When companies move their storage operation to another location, it presents them with particular logistical challenges: The removal should be carried out with no supply bottlenecks or delivery difficulties. There is often the additional challenge of having to complete the move during ongoing business activities. Every removal process is naturally different, but the same applies in each case: The right planning is critical to the success of the project. In order to keep any operational restrictions or downtimes to an absolute minimum, it is important that the storage technology is moved without any errors and above all else swiftly.
In most cases, moving a warehouse is a highly demanding logistical task and requires perfect coordination. It is different to when a service provider moves premises, because machinery, storage units, and heavy equipment also have to be relocated. Transporting expensive units and machinery in particular requires trained personnel and the right transport equipment so that they can be set up in the new location without any problems. There are many different reasons why a warehouse may have to be relocated:
- Growth and an increase in capacity
- Optimization of the storage space
- Relocation of the entire company
- The opening of an additional site with partial relocation
- The rental agreement for the warehouse has ended
For the purposes of the move, a distinction must be made between the storage units and the goods stored in them. While the latter can be transported individually or in containers to the new location, the machinery generally has to be dismantled before it can be transported to the new hall and reassembled. During this period, a temporary storage location is needed, where the goods can be kept secure for a short while.
Do-it-yourself vs. outsourcing to external Teams
For all their technological excellence, storage systems are especially known for their robustness and resilience, because they are intensively used and permanent demands are made on them. On the one hand, this makes the removal operation easier, because the units aren’t so easily damaged and in the vast majority of cases are designed to be dismantled and reinstalled. However, care must be taken to ensure that the machinery continues to function properly once the move is completed.
That is why the machinery should only be dismantled and reassembled by qualified engineers. Many manufacturers offer their customers specially trained teams to organize the move in order to ensure that any warranties remain intact. If the machinery is moved by unauthorized companies, mistakes may be made, which can be costly and can also invalidate the warranty under certain circumstances. In addition to the lost capital, it also costs the affected company time and creates a lot of hassle. A manufacturer’s removal service generally includes the following:
- Supervision by a project team before, during, and after the move
- Use of special equipment to ensure the safe and smooth relocation of the storage system
- Adjustment of units if there are any structural differences (e.g. changing the height of the storage units)
- Professional dismantling, packing, transport, and reassembly of the system
- Maintenance of units and checks performed to ensure they are in good working order after being recommissioned
- Technical service in the event of any problems after the move
Different types of relocation
There are various kinds of warehouse relocation, which mainly differ in terms of the distance that needs to be bridged between the original and new Location.
Warehouse relocation within a building or to an adjoining new building: Internal processes and the associated warehousing operation are subject to constant change within companies. Logistics spaces are optimized, extended, or completely reconfigured within existing buildings. If the units are being relocated within the same building or to a place in the immediate vicinity, under certain conditions they can be shifted with the help of special equipment and qualified service engineers without having to be dismantled. This makes the move very much easier during ongoing business activities and it can be carried out more quickly. As a result, processes are less affected, relocation costs are cut, and the new storage capacity can be used earlier. The main difficulty lies in ensuring that the process of shifting the units is managed as smoothly as possible with no accidents.
Relocation within the same country: Whether moving to a new warehouse with bigger capacity or outsourcing the warehousing operation to an external service provider, a move over longer distances is far more complex than relocating to a place nearby. In addition to ensuring the accident-free transport of the goods and storage units over the long distance, organizing a temporary storage solution for the goods is a more complex task. It is also much more difficult to keep the business operation running during a move over long distances, because the supply routes grow on the same scale.
Whether performed by in-house experts or a team overseeing the process on the side of the storage unit manufacturer, the following steps are necessary for ensuring that the relocation of the storage systems is also a success over longer distances:
- Involve all parties in the planning of the new storage capacity
- Inspect the new facilities
- Organize the transport chain and interim storage of goods
- Dismantle, pack, transport, and reassemble the systems using trained specialists
Relocation abroad: The fundamental challenges are not that different from those associated with relocating to a place within the same country. Additional country-specific requirements must be considered, such as official regulations, the necessary certification, and differences in safety regulations. International project managers with the requisite experience of relocating machinery abroad and teams provided by the manufacturer should be used here. After all, nothing is more annoying than being refused an operating license for a new warehouse due to an unknown Regulation.