During this time of pandemic and unpredictable consumer demand, many retailers and consumer goods companies are seeing their businesses undergo radical change. While some of the traditional ways of distribution continue to exist, they’re on the decline, and are being replaced by more online shopping. This change may require firms to put up new distribution facilities, in order to continue supporting traditional methods of order fulfillment, while also planning for an uncertain future.
When engaging in facility location planning, companies first must undertake the design of the new operation — not the building. It’s essential to know how the facility will function over the next five to seven years, before it can be correctly sized.
Deciding on the right site or building can also be a timely and costly task, especially if mistakes are made at this early stage. Whether customizing an existing facility or building a new one, companies need to be aware of the following key considerations during the planning phase:
The decision to move into a new distribution facility, whether an existing building or one that’s custom-built, is a momentous one. It might only happen once or twice in the lifetime of a distribution operation, and it needs to be taken seriously. You’ll be living with that decision for years to come.
Steve Simonson is Vice President of Tompkins International.
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