7 Check List Questions When Moving Inventory from One Warehouse to Another

StockIQ recently assisted a customer move all their Inventory from one warehouse to another. It involved a cross-country move, and a slow migration of fulfillment from one facility to another. Through each phase, we uncovered key questions to address and manage in the demand planningsupply chain, and operations side of things.

Check List of Questions to Address

1. Which customers are moving, and when?
Is it all existing customers from the old warehouse, 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 warehouse 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 warehouse is located? Even though the customers 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, there are 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 depending 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 Fresno, CA and it’s being fully replaced (inventory, customers, etc. will remain the same) by a warehouse in Salt Lake City, UT. 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, calendars, etc. Again, this is not an option that is often feasible but is worthy of consideration.

7. Will the new warehouse 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 undoubtedly be nuances for those customers.

Moving, especially moving a large inventory, can be an exciting yet challenging time. Make sure your team is asking the right questions to make the process as streamlined as possible.

Are you looking for a supply chain planning solution that will help you better predict and manage your inventory needs? StockIQ can help solve your supply chain management problems and make your inventory management more efficient. Contact us today for more information about how our products can help improve forecasting, enhance knowledge, and improve your replenishment cycle.

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