In today’s consumer-driven economy, logistics is a dominating factor. How companies are able to efficiently move raw materials as well as finished goods such as packaged food, electronics, and household goods can have a significant impact on bottom-line results.
The value of a well-run and properly designed warehouse can’t be ignored. When built correctly, these protect inventory and keep a business running smoothly. But warehouse layout begins at the pre-construction phase, not after the foundation has been poured or the roof has been installed.
Here are several factors to consider for the successful layout of your new warehouse before construction begins.
The Cost and Function of Your Warehouse
It makes sense that the cost of your warehouse is going to largely depend on how it is designed. Obviously, there are tradeoffs to choosing the most feature-rich bells and whistles vs. the most economic options. When putting together your warehouse layout from a cost perspective, some of the factors to consider include:
- The breakeven period for your warehouse once it becomes operational. The more features you add, the further out that date will be.
- The estimated revenue per square foot of the warehouse vs. the estimated cost per square foot of the project.
- Various ways that you can finance this project.
Alongside cost, the function of your warehouse is equally as important. You can get a warehouse at the right price, but the layout may not work for you and your business. Some of the function points to consider are:
- How will the warehouse be used (storage, distribution, shipping), and is it set up and located properly for this use?
- How frequently will goods turnover?
- How much administrative space will your warehouse require?
- Are there statutory requirements for such things as refrigeration equipment and food storage?
What Racking System Will You Use?
There are different types of racking systems that you can install in a warehouse, and what you choose can impact the layout and design of your building. Standalone systems are one option. These are flexible because you can move and disassemble them as required.
Other options are integrated and modular systems. An integrated system is part of your structure, so it provides less flexibility, but also allows you to optimize your space. Modular racking systems give you the option of building both outward and upward, but these may not be entirely customizable.
Be Sure to Allow for Expansion
When you design your warehouse, you should always ensure that you are choosing an option that is scalable. Most businesses have the goal of expansion and growth, and this is much simpler if you can scale up your current operations, instead of having to relocate or build a new facility.
Not all types of construction lend themselves to seamless expansion, but pre-engineered metal buildings is a type that does. These are not only highly-durable and sustainable projects, but also easy to expand as your needs evolve.
Warehouse Layout Infrastructure Requirements
The last factors that you should to consider when designing a warehouse prior to construction are what you’ll need for infrastructure. This will apply to your needs on both the external and internal level.
Externally, most warehouses are located along well-traveled routes to ensure access to utility services and major roadways. Depending on your operations, you might also consider proximity to major ports and railroads in the region.
Internally, the warehouse must be designed with adequate wiring, piping, ducting, and processing equipment to process materials efficiently. There are different ways to use conveyor systems and automation within the warehouse, so these choices will impact your design choices.
K-Con, Inc. for Government and Commercial Warehouse Construction
If your business or government body requires warehouse space, K-Con, Inc. specializes in this type of construction. We have completed more than 650 projects across the U.S. and abroad using design-build methods.
No matter what your needs, there’s a good chance that our team has put its expertise to work on a similar project in the past. From state-of-the-art distribution centers to warehouses, storage, and administration facilities, we can design and build a project to meet your needs.
Contact us now to learn more about our services, and we’ll also tell you about our quick turnaround for preliminary drawings and budgets.