A warehouse is a large commercial building used for storage or accumulation of goods. By storing the goods throughout the year and releasing them as and when they are needed, warehousing creates time utility.
Warehouses are used by manufacturers, importers, exporters, wholesalers, transport businesses, customs, etc.
Below are some of the features of a warehouse. But these are not necessarily required for every warehouse.
- Zoning of a land:
The land should be located in either commercial or industrial zone. Since warehousing is a commercial activity, it is illegal to operate from an agriculture/residential area. One must check the zone certificate and other required documents before entering into an agreement.
Location is considered to the most important aspect in shortlisting of a property. For effective movement of goods and cost saving, warehouse should be established at places which are convenient to both the buyers and the sellers e.g. Industrial Areas, Railway Stations, Bus Stations, Highways, Seaports, Airports etc.
- Parking Facility
Goods movement are being done through trucks and trailers. So it is very necessary that warehousing premise should have ample parking space for these big vehicles. Also important to have a separate rest areas for the drivers. Such facilities are always in demand and also gets premium in rent to the market rate.
- Safety Measures
Warehouses are used to store a lot of expensive products and thus a target to thieves. Good warehouse should have tight round the clock security arrangement to avoid theft of goods. Property must also be secure enough that goods are not damaged from heat, rainwater, insects, pests and fire. The use of fire extinguishers, safety alarms should be there to secure warehouses from unforeseen miss-happenings.
- Layout & Size of the property
The layout of the warehouse – is it suited to your needs? Will it fit the way you operate?
The size of the warehouse – does it offer you enough storage? Is it too big, which will result in lots of empty, wasted space? Or will it strike the correct balance between being full to the brim and nearly empty?
Obviously the emphasis placed upon these various attributes will change from business to business, but it is essential you examine the facilities of the warehouse and evaluate whether they will work for your company. It is very important decision for a successful inventory management.
- Floor Height
Floor of a warehouse should be at a height that is at a level to the vehicles. If floor height is low or high…then it adds to the labour cost of loading & unloading. Also during the rains the low height warehouse can have a problem of water logging.
- Floor Strength
Load bearing capacity of the warehouse floor is also an important criteria. In a warehouse goods are stored in a pallet which are stacked vertically, as a result the load on the floor is very high. If the floor is not strong enough, the floor base will bow down to the weight and it might result in the damage of goods and injury to the workers.
- Clear Height
Side and Centre height of a warehouse is another important factor that defines the storage capacity of a property. The staking of pallets to a height, movement of overhead cranes for lifting the pallets are all designed based on the clear height of the warehouse.
- Provision for expansion
Shifting warehouses is a labour intensive task, especially if there is a lot of stock to shift to a new location. When looking for a new warehouse, you should consider the longevity that it can offer. Check beforehand if the premise has the space for future expansion if required.
- Ventilation & Daylight
Warehouse must have proper ventilation and provision for best usage of daylight. This helps in a huge cost savings on electricity.
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