Warehouses come in two basic varieties, and these are purpose built warehouses and existing warehouses which are inherited. Purpose-built warehouses provide the advantage of being constructed with certain specifications in mind, while existing warehouses tend to be more cost effective. Regardless of the option you choose, there are many steps you can take to effectively set up warehouse space for lease in Toronto.
A warehouse which has efficient shipping, receiving and storage is a warehouse that will be profitable. The personnel that works in the facility should be considered a valuable asset, and they should be provided with a working environment that is safe, clean and where the products are simple to find, move and stock. Below are some additional factors to consider:
Carefully Evaluate the Shelving and Racks You Will Use
The products which are stored in your warehouse will need to be placed on racks and shelves. These shelves and racks should be high in quality with considerable longevity. Additionally they must be properly anchored to the floor and walls to ensure they don’t fall over and injure workers or damage merchandise. The racks and shelves must also be correctly spaced out so that all the merchandise is readily accessible. Products which are used regularly, such as boxes, tape or cartons should be stored in a separate area.
Make Sure Your Floor Plan has the Proper Layout
While no two warehouses are exactly the same, every warehouse must have an area for shipping, dispatch, receiving and storage. It is also critically important to create a rest area for staff who will be employed at the facility. This area should feature furnishing as well as a fridge and area for making coffee and tea.
Properly Design the Loading Dock
The area surrounding the loading dock should be completely open and unobstructed. There should be no shelves or racks nearby, as this allows forklifts and groups of workers to move through the area with ease, while reducing the chances of accidents or injuries.
Additional Tips for Properly Setting up a Warehouse
Safety and warning notices should be placed in the correct locations, in accordance with local laws and regulations. Your warehouse should also have an area designated for office space. Trash bins should be placed in various locations so that garbage doesn’t clutter the floor, as this is a safety hazard as well as being unsightly. Workers will tend to stand in certain areas for long periods of time, so adding floor mats is a nice touch that shows you care about their wellbeing.
When establishing a warehouse it is important to never forget the purpose of setting up the facility: to increase the efficiency and profits of your company. If you plan to move into an existing warehouse you will first need to investigate the property to determine if it has the space and features which are required for your operation. Separate areas must be designated for both shipping as well as receiving, and within these areas there should be work surfaces which are expansive.
In addition to evaluating the warehouse itself, it is also important to evaluate the area it is located in. Does the area have a high incidence of crime? Theft is a serious problem that every warehouse is vulnerable to, and steps must be taken to ensure the facility is protected against thieves. Another threat to consider is pests. If your warehouse will be used to store edibles it is critically important to evaluate the facility for the presence or rats, mice and bugs. Another danger which should be of great concern is fire. The last thing any warehouse owner wants is for their merchandise to go up in flames.
Many jurisdictions will have fire safety regulations for warehouses, so be sure to comply with them. Workers employed at the facility should have access to multiple working fire extinguishers and should be taught how to use them. For additional security the building itself can be designed or coated with fire resistant materials.
Consider Implementing a Warehouse Management System
A warehouse management system should be considered in situations where you have more than five workers employed in the same facility. This software will make your warehouse much more efficient by automating packing, dispatch and receiving in a manner that increases your profit while making things a lot easier for your employees. Warehouse management systems also provide increased transparency and precision, which means you will reduce the amount of waste and orders which are returned.
One of the best software systems for warehouses is SaaS, or Software as a Service. These systems are beneficial as many require no costs up front and instead you will make service payments once a month, after the software system is activated. This will benefit the company’s cash flow while ensuring the workers employed in the facility have access 24 hours a day.