You’ve probably heard the saying, “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance,” or some version of it. You may have even heard it so many times that you’d just as soon never hear it again. But even though the “5 Ps” might be cliche, it consistently pops up because it’s so often true – whether it be in terms of exams, public speaking, and yes, even warehouse space planning.

One of the unfortunate and recurring trends we notice in the commercial real estate world is neglecting space planning and a failure to recognize the importance of laying out warehouse operations in the early stages of the buying or relocation process. Instead of assessing the business’s current and future storage needs at the outset of the project, many companies and real estate firms find industrial space first, then try to tailor the business’s processes to fit the building’s dimensions and layout restrictions. While this may not mean the end of the world for these organizations, failure to do proper space planning can result in a long list of avoidable storage issues.

So how can we avoid less-than-optimal layouts and apply the 5 Ps to warehouse space planning? Here are some do’s and don’ts that are useful rules of thumb to keep in mind when planning warehouse space to get started in the right direction.

a blue print illustrating the layout of a warehouse

What To Do When Planning Warehouse Space

  • Have a warehouse layout and design professional assess current warehouse operations and determine the ideal layout.
  • Enlist an expert’s help to do a walk-through of a space and provide CAD drawings to visualize what an optimized warehouse storage solution would look like.
  • Ask questions. For example: “Is this X sq ft area large enough for my operations?” “How much storage will I gain by going to 32′ clear?”
  • Take advantage of the complimentary professional warehouse layout and design services available to you.
  • Stay on top of current building codes and standards, or work closely with someone who is.
  • Get advice on industrial real estate options.

Warehouse Space Planning Don’ts

  • Wait until the last minute to think about warehouse storage systems, work platforms, or modular offices.
  • Transfer new racking and other warehouse equipment into the same layout in a new building because “it’s always been done that way.”
  • Experience losses in productivity, capacity issues or storage shortages because of a failure to plan for growth and inventory fluctuations.
  • Wait too long! Lead times for large projects can be as long as 12 or more weeks, leaving considerable downtime without proper planning.

These aren’t exhaustive guidelines for a warehouse move, but hopefully, each can serve as a helpful reminder. As you might have gathered, warehouse space planning is a matter of timing, asking the right questions, and working with an expert in the field of warehouse layout and design. Like almost any business aspect, a little planning and preparation can go a long way towards helping you achieve your goals.

If you’re in the early stages of finding new warehouse space, we can help. Our Design Team offers warehouse space planning, layout, and design services free of charge as a value-added service.

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About AK Material Handling Systems

We deliver value to our customers by providing the absolute best combination of quality products, helpful customer service and competitive pricing. We specialize in warehouse layout & design, pallet rack systems, engineered sales, mezzaninesmodular offices and completed turn-key warehouse systems. For more information email us or call (800) 722-5908