It has been a year since we moved from our old warehouse in ‘normal 2019’ into our larger facility and how quickly its gone. Let me take you back to when we realised we needed to move and the reasons behind it. Back in early 2019 it became obvious that we needed to move, we had simply outgrown our previous warehouse with nearly as many pallets on the floor as on the racks and it was bursting at the seams. It had become harder to find and access products which in turn was affecting our ability to deliver on time and causing headaches all round. We had become a victim of our own success.
We had seen an increase of ~25% over 2018-19 in the number of pallets we handled and with the first stage of BREXIT we were doing twice as many deliveries for our major customer.
After looking at Unit 3 itself to see if we could improve the racking and number of pallets spaces, we realised just how much we had outgrown the space. Not just size wise but also the unit wasn’t suitable for our needs as the business grew.
We needed a site with its own loading yard to ensure safety and speed for loading operations, and we needed additional space to store and process the increased stock. A site was identified not to far from our main offices with 7750sft of warehouse space although at the time is was a disused skate park (Area25), it needed a lot of work and wouldn’t be ready until the end of Summer 2019 but we needed to make a decision and act fast which is what we did. This aligned with a move to an automated WMS ProSku (warehouse management system) so the 2 projects were merged and became one.
We contacted SEC Storage who specialise in data-driven intelligent warehouse solutions and through their in-depth data analysis, designed a bespoke pallet racking solution that maximised the storage capacity of the building with 600+ pallet locations along with dedicated goods IN/OUT areas. A new floor was laid and levelled, the warehouse doors replaced and the office space was gutted and refitted for our graphics department to move into.
It was a team effort from start to finish and everyone played their part in the move. We moved in on the 24th October 2019, we agreed a 1 week freeze of stock and deliveries was with our suppliers and customers to transition from the old unit, bring the new WMS online and start operations from the new Unit. I’d like to say those early days went without a hitch but of course there were teething problems and we had to overcome some initial issues with the WMS and the new location but we did and since then we haven’t looked back certainly our warehouse manager M.Hunter is happy “The combination of the new WMS system and our new warehouse has dramatically increased our efficiency in every aspect, Stock control has become much easier, we are able to fulfil orders on time for our customers and if needed we are able to provide more truck loads per week to our customers”.
A.Birt Operations Systems and Process Manager.