A checklist for moving warehouse

Relocating your warehouse space is a big move and to avoid any headaches it requires some planning! Considering things like future operations, scheduling deliveries and how you’ll transfer your inventory in advance will help you save both time and money. So, to help we have created this step-by-step guide to help you feel more confident about the process.

1. Evaluate your current set-up

One of the best parts about moving is you can reorganise your space and set-up in a way that works better for your business. For that reason, take the time to audit your current warehouse’s layout and company workflow. This is your chance to iron out any kinks before you take on a new space. Ask yourself:

  • Could it be more efficient?
  • Could you reorganise your storage racks?
  • Would moving different departments increase productivity?
  • What condition is your specialist equipment in? Is it more cost-effective to move old equipment or invest in something new?
  • Can you eliminate any inventory?
  • Could your current inventory management system be optimised?
  • Will you need to fine-tune your fleet management?

You can also ask your employees how it could become more efficient to help inform future designs for the new facility.

2. Consider the future

Rather than lifting your current set-up from one warehouse to the next, you need to think about the opportunities that lie ahead and plan for them. Our own customer research shows that nearly all our customers sell online and expect an average growth in revenue of over 30%. Considering the significant growth in e-commerce over the years, we’re not all that surprised! So, when it’s time to move, consider your future operations and projected growth forecast to help save money and avoid having to move again in a few years. Ask yourself:

  • Will you be expanding your workforce? Consider more space and infrastructure or a reorganised office space.
  • Will you be introducing any new products? Determine whether you need to rearrange your storage layout.
  • What are the e-commerce trends? Align your growth forecast with changes in the market.
  • Will you need a warehouse that supports your Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives? Consider how you can improve the efficiency of your building.
  • Will you be expanding your fleet? Assess what parking space you’ll need.
  • Will you be changing the way your warehouse operates? Specialised amenities like loading doors may help you.

The goal is to know where everything could go before you move in so mapping the new premises is a great place to start. Allow more space than you think you might need, as you may have to adapt to the shape of your next warehouse.

Remember, the height of your warehouse is the most effective way of utilising your space. Use the height to your advantage and consider how you can use storage racking to create extra storage space or a mezzanine floor for office spaces.

3. Create a checklist

During the relocation of your warehouse, it’s likely you’ll also be operating your day-to-day business. Therefore, it’s important to create a checklist to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. We’d recommend starting to plan this six months in advance.

4. Booking the move and scheduling deliveries

First things first, agree and confirm what date you will move in so you can book a moving company. Sometimes they can be booked up for months in advance so we’d recommend doing this as early as you can. Once you know the date, communicate this with your shipping managers and coordinate a plan for how deliveries will be taking place. It wouldn’t be helpful if your deliveries were sent to the wrong place during your move and disrupting your operations.

Keep any deliveries that need to be sent out in a separate place just before the move to minimise any issues of them accidentally being packed and taken to the new space.

In the lead up to the move date, consider how much you want inventory to be delivered. You could order less to reduce the amount you want to move, or you may decide to order more in advance so you have less to check in when you’re in your new space. Do whatever is best for your business.

5. Employee work schedules

On top of your standard warehouse operation, you’ll need to allocate more time for moving into the new location. You may decide to bring on some temporary staff or hire more full-time employees if that aligns with your growth forecast.

To start with, figure out how you intend to divide up the work, so every part of your supply chain runs efficiently. Creating employee work schedules for the duration of the move is a great idea so everyone can understand their own roles and responsibilities. Remember, good communication is vital so ensure employees are aware of key information and provide them with an agenda, so they know where they need to be and when.

6. Organise inventory

It’s time for that spring clean! It’s not a bad idea to sort through everything in your warehouse and decide what you want to get rid of. It’ll cost more to transfer unnecessary items over to your new facility, so think about whether any equipment is old or unusable. At the same time, organise your inventory and mark up what’s fragile for the moving company.

7. Create a list of contacts and phone numbers

Start compiling a list of your team’s phone numbers and any other important contacts, to distribute to your workforce. In case of an emergency, your employees will know who to reach out to.

8. Check the new building regulations

Have you figured out what permits are required in your new warehouse? Check what restrictions apply, otherwise it might stop you in your tracks.

Local authorities will also be involved in the warehouse planning, so speak to them early to discuss fire escape routes, sprinklers and car parking. It’s important to check, especially if you’re moving cities or counties as building codes can vary.

9. Change address and transfer details

Inform everyone who needs to know about your move. This includes vendors, suppliers, post offices, utility companies, customers and employees. Remember to also change your address on your website as well as returns and orders. And don’t forget to transfer services like electricity and internet to your new warehouse. These small details can slow things down if forgotten about.

Making the most of your warehouse with Mileway

Whether you plan to upsize, optimise or diversify, Mileway understands that the property needs of businesses change over a period of time. We know that most of our customers are planning to upsize. In support of this, our large network of last mile real estate across Europe allows you to grow with confidence, even if you still have time left on your current lease. We’re also making it a priority to support our customers’ own sustainability goals, we’re committed to making our warehouses as energy efficient as possible to help reduce energy costs.

By following our step-by-step guide, you should feel more confident about moving warehouses. If you’re looking to move and need the perfect property in your region, we’re confident we’ll have exactly what you need. With a portfolio of over 720 properties in the UK all situated within close proximity to major cities, you can browse our commercial properties for rent and filter based on location here.

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