The economic indicators have been fairly consistent, apart from the odd blip, in showing that the economy is growing and as a consequence, businesses will be looking to expand as well. The requirement for more capacity for production or storage means companies will be looking around to find the best option for their operational needs. There are a few options to consider when deciding the best way to increase operational space beyond the obvious traditional building.
A quick way to get more space is to lease a warehouse off site, which on the face of it, is the least expensive option. Multiple site operations however bring their own problems as additional costs such as logistics, stock control, security and staffing have to be factored in to establish the viability of the project. It might be a short term solution but it is probably not viable as part of a long term strategy.
A new traditionally built warehouse adjacent to existing buildings may be the preferred option, but the problems facing a business when building a new permanent structure involve cost and time. A new building is expensive to construct and materials and labour costs are significant and are increasing, thanks in part to an improving economy, and represent a long term financial commitment. The time taken up by the project would also have to be factored in such as obtaining planning permission, groundworks, architect’s fees etc. as well as the disruption such a building would cause for the construction period. It may be that, in the long run, this is the preferred option, but there are other alternatives worthy of consideration.
Prefabricated Warehouses – A Viable Alternative
A steel building erected on site is a robust and durable alternative to a traditional building. As they are prefabricated there is a cost saving in build time, however, as with a traditional building there is a need for groundworks to support the structure. The weight of a steel building means that the building has an engineer designed concrete slab to support the building, particularly taking into account the environment in which it is being placed.
By far the most economical solution is an aluminium framed temporary building. One thing to clear up is that these buildings are called “temporary” because they can be dismantled and relocated, not because they have a short life span. The advantages of this type of building against other options are that they offer a saving on all the cost areas of other buildings. For example no specific groundworks are required, only hard standing to erect the building on. The level of disruption to the business is minimal with a build lasting just 3-4 days. The lead time for getting the building on site is typically 2-3 weeks, which means it can be adding value to a business much faster than other building types.
A temporary building is inherently cheaper than traditional or steel framed buildings which, coupled with the reduced building and installation costs as well as minimal disruption to the existing business, makes it an attractive proposition to many businesses. On a purely financial basis the case is made for these buildings, and there is an added advantage in that they can be hired to reduce any capital exposure.
Deciding on the best way to cope with business expansion can be a headache, but it is preferable to the alternative! All of the options above have their merits and at least a choice can be made that suits a particular strategic plan. A temporary building does have significant advantages both in cost and time over other types of building, so it is worth considering them as part of any expansion plans.