There are many reasons for moving warehouses. Perhaps you want to liquidate your 3PL and change to another warehouse. In this case you will be getting rid of old inventory and closeouts in an effort to downsize your stock before moving. It is easy for your warehouse to get into an overstock situation where there are too many closeouts they begin to pile up. Maybe you are moving warehouses because you are getting rid of old inventory and you simply don’t need as much space. This is a great argument for keeping overstock and closeouts to a minimum. Getting rid of old merchandise keeps the warehouse lean.
1. Obtain Permits. There will likely be permits required for the new overstock warehouse, so you should obtain these as early as possible. Red tape and bureaucracy can cause significant delays when moving to a new facility. Some areas may require all permits be obtained before you can even even begin the move-in process. .Additionally, your permits may affect the design of your warehouse layout. For example, the height of your shelves or racking may require a special permit in order to meet sprinkler clearance standards. Or the depth of the awning you hang over your door may require a special sidewalk permit.
2. Optimize Space. When assessing your current storage, look for any areas of waste including old merchandise and closeouts. This includes wasted space and wasted time. For example, if you are using large industrial shelving to store closeouts, you may be wasting vertical or horizontal space. When choosing storage for your new 3PL warehouse, you could select a more streamlined option such as lighter wire shelving. If using an automated picking system such as a vertical lift or a carousel, moving locations could give you an opportunity to look at new systems. For businesses that rely on automated processes, a faster and more efficient unit can help you optimize time in your new warehouse.
3. Have A Plan. During a warehouse move or if you are going to liquidate a 3PL, people in the company will need to take on different roles and responsibilities. You may need to bring on some temporary staff to help when getting rid of inventory. You may also need to hire additional employees to accommodate for the bigger space. Determine exactly how operations are going to run the smoothest during the transition and make accommodations accordingly. Getting rid of old inventory before you make the move is a huge help. There is no point in moving closeouts and overstock if you won’t be needing it.
4. Create A Layout. Using lean manufacturing principles, create a space that serves you better, ensuring If your equipment and tools are arranged in a way that promotes less wasted energy and more coordination. If you don’t do this you will soon be getting rid of old inventory again because you didn’t fix your problems. This is an excellent opportunity to audit how the old location worked well or had drawbacks. Initiate changes that will promote a more productive environment, leading to improved output and happier employees. At the same time you will have less overstock and fewer closeouts to deal with.
5. Prepare For Emergencies. An emergency can strike during a warehouse move just as or even more easily than at other times. Overstock inventory and closeouts are being moved, employees are working outside their usual roles and stress levels may be high—prime conditions for an accident. That’s why it’s on you and your employees to ensure everyone is prepared for the worst. Also, when you liquidate a 3PL there may be machinery and equipment moving which can also create accidents. Liquidators and closeout companies are prone to accidents, no different than any other industry.
Emergency preparedness is particularly important if you’re moving hazardous materials. Keep a copy of the Emergency Response Guidebook on hand and make sure employees know the emergency response procedures for any hazardous materials present. Label all hazardous materials with the appropriate hazmat label, and make sure transportation vehicles are equipped with hazmat placards.
Merchandise USA is a wholesale closeout buyer specializing in liquidation, overstock and excess inventory.