Are you considering or undergoing a factory relocation?
Anyone who has done it knows that it’s no easy task, and anyone who’s thought about it probably knows that it’s daunting to even consider. After all, these are just a few of the factors to take into account when relocating:
- Finding the right facility
- Breaking down, moving, and re-installing machinery and equipment
- Minimizing downtime
- Penetrating a new market and customer base
- Personnel changes
Despite those challenges, the benefits of relocating your factory can be numerous and far-reaching. In fact, many of those perceived hurdles offer benefits, when done properly and approached with the right mindset.
In this piece, we’ll expound on the benefits of relocating your factory, as well as ways to make it easier once you start the process.
Why Relocate Your Factory?
No small undertaking, factory relocation still offers immense benefits once you overcome the initial challenges (later in this piece, we’ll cover ways to efficiently address those challenges). Those benefits include:
The right amount of space for your operations
Whether you’re moving into a bigger or smaller facility, finding the right footprint and space for your operations will yield major efficiency and cost benefits. If your business is growing, more space means more room for machinery to increase production and meet your customers’ demands.
If you’ve downsized to match production with your market demands, reducing the size of your space will yield savings in facility costs and overhead, giving your bottom line a boost.
A new machinery layout
Moving machinery within your facility is time-consuming and labor intensive, and results in downtime. However, as your operations change, your current layout may become less efficient than it could be.
Too often, ops managers accept these inefficiencies rather than moving machinery to re-optimize the layout. In a facility relocation, the opportunity to improve, and future-proof, your equipment layout is inherent in the process.
Access and proximity to customers
Moving closer to your existing customer base can benefit you in several areas — shorter delivery times, lower shipping costs and an overall improvement in customer service. You also gain the potential for competitive advantages such as hosting or attending events in the community, and being able to easily visit customer facilities (and vice versa).
Moreover, a location change can help you tap into a new customer base that you hadn’t previously been able to address.
A location change means a new talent pool to tap into, which can be a major benefit when expanding your operations. A different geographic area also gives you the chance to backfill positions that may have remained open for some time, offering the opportunity to introduce more capabilities into your operations.
By moving closer to a major transportation hub or artery, you can make a major impact on your shipping and fulfillment costs to customers, as well as your material and other expenditures. Highways, ports and air cargo hubs can all yield benefits in this area, and every mile makes a difference.
Many states and municipalities offer advantageous terms for bringing jobs and business to the area. Research the various tax benefits available, and whether those locations would be a good fit for your facility.
Utility costs vary by city and state, based on numerous factors. Relocating to an area where utility costs are lower than your current location will reduce your overhead costs, sometimes significantly — more than paying back the relocation investment over time.
Factory Relocation Tips
With those benefits in mind, factory relocation may now seem a more attractive proposition than ever. If you’re considering a relocation — or are ready to make the move — these tips can help facilitate an organized, efficient and effective transition:
Take an inventory assessment
It’s important to know not just what you have and where it’s going, but also whether everything needs to make the trip. Objectively assess your equipment inventory and determine whether each piece is needed, and if it’s more cost-effective to move something or purchase it new for the new location.
Take the time to optimize the new layout
As mentioned above, a factory relocation is also an opportunity to re-organize your machinery layout and the flow of the floor. Do not take this opportunity for granted, as it is essentially a “freebie” that comes with your move, for which you will rarely have the opportunity again.
Determine the optimal flows for people, inventory, workpieces and equipment, and consider whether you’ll be adding more machinery in the future.
By necessity, machinery will need to be shut down to move from one facility to the next. Develop a logistics plan with your contractor and personnel to optimize the move and minimize downtime as much as possible.
Keep safety in mind
Anytime heavy machinery is in motion, risks are present. Be sure that your personnel remain safe, and that your moving contractor conducts a safety session to prevent injury to anyone involved in the move. Professional relocation services such as Packimpex Mannheim can make your move smooth, safe and efficient.
With these benefits and tips in mind, you’re well-equipped to make an informed decision about relocating your factory — and you’ll know how to do so efficiently.
Author bio: With a background in integrated business and engineering, and seven years of experience at a financial software company, Jared Gray started CNC Exchange— a new division of Gray Machinery Company that focuses on high-quality CNC machine tools. Jared has been at Gray Machinery Company since 2015.