Warehouses are filling up as the Christmas peak looms

In uncertain times, temporary warehousing space can be a real benefit, either with a temporary building or by using one of the growing number of services that enable companies to take on temporary space at short notice.

Charlie Pool, chief executive of Stowaga, says: “Companies that experience seasonal peaks such as Black Friday and Christmas period where there is a surge in customer demand would benefit from temporary warehouse space. Sometimes temporary warehousing is useful for organisations who need to react to something, like fashion trends for example. Temporary warehousing can also be helpful in emergency situations where supply chains have to be built in quick response. Companies cannot afford to have their supply chains limited by warehousing constraints, so temporary storage is useful.”

Inflatable Technology

Dawsongroup recently acquired Tectoniks which designs and manufactures the latest generation of portable event, military and industrial structures, based on a new inflatable technology, developed in-house.

Rod Benham, managing director of Dawsongroup temperature control solutions says: “We find the most common needs are to facilitate new customers or to upturn in orders from existing customers. It doesn’t matter if additional space is used for storage, assembly, picking or packing, the number one priority speed. In today’s markets customers do not wait, they can’t afford to, so people need a rapid solution. The simple fact is that missed opportunities may not come again” Pool points out that an inflatable warehouse can be put up in hours and serves well for the events industry where the structure might only be needed for a matter of days.

“On the other hand, you have more industrial scale temporary structures which might be up for weeks or months at a time. The agriculture sector is a great example of this, where a farm may need to store more crops under cover for a few months at a time” he says.

Process Flow

“With ever increasing pressure on margins, efficient process flow is key, so one of the greatest advantage for logistics is the ability to place temporary buildings where they are the most needed. Although the portal frame system has inherent flexibility in this respect, this is where the inflatable solution will often have the upper hand as they are so much easier to move should the situation change and few things are more certain than that at some stage they will, says Benham.

One of the key factors in this market is the speed with which the space can become available. This varies quite dramatically depending on the type of structure.

Benham says that while inflatables can be erected very quickly, portable frame systems will take from six to eight weeks. The ROI “really depends on who you choose as your temporary building supplier. The right partner will offer a proper consultation service, not just a quick quote, to ensure they have a true understanding of your business – and, just as important, that you have a true understanding of your understanding of the features and benefits of the available of the available structures that might meet your immediate and longer-term needs”

“They will collaborate fully with your internal team to understand your processes to ensure any proposed solutions suits your business perfectly, thus maximising your ROI. For the right solutions, we have seen investment returned with just a year or so on some installations, but be wary of looking solely atcash returns. The right installation, in the right place and planned well, can save thousands of man hours, resulting in un expected savings in labour and massive increases in efficiency,” says Benham.