Most companies go through the process of looking for a warehouse at least once a year, but very few talk about it. It takes a lot of research and sometimes a logistics expert to figure out the ins and outs of the process, and understand what makes the perfect warehouse. You might find “a” warehouse, but quality issues are common and can cost you your inventory, or worse, get you a fine.
There are multiple factors that you should consider when looking for a warehouse to ensure it fits both your budget and quality standards. These factors can be unique ones related to the type of items you’re planning to store, or ones related to specific requirements (and there are many!). Either way, we’ll discuss 5 things you definitely need to think about before renting a warehouse.
5 things to consider before saying yes to a warehousing deal
First things first, consider the type of items you need to store. Storing furniture is different from storing packages, which is also different from storing food or cosmetics. Once you define everything you need to store, now you can start to figure out the size, and the temperature of the warehouse you need.
If your items are shipped to the warehouse on pallets, then you can calculate the space easily using the pallets' dimensions and quantity.
Common pallet size is: 1.2 x 1.5 x 1 meter. Let’s say you have 7 pallets total, then the dimensions of the space that you need is: 1.2 X 1.5 X 1 X 7 = 12.6 cubic meters.
*Your pallet's dimensions can vary, so make sure to double-check it. You can also provide us with the details and we'll help you estimate the size of the space you need! These details include pallets dimensions and quantity, and box dimensions and quantity.
If your items don't come on pallets, it’s unfortunately not as straightforward, but you should keep the purchase order handy and either contact the warehousing company for assistance or visit the warehouse to estimate the space needed.
In Sirdab, we provide both pallet storage and floor space for any type of inventory you have. Contact us with the purchase order or an Excel file with all the details, and we'll take it from there! No need to visit the warehouse.
If your items are registered in the Saudi Food & Drugs Authority, then you probably have temperature requirements. Check here for more details.
At Sirdab, we provide warehouses at varying temperatures to fit your needs.
There are two "elephants in the room" when it comes to cost, which are space rental and labor costs.
When you're thinking of renting a storage space for your business, multiple questions should come to mind:
• Do you need a short-term or long-term rental? Multiple companies only offer one or the other, so if you're storing items essential to your operations (like the main products or packaging materials), then you most likely need a long-term rental. If you're storing temporary items for a specific project, then you can get away with short-term rental.
• Are you storing "moving" or "non-moving" items? For example, if you have items you consistently need for catering or a recurring event, or perhaps ones related to your day-to-day operations, then you have "moving" items, and you need a warehouse that accommodates inventory delivery or pick up at convenient times. However, if you’re planning to “set it and forget it” then you have non-moving items and this is less of a concern for you.
• Do you expect drastic changes in your supply throughout the year? Some items are more seasonal than others, and demand for them can be very high or very low at specific points throughout the year. To save money, you may need to consider changing up the size of your warehouse to support this variability.
In addition to all of this, the state of your warehouse affects the cost as well. You may need to set up the warehouse with shelves, and purchase a forklift; an essential equipment to carry and store your items.
Sirdab provides with:
• Annual, semiannual, and monthly rental based on your need. Talk to our sales representative to know which one is more suitable for you.
• On-demand storage, which means you can pause and renew your subscription at any time (perfect if you have a temporary need!)
• Pickup or delivery services at the most convenient times for you.
• The flexibility to change your warehouse size to allow you to scale up or down depending on your demand.
• Fully-equipped warehouses to manage your inventory with ease.
Labor costs can get a bit complicated depending on how many workers you need and the tasks required. You may need workers to:
• Pick up items from the suppliers as well as receiving in the warehouse and cross checking with POs.
• Check the quantities and conditions of the items and organize them in the warehouse.
• Package items and deliver them to your desired locations.
• Conduct periodic quality checks to ensure proper packaging and the safety of your inventory.
Sirdab’s labor workers are ready to take this hassle from you and help pick up your inventory, ensure proper quantity and packaging, and perform periodic quality checks based on the most recent requirements and laws. Learn more about how it works here.
In most cases, you will need a dedicated employee, or even a logistic expert, to help keep up with the operations of managing a warehouse. They often need to ensure everything is organized, and all safety and standards measures have been followed by the workers and provided by the warehouse.
A great technology solution can increase the employees’ productivity and help with the mundane tasks to:
Sirdab's digital platform allows you to view every item along with its name and picture, as well as track every pickup or delivery request so you know where each item is at any moment! In addition to that, you can also add all your team members, which makes alignment between teams easier and more efficient.
The location of your warehouse can affect your costs and operations drastically. Make sure your warehouse is inside the city and is in an accessible area. Some areas can be blocked by construction, or on a dirt road. This can be costly if you need your items periodically. It is also important to have CCTV cameras and\or security guards in your warehouse, especially if you have expensive items (electronics, jewelry, etc) to prevent any potential theft.
Sirdab’s warehouses are in strategic locations in major cities like Riyadh, Jeddah, and the eastern province. It’s also equipped with CCTV cameras and security guards 24/7. Despite that, you can use the delivery and pickup services where you are and at the same cost! You can also easily schedule a time to visit or pick up your inventory by yourself during business hours (currently from 8 AM to 9 PM, every day except Friday*).
*Operating hours could change based on the location
An overlooked but very important point! If you choose to get your own warehouse, you have to make sure it has the following required licenses:
• Safety license required by the Directorate General Civil Defence, which is based on Saudi & global safety standards. It costs 150 SAR and you can issue it from here. In order to issue it, you need to fulfill the requirements, which are:
• Municipality licenses. If you choose to build your own warehouse, then you need to follow these safety requirements, which will make you eligible to apply for the license here. You need to issue this license even if you’re renting a warehouse based on your sector’s requirements (full process here, and cost breakdown here). You need to provide the following:
• License required by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority. If you're storing food, cosmetics, medication, etc (full list here). You can check the required licenses and requirements, and then issue the licenses from here.
Sirdab got your back! If you choose a third-party solution like Sirdab, you can skip this step because all of our warehouses are licensed and ready for immediate rentals!