There comes a time in the lifespan of every businesses where there will be a period of growth. Sometimes this will involve changes within the business in terms of infrastructure, and sometimes it will involve changes in your operating premises. This will usually be because your current space is no longer able to facilitate the day-to-day operations of your business.
For businesses who have warehouse facilities, the idea of moving operations can be a difficult one to even imagine, let alone plan for and then execute. You need to account for things like:
- Site survey
- Creating plans for machine moves
- Commissioning and decommissioning
- Developing a risk assessment
- CE testing
- Equipment modification and upgrades
- Mechanical & Electrical equipment services
- Export packing and air, sea and road freight
- Machinery removals and installations
- On-site supervision and Project Management
A friend of mine has plenty of experience in logistics, in moving warehouses and in arranging transport through haulage companies in his time; both in his role as a warehousing coordinator, and then as a factory manager for a large industrial corporation. Based on his experience, I wanted to share what I have learned from him in the hopes that it will prove useful for you and your business.
Step One: Make a logistics plan
The first thing that must be addressed is how on earth you are going to move everything in your factory from Place A to Place B. It doesn’t matter whether you’re moving near or far, if you have heavy machinery and equipment, it’s going to be a big matter to sort everything all out. Your logistics plan will be the plan that you have in place to coordinate the large scale movement of goods and operations from one place to another, and it goes without saying that you need to be exhaustive in your planning.
You need to consider the potential risks, outcomes and movements that will be happening when you move your operations. You need to involve key members of the operations team. A good way to start is with a meeting in which you map out the entire process from start to finish. Then, appoint key people who will be responsible for certain components of your operation and schedule regular accountability checks where you can ensure that things are going according to plan.
Step Two: Organise the movement
You’ll need to be ahead of the game when it comes to arranging your haulage and transport because you need to book everything way ahead of time in order to get the right price and to secure your transport at a great cost. As is usually the case with these sorts of things, the earlier you book, the cheaper things are going to be – so make sure you begin to get quotes from providers early on. This will also help with budgeting as you’ll be able to factor the haulage costs into your expenses.
Step Three: Put the planning into motion
Once you have coordinated the haulage and developed your logistics plan, you can begin the process of moving the factor across to your new site. You’ll need to incorporate a full team of specialists with a range of machine skates, hydraulic lifts, air flotation devices and systems and packing tools. Coordinating these teams is going to require a high level of planning which you’ll need to have accounted for in your initial plans.
I hope that this plan will help you move towards your goal of developing and eventually moving a warehouse from premises to premises. With a bit more research and planning, you will be able to make the process a smooth, seamless and successful one.