Whilst temporary buildings are our specialism, there are other ways to increase your operational space. It’s a big decision, so read our tips here first!
In spite of some gloomy predictions, UK consumer confidence has improved and economic data is encouraging. This means there is scope for businesses to grow and, as a result, they will quite likely need more space to expand into.
But how do you acquire more warehousing and storage space? It isn’t something you do every day and the decision could have far-reaching consequences on how you run your business, so we’ve listed below 10 options you could consider.
1. Hire a warehouse off-site
Leasing off-site is a fast and hassle free way of obtaining more warehouse or storage space. Additional costs such as transport and staffing will need to be factored in, as well as potential issues with traceability of stock and longer lead times. Unfortunately though, this isn’t as easy as it once was, due to the lack of quality space available following an increase in demand, at least partly due to the rise in internet shopping.
2. Use an existing building
Perhaps you have a building on site that could be repurposed for use as warehouse or storage space? If you are able to clear some space for handling and storage purposes, it is probably the most cost effective solution, certainly in the short term.
3. Extend an existing building
Extending an existing warehouse or storage unit can be done in one of two ways. One is to get the builders and architects in to plan and build a permanent extension. This does take time, which is probably what you don’t want to hear if the space is needed in a hurry. An quicker option is to use a temporary structure of the type Aganto can offer, which is linked to the existing building and which will provide more operational space. This option is significantly faster and cheaper than a permanent extension. See more info here.
4. Build a new building
This option requires a high degree of certainty about the future because this would be a significant investment. Planning permissions would need to be obtained, then it could take 6 to 12 months for the building to be ready for operation, so you might need to make alternative arrangements in the interim. It is obviously important that this building is fully used as it has to pay for itself and not be a drain on resources.
5. Relocate to a new site
If your business is growing and expanding, then often relocation might be a better option. If you are confident about your long-term business plan, then the sooner you bite the bullet, the better perhaps, although you need to be prepared for a significant impact on operational activity before, during and after the move and of course you’ll need to consider the impact on your staff if you move their place of work.
6. Buy an additional site
Buying a new site to run alongside your existing one is another way of expanding, obviously requiring considerable investment and time commitment, although much less than a complete relocation. You would need to consider the operational issues though, i.e. how would you split your business between the two sites and how much interaction would there need to be – if there is a high level of interaction, then of course the closer they are located, the better.
7. Utilise space in a building on another site
For a short term warehousing space need, if your company has multiple sites you may be able to draw on spare capacity in another area. Locations for your temporary warehouse might not be as close as you’d like, so transport and lead times could be an issue. But, it’s simple and cost effective keeping everything in-house.
8. Change the layout of your existing warehouse
Carrying out an audit on how your existing warehouse is run could lead to all kinds of improvements. Reducing aisle width, increasing vertical space and reducing inventories for example, could help improve efficiency and create more space. To do it properly takes time and we all know no one likes change so persistence and patience might be needed to reinforce new ways of working with staff.
9. Hire a temporary warehouse building on-site
The fastest way to increase warehouse space is to install a temporary warehouse on site, assuming of course that you have the space and there is hard standing available to erect it on. Hiring gives flexibility as the building can be used short or long term with the option to buy if it becomes a more permanent resource. Installing a temporary warehouse on-site comes with an easy and quick build and dismantle process which means the space can go back to its original use very easily. Aganto have helped a huge number of UK business to expand their space in this way, so we know it’s an excellent choice for many businesses. See some warehouse building case studies here.
10. Use trailers as storage
One low cost option is to use trailers as temporary storage. It is probably not ideal for everyone, as space is restricted, but could be an option to store excess stock or materials, in the short term.
Making the decision to expand your operational space
The factors influencing the decision to take on more space are many and quite specific to your individual business. These include how long the extra capacity is needed for, the budget available and when or why the space is needed. Immediate need such as after a warehouse fire or an unexpected new order can mean that the time available for carefully thought out planning is at a premium.
A temporary warehouse building or extension is, in our view, an excellent option for short or long term space needs. To speak to an Aganto temporary buildings expert, please give us a call.