Having just completed the plans for our new warehouse, I can say that we’ve learned many things. It’s a daunting task that takes much more time and money than expected. We’ve been planning for at least eight years. Initially, we contemplated building onto our current warehouse, but some of the property restrictions made that a very expensive option. So, we began looking for another property. After we purchased a property, it took several years to get approval for the additional traffic flow that we would create. Then we encountered difficulties getting our tents classified properly so as not to require a ridiculously large, expensive sprinkler system. However, that is now behind us and construction is moving forward.
So, what are the key takeaways for a rental company planning to build a new warehouse? Plan ahead. Plan ahead. Plan ahead! This will allow you to have your new location ready before you outgrow your old location. Also, be sure to plan for any new types of inventory that you may add in the future. Another important item for us was the tent washing and drying area. Previously, we did most of our tent washing outdoors. We’re looking forward to being able to handle it indoors in all kinds of weather. We planned a space for our Teeco 5000 tent washer and a 50’ x 100’ area that is 40’ tall to hang our tents to dry. We also buried two large tanks to store rainwater runoff. This has two purposes: it saves on water costs and we are able to have “soft” water which is better for washing tents and trucks. The showroom is another important facet of designing a new warehouse. Be sure that customers can find it easily. This is your first impression for customers. Make it a good one.
On the practical side, the details are important. The cost of heating and cooling is high. So, be sure to insulate the building well. Plenty of electrical outlets are also worth the cost. It’s much more expensive to add them later. Deciding on lighting can be another difficult decision with a plethora of options. LED lighting uses very little power, but has a high initial cost. Other types of lighting are cheaper to purchase, but more expensive to operate. We also placed large windows strategically to allow natural daylight to light the warehouse. Another option is Wi-Fi. It can reduce costs on cellular data if smartphones use Wi-Fi. It also gives you flexibility to add more computers later. However, it’s best to run network cables to computers instead of using Wi-Fi whenever possible. Pallet racking and forklifts are another decision that requires a lot of planning. Will most of your equipment fit onto standard pallets or will you need some wider aisle for oversized items? The width of your aisles can have a big impact on your building size.
As the building begins to take shape, it’s a relief to have the planning behind us, and it’s exciting to look forward to a larger, more convenient warehouse. Feel free to contact me with any questions at http://tentsforrent.net or follow the status of our building here.
Tents For Rent LLC
110 Woodcorner Rd
Lititz, PA 17543