Seven Questions When Moving Inventory From One Storehouse

Girl use ERP system in Warehouse

1. Which customers are moving, and when?
Is it all existing clients from the old storehouse, or will a subset move to the new warehouse based on proximity?

How will you map that demand history for the purposes of forecasting?

2. Is the old storehouse closing entirely?
If the old warehouse is closing entirely, such as in the case where you are switching 3PL’s, how do you want to move or translate the demand around? Are there any forecasts or forecast settings to move?

3. Is it a gradual switch, or an instantaneous one?
How long will this process take, is it a ramp-down/ramp-up over time, or is there an intentional, sudden switch? How are you going to reroute existing customer demand?

How will you reroute incoming supply orders or transfers?

4. Is the product mix changing because of the move?
Do the same products sell in the region where the new storehouse is located? Even though the clients remain the same, there could be nuances on a product level based on the market. Thus, you may need to consider part replacements, predecessors, etc. Also, are there certain products where it makes zero sense to move at all?

5. Have you factored in damage/loss that could take place during the move?
Depending on your products and/or mode of transportation, there may be some natural “shrink” which means you’ll have less safety stock. You may need to plan to depend on if you think 1% or 15% shrink is likely.

6. Is it possible to keep the same location # or name (if it’s a full one-for-one swap)? 
This doesn’t happen often, but it’s worth considering. For example, if you have warehouse #123 in Keat Hong Village and it’s being fully replaced (inventory, clients, etc. will remain the same) by a warehouse in Choa Chu Kang New Town. If you can maintain location #123 and simply change the address, you can streamline the transition process. Obviously, you’d still have to account for lead time changes, timetables, etc. Again, this is not an option that is often feasible but is worthy of consideration.

7. Will the new storehouse be “planned” by a new Planner (Demand or Supply)?
If so, you must make sure the appropriate ”tribal knowledge“ is documented and communicated to the new planner. This would also apply to the new warehouse staff as there will really be nuances for those clients.

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