Where to start when fitting out your new warehouse
Where to start when fitting out your new warehouse
So, you’ve found the perfect industrial space for your business. With a great, well-connected location and plenty of space to work with. What comes next?
For many businesses, the fit-out stage is just as important as identifying the right space. After all, this will be your business’s home for the foreseeable future, so it needs to work for all the different processes and operations that will be happening day to day.
The trouble is, fitting out a warehouse can be quite a daunting prospect. There are lots of different factors to consider, and it’s important to have everything working properly to avoid any costly reorganisations further down the road.
To help guide you, we’ve put together this handy guide, covering a few of the most important areas of a warehouse fit-out, to get you started.
Plan your fit-out first
Before you invest in any equipment, start moving your stock in, or installing dedicated workspaces, take a step back and really get to know the space. You should already be thinking about your fit-out when you’re viewing different options, but once you’ve got a favourite, really drill down into how it will work for you and your business.
That doesn’t mean just measuring out room for different pieces of machinery or working out how many people you’ll be having on-site. Instead, you should be thinking about the dynamics of the space, and how you can maximise its footprint and layout to improve the way your business operates.
You should also be considering all of the different things that you’ll need as part of your fit-out. This includes everything from water and power to appropriate ventilation and the outdoor-to-indoor flow of people and goods.
Once you’ve got a clear list of everything you need and a better understanding of your space, you’ll be in a much better position to put the right things in the right places.
Maximise your storage space
One of the most common mistakes with warehouse spaces is underestimating the amount of storage that you’ll actually need. Part of moving to a new premises is giving yourself room to grow in the future, so don’t just think about right now. Consider where your business might be in a few years, and plan for appropriate storage so you’re not left short.
Then, look into any specialist storage equipment that you might need. This could be as simple as high-quality shelving, or you might need storage that keeps products at certain temperatures.
You’ll already know the best way to store your products and materials, so work out the best place within your warehouse for that, and then plan around it.
Create dedicated work zones
A warehouse can be so much more than just storage and production spaces. You’ll likely also need dedicated office areas for admin and other key processes, as well as areas for your team to relax and take breaks.
One of the keys to an efficient, well-organised warehouse is ensuring everybody has enough space to do their job, so work out how many people are likely to be in each zone of the building at any one time, and plan your fit-out accordingly.
Save through sustainability
The fit-out stage is also a great opportunity to lower operational costs in your warehouse, by installing more energy-efficient lighting, heating, and ventilation systems that are cheaper to run, without sacrificing performance.
Electric vehicle charging points are another great investment. So if EVs are part of your business model now, or may be in the future, making sure they’re installed should be at the top of your to-do list.
You don’t necessarily need to do everything at once in terms of sustainability, but by identifying any areas of improvement before you move in, you can get them upgraded as a first priority. It’ll be much more disruptive to do this once you’ve got operations up and running, and you’ll save more by starting on a more sustainable footing.
Prioritise health and safety
Finally, you’ll also need to make sure that however you have your warehouse set up, it complies with the relevant health and safety standards. Not only will this keep your business and employees protected, but it’s usually a requirement of your lease as well.
There are dedicated rules and regulations that you’ll need to comply with. The best place to look for these is the UK Health and Safety Executive, which has a range of helpful resources, including:
- Health and safety made simple: The basics for your business
- Small and medium-sized organisations: Leading health and safety at work
- How to manage health and safety
By following this guidance, and making sure that any risks within your warehouse have the appropriate safety measures around them, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’ve met your obligations and your people are protected.
Fit-outs are great ways to transform warehouse spaces into tailor-made homes for your business. All you need to do first is find the right property. And that’s where Mileway can help.