The Complete Warehouse Relocation Checklist
Moving to a new warehouse space is no trivial undertaking. Creating a smooth transition plan that moves you into your new space without putting a strain on staff, budget or daily operations is tricky, to say the least.
To help you make the most out of your move, we’ve created a warehouse relocation checklist. In it, we’ve detailed all of the critical tasks you’ll need to complete to ensure your move is painless.
Before You Move
You’ll find that plenty of planning goes into a successful warehouse move. Planning out your move as far in advance as possible will give you more time to get things right and be flexible when you need to — and with a project like this, flexibility is invaluable.
From warehouse racking relocation to getting employees prepared for the move, you need to create a detailed plan covering all aspects of your warehouse relocation.
Assess Current Design and Layout
Before you begin the design and layout process, you’ll need to take stock of your current space.
- Assess key areas of your old warehouse layout for efficiency and storage optimization.
- Storage areas
- Picking areas
- Packing areas
- Shipping locations
- Note all the storage equipment you use and other storage requirements like temperature-controlled environments.
- Make a note of problem areas you’d like to improve (e.g., ensuring you have proper aisle size for forklift operation).
Size Up the New Building and Plan the Footprint
Even if your new location is similar in size to your old space, the shape may be different. Making any plans before you look at the new footprint will waste time and resources.
- Check all new building dimensions (including height).
- Make sure your planned footprint will fit in your new space.
- Consider locations for docking bays, doorways, communal spaces, office spaces and other elements that may impact your design.
- If using current shelving or warehouse pallet racks, make sure you have enough vertical clearance.
- If you plan to expand and use structures like a mezzanine, ensure you have ample clearance space to adhere to OSHA safety regulations.
Leases, Permits, Building Codes and Safety Procedures
The last thing you want is for your warehouse relocation to get stuck in a jumble of red tape. This can cause significant delays to your move, and your daily operations may suffer. Some areas may require you to obtain all permits before you even begin to move, so keeping up with local regulations is important.
- Have you finalized the lease for your new industrial property?
- Are you up to date with building codes and safety procedures that are relevant to the new building?
- Ensure you are familiar with these before you move.
- Have you contacted the proper governing bodies, and are you clear on what they expect of your new facility?
- Have you obtained proper permitting prior to your move? (The earlier you can obtain permits, the better.)
- Are you sure your permits will work with your current design and layout?
- Consider room for sprinkler clearance and other safety features.
Create a Plan
Your plan should be an integral part of your move. A proper plan can limit the confusion and questions on the day of your relocation.
- If you already have your new warehouse plan, go over it carefully and with as much detail as possible.
- Does your plan include:
- Safety considerations? (e.g., evacuation routes, OSHA standards for aisle width, etc.)
- Special considerations? (e.g., hazardous material handling, if applicable)
- Can you use your layout map to demonstrate all processes in your new space?
- Do you have a firm grasp of how a product will move through your new space? (From long-term storage to picking and then to packing, for example.)
- Does your plan include room for growth?
- Ensure all upgrades are manageable. (It’s easy to get overwhelmed with too many changes.)
- Have you obtained quotes from removalists and insurance coverage for relocation?
- Do employees have work schedules ready for the move?
- Do employees understand their responsibilities, if any, during your warehouse transition?
- Do employees have new keys or access cards for the new location?
- Do employees understand the logistics of the new space? (e.g., parking and security protocols)
- Have you detailed and budgeted for all the expenses related to the move in advance?
- Do you plan on overlapping operations during the move?
- If so, have you carefully reviewed and separated operations for both the old and new buildings?
- Have you reviewed any make-good clauses in your lease agreement?
- If so, does your plan include actions that help you meet those requirements? (e.g., repairs, maintenance)
- If you don’t plan to meet these requirements, do you have a new tenant who is happy with your current fit-out?
Keeping track of all your inventory is a critical part of any warehouse transition.
- Do you have a full inventory list of every piece of equipment you intend to move?
- Is your inventory organized and ready for the move?
- Are you sure that every piece of equipment you intend to move is necessary? (Transporting dead or aged inventory can add needless time and costs to your move.)
Change of Address and Other Considerations
Updating all suppliers and appropriate organizations on your new location is key to keeping your operation running smoothly.
- Have you alerted all appropriate parties of your change of address? (e.g., deliveries, suppliers, etc.)
- If you plan to move in stages, have you staggered your alerts?
- Have you reviewed all deliveries and pending orders and changed addresses when necessary?
- Is all company mail forwarded to the new address?
- Have you alerted utility providers (e.g., electricity, phone and internet) of your move?
- Do you have a plan for both disconnection and connection of utilities, including dates?
- Do your customers know about your move and new location?
- Have you announced the relocation on social media, in email newsletters and on the company website?
Day of Move
If you’ve done all your planning, the day of your move shouldn’t be stressful. If you set expectations with your employees and your professional moving team, move day should take place on time and without massive setbacks.
However, you should cushion your time frame to leave room for some flexibility. Even the best plans hit snags along the way, so you should prepare yourself for the reality of a complex move like this.
Establish Roles for the Move
You don’t want to spend your day corralling employees, keeping them on task and directing movers. Establishing roles and responsibilities will expedite the moving process and keep things running smoothly.
- Is every employee active on moving day fully aware of their roles and responsibilities?
- Are they present on move day?
- Have you factored in time and labor costs and how they might affect other operations?
- Will employees fill their temporary roles as easily as their usual jobs?
Using Professional Movers
While an additional expense, professional movers are often an invaluable resource during your move. Not only will a company experienced in these types of moves be familiar with the logistical challenges, but they can tackle complicated tasks like warehouse racking relocation.
- Have you adequately planned and prepared for the movers?
- Are you aware of what equipment, if needed, will need special attention on moving day? (e.g., vertical lift modules, carousels, etc.)
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Preventing Damage and Theft
Damage and theft are often the last things on your mind on move day, but they are very common. Keep your staff on top of inventory and make sure they know the risks.
- Have you established standards for packing everything safely?
- Is everything you intend to move correctly packaged? (This includes items like metal shelving that could be dented during the move.)
- Do you have employees with the specific role of keeping inventory safe and accounted for?
After You’re in Your New Space
Once you’ve moved through most of our warehouse relocation checklist, you should be settling into your new space. But before you break out the champagne, you should allocate some time to tackle a few more required tasks.
Training, Facility Walkthrough and Other Final Tasks
While the move may be behind you, your team may be unfamiliar with the new space. This can have a significant impact on daily operations.
- Does your team understand the new layout and footprint of your facility?
- Have you reviewed safety procedures and emergency protocols?
- Have you conducted a walkthrough of the new space with your team?
- Note any damaged stock, equipment or machinery.
- Does your landlord or real estate agent have appropriate access to the new facility (keys or key cards)?
- Have you finalized the termination of the old lease agreement?
Are You Looking for Reliable Warehouse Movers?
This warehouse relocation checklist should give you a firm grasp of what you should expect before, during and after your move. While you can do quite a lot with the staff you have, partnering with a trusted name in warehouse relocation can help your transition run even smoother.At East Coast Storage Equipment, our team of storage experts has years of experience moving, breaking down and installing all types of storage equipment. We understand all the logistics involved during a warehouse relocation inside and out. If you’re ready to start planning your move, contact us today.