A well-organised, efficiently run warehouse can be the beating heart business of your business. Successful companies that deal with the storage, selling and shipment of stock invariably bear similar factors when it comes to their warehousing setup: optimised space, lean inventory, great staff and slick technology.
However, finding ideal warehouse space across key markets is tricky. In the UK alone, there is a shortage of available facilities, made worse by organisations stockpiling goods for Brexit. It’s been reported that the supply of warehousing has fallen by a shocking 72% in the past decade, driving up costs for the limited, high-demand space.
What is the best way for companies to find affordable warehouse space around the world?
Evaluate your warehousing needs
The first thing to do is to evaluate your needs and get a clear picture of the type of warehousing you need. How much space do you require, and what is your desired ratio of office to industrial space? How long do you need it for and, if you’re renting, what is the maximum lease you can commit to? Do you have any special requirements?
At this stage, it’s vital to look ahead to assess your future company needs. A common mistake among organisations new to warehousing is that they focus on the ‘here and now’ rather than anticipating future requirements. Your ideal warehouse space should be able to accommodate any additional volume and technology your supply chain may take on.
Don’t forget the finer details. Consider the warehouse location and whether there are good transport links and available parking. If you’re planning to install large machinery and equipment, will there be enough space? Will access be an issue? Once you can fully visualise your business in the warehouse, then it’s time to look at the costings.
The importance of staying flexible
Of course, financing warehouse space isn’t as straightforward as paying a fee for the privilege and moving in. There are many considerations to factor in that will affect the affordability of your ideal space: repairs, maintenance, service charges, utility bills, insurance, deposit, legal fees, annual rent increases, parking control, security – and so on. Depending on the market you’re operating in, you will need to find out about country-specific tax and business rates too.
Being an entrepreneur, you will be used to negotiation. When it comes to buying or renting warehouse space, it’s important to approach the task with flexibility in mind – this can only come once you’ve decided on what it is you want and how much you’re willing to compromise on certain features of the deal. Unless you’re building your warehouse from scratch, there could be some aspects that don’t fit your expectations.
Stay open-minded when it comes to location. Your key markets may be top ecommerce destinations, in which case the costs will be equally high-level. As the Financial Times stated: ‘Warehouses — once a relative afterthought in the property industry — have become among its hottest investments due to the rise of ecommerce.’ It may be better to base your warehouse somewhere else around the region that can give you everything you need and be more affordable too.
Leave it to the warehouse experts
Securing affordable warehouse space may seem like a complex headache, which is why the best advice is to leave it to the experts, always.
Companies who outsource their warehousing can expect significant cost and time savings: a great third-party warehousing specialist will be operating in their area of expertise within their own facilities, providing a streamlined experience for your customers. This doesn’t mean you should disregard all the advice above: it’s still vital for you to know exactly what you want and what you can afford.
Many financial considerations were listed earlier – from maintenance costs and utility bills to building security and insurance – these will simply be eliminated when you outsource the warehouse operation. Free yourself of the complicated, unwieldy burden of warehousing and focus on growing your brand instead.
Sprint Logistics is an international logistics solutions company providing worldwide supply chain, distribution, fulfilment and warehousing services to a huge variety of businesses. Our extensive warehousing network means we have storage across Europe, the US and the Middle East, so we are able to deliver your stock wherever and whenever you need it.
To discuss your warehousing requirements, simply contact us today.