When additional warehousing or storage capacity is required there are many options a company can take, each with differing pros and cons. When extra capacity or a change to existing warehousing configuration is required in a recession the pros and cons need to be taken more seriously, particularly in relation to cost, risk and commitment.
So, just what choices are there ?
First option might be to consider a new build on site as an investment solution. If cash flow and growth are strong this might be a worthwhile consideration. In a recession, however, it is risky and scores high on cost, risk and commitment.
Secondly, what buildings, facilities and space you currently have? Would a refurbishment of existing facilities and some site reconfiguration create the warehousing space you require?
Refurbishment and improvement projects can become problematical when operational capacity is affected. This is when you need a temporary building. With the ability to deliver and install in days a temporary building can provide the essential replacement warehousing, storage or operational space while existing buildings are out of action. Once you have your new warehouse the temporary building can easily be dismantled and returned. You would never know it had been there.
Our third warehousing option is a temporary off-site warehouse. In a recession good deals can be had as more and more warehouses stand empty and unused. That said, there are disadvantages to hiring off-site. Security is a key issue. Although no one with ‘sort after’ or valuable goods would choose a warehousing site that was slack on security, you can’t beat knowing everything is under one roof – yours! Many companies choose to retain warehousing on site for this reason alone. Furthermore, although sq m charges of off-site warehouses may look appealing there are, as always, hidden costs. The additional transport costs will add up, not to mention the logistical headache of co-ordinating the two sites and relevant staff.
Although this option scores low on risk and commitment, the costs could sting when they eventually show themselves!
If all these options are non-appealing you could consider a complete relocation to the ‘perfect’ site with the ‘perfect’ warehouse. This option is of course a very last resort and would need a strong portfolio of other business reasons to warrant it. Not to mention the fact that it goes off the scale on our cost, risk and commitment measure. ‘Risk’ is probably the strongest contender here with the possibility of customer and employee losses through major change causing insecurity and mistrust.
Thankfully, there is a fifth option that eliminates the costs of off-site hiring and the risk and commitment of building or relocating. If you can hire a temporary on-site warehouse for a short period during a refurbishment project, why not hire one longer term? In these current times of economic uncertainty this option barely registers on our measure allowing companies to quickly and easily expand warehousing space with no capital outlay, no commitment and low cost.
The benefits come with the simplicity; light, modular and quick to fit or dismantle buildings anchor to the ground as opposed to requiring civil works. As a longer-term warehouse however they still fit the bill meeting all British Standards for structural integrity equivalent to a permanent building and coming with a ten year guarantee on the aluminium frames.
During this recession a temporary on-site warehouse is most certainly the best option when so many businesses are unable to foresee or predict future growth.
Once we start to move out of the recession temporary on-site warehouses still have an important role to play for UK businesses. Keeping a business lean and mean on low overheads and the ability to expand and retract operations at the drop of a hat will keep you healthy and ahead of the competition in recession, recovery or growth.