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Choosing a New Distribution Facility

Choosing a New Distribution Facility

Consider These Physical Factors for Your Next DC

If your business is doing well and continuing to grow, it might be time to move to a new facility. This is an exciting opportunity for growth, but you might be struggling to find the right place.

Cost and location are the most obvious things to consider, but they should not be the only factors on your mind. Think about the following physical factors when you are choosing a new distribution facility:

Clear Height

Clear height is defined as the usable height to which a tenant can store its product or racking. 40 years ago, most buildings were designed to have clear heights under 20 feet. Modern warehousing practices brought with them a demand for greater clear heights.

Newer warehouses are being built with clear heights of up to 36 feet. Depending on how much product you expect to move through your warehouse, you may want a 32 to 36 foot clear height. A 36 ft clear height can increase capacity, allowing you to choose a smaller floor area and pay less rent. A variation in clear height of even a few feet can drastically change what your team is able to do in the new warehouse.

Column Spacing

Column Spacing is a significant aspect of your warehouse’s design because it affects material handling equipment design and capacity. Remember that your pallet rack design options are dependent on the column spacing you are working with. You should carefully consider this in any facility you are looking at.

The modern material handling equipment industry has come out with a number of great innovations. These innovations have changed how the typical warehouse is laid out. Many companies have implemented NA, or narrow aisles. Some have gone with VNA, or very narrow aisles. Rack designs typically have anywhere from 5-ft to 11-ft aisles as a result.

When looking at a new facility for your company, consider your storage needs. The wrong column spacing can really inhibit what you are able to do.

Facility Orientation

The positioning of your new building is extremely important. A warehouse’s orientation can help or hurt its productivity. Consider how important speed and ease is when moving product. Will the shape of the building allow for maximum product flow? Consider any restrictions or obstructions, such as oddly placed columns or interior walls.

Pay attention to the number of dock doors and where they are located. Could you create more as needed? Compare and contrast this facility with your current one. It should be equal to or better when it comes to product flow.

In Conclusion

The layout of your building will affect your company’s success moving forward in a new facility. While the above factors are not everything you should look for in a new warehouse, they should be considered very carefully. A suitable new facility is a wonderful opportunity to grow your company.

Pflow can help you get a handle on optimizing your distribution facility. Reach out to us today for more information!

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