for the usage and number of movements. Increasing congestion effects operational efficiency and has an impact on safety.
- Clear labelling in signage: Reviewing your signage strategy so that all areas, racks, and goods are clearly labelled will help your operatives locate items more quickly and reduce the chance of errors. Particularly import if you use temporary labour.
- Technology and Systems: If you were looking to introduce a new Warehouse Management System (WMS) in the new facility, its introduction into your existing may help you overcome space limitations and increase productivity by automating processes such as inventory tracking, order picking, and replenishment.
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To find out more about making the best use of your current warehouse facilities and equipment and overcoming any capacity issues or bottlenecks, please contact LPC today on
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