What to do when you Outgrow your Warehouse?
Most businesses hope and plan for growth. New research by Invoice2Go has perhaps surprisingly found that trade-based industries, rather than new tech companies, are coming out on top as the most lucrative growth industries for Australia’s smallest businesses.
The study has identified the auto repair industry as seeing the biggest growth, billing 78 per cent more in the last year. This is followed by small businesses in the building and construction industry, who saw billing amounts increase by 59 per cent year-on-year. Those operating in the landscaping industry saw billing growth of 58 per cent year-on-year.
At One Stop Shelving, we understand that when our clients grow, so does their need for better utilisation of existing warehouse space and/or more space. We strive to make the transition to better utilising and expanding storage space as efficient and effortless as possible.
There are a number of solutions to consider when your business begins to outgrow its warehouse.
Work with What You’ve Got
It’s important to consider why your business is outgrowing its warehouse. Is this a sign of true growth, or is it skewing towards warehouse inefficiency?
Before expanding your physical storage space, optimise the space that you have. Begin by reassessing and rearranging the warehouse to design a smarter layout. This includes updating your racking and shelving to innovative, space-saving storage solutions.
One of our clients, EBOS Healthcare, a large Australasian supplier of international healthcare products, has grown considerably over the last 20 years through organic growth and via the acquisition in 2013 of the Symbion Group. EBOS’ VIC/SA branch, a 2,500 m2 sales and warehouse facility located in Clayton was established 15 years ago. Over this period, their warehouse staff numbers have increased five-fold and they now stock more than 7,500 SKUs in 2,000+ pallet locations, including a dedicated cold storage area.
Travis Reiner, their VIC/SA Warehouse Manager said, “Without the improvements designed and installed by Michael Fitzsimons and the One Stop team, we would not have been able to increase our safety, productivity and support our growth. One Stop Shelving has designed and installed drive-in racking, which allowed us to add significant pallet locations and remove stock that was previously on the floor. We’ve also added 5 aisles of lighter long-span shelving, customised racks for surgery couches and extra racking on the side wall.”
Other potential space-saving storage solutions include Double Deep pallet racking. This racking system allows for bulk storage without substantially reducing access. Using a LIFO (Last-In-First-Out) system, Double Deep racking gives warehouse staff easy access to stock and greater storage capacity. Products can be stored up to two pallets deep and it increases the capacity from Selective Racking by approximately 30% allowing for rapid dispatch for large pallets of similar size.
Utilising vertical airspace to its full capacity is just as important as floor space. In fact, storage space can be doubled or tripled by optimising airspace, without expanding or moving the
Another client, Noone Imagewear, a growing family-owned Australian company, had a warehouse storage problem. The floor space of their warehouse was full but they needed extra space for stock and for loading and unloading deliveries to service their growing school-wear and corporate uniform business. We provided a raised mezzanine floor solution that not only met their immediate needs but could also be extended and raised the 2nd level in the future. According to Mark Spero, Noone’s Operations Manager, “their solution has increased our warehouse efficiency today and we are confident that we can easily support future growth.”
Expand and/or Relocate
Expanding your warehouse is sometimes the only solution to consider growth. This may require relocating to a larger warehouse or designing a secondary warehouse.
Apart from the expenses involved in relocating warehouses, the other major concern is not impacting service for your customers.
When Rollie Nation, Australian premium footwear designer, distributor and global online retailer, needed to relocate its warehouse because of rapid growth they trusted their pallet racking move to no-one but One Stop Shelving. “One Stop Shelving was easy to work with right from the initial brief and design; they understand our business needs and moved our existing racking out of our old warehouse and installed existing and new racking and shelving into our new one over the weekend”, explained Hung Hoang, Rollie’s Warehouse Manager. “The best thing about these guys is their flexibility if things need to change. We needed to be able to operate as usual first thing Monday morning and 100% I would recommend and reuse these guys.”
Is your business outgrowing its warehouse capacity? Work with a trusted storage solution expert for advice on what solution best suits your business. At One Stop Shelving, we offer the products and services needed to optimise your warehouse capacity. This includes space-maximising products and personalised storage design and installation service For more information, contact us here or call us on (03) 8343 0000.