Planning or planning a plant change?
Anyone who’s done it knows it’s no easy feat, and anyone who’s thought about it probably knows it’s daunting to even think about. Finally, these are just some of the factors to consider when moving house:
- Find the right facility
- Dismantling, transport and reinstallation of machines and systems
- Minimize downtime
- Development of a new market and customer base
- Personnel changes
Despite these challenges, the benefits of relocating your factory can be numerous and far-reaching. In fact, many of these perceived hurdles offer benefits if done right and addressed with the right mindset.
In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of relocating your factory and ways to make it easier once you start the process.
Why relocate your factory?
No small feat, relocating a factory still offers immense benefits once you overcome the initial challenges (later in this article we will cover ways to efficiently address these challenges). These benefits include:
The right space for your business
Whether you are relocating to a larger or smaller facility, finding the right footprint and location for your operation will result in significant efficiency and cost benefits. As your business grows, more space means more space for machines to increase production and meet the needs of your customers.
If you’ve downsized your production facility to match production with your market needs, reducing your floor space translates into savings in facility costs and overhead, which increases your bottom line.
A new machine layout
Moving machines around your facility is time consuming, labor intensive and results in downtime. However, as your operations change, your current layout can become less efficient than it could be.
Too often, operations managers accept these inefficiencies instead of moving machines to re-optimize the layout. When relocating, the opportunity to improve and future-proof your device layout is inherent in the process.
Access and proximity to customers
Getting closer to your existing customer base can benefit you in several areas – faster delivery times, lower shipping costs, and an overall improvement in customer service. You also get the potential for competitive advantages like hosting or attending community events and easily visiting customer facilities (and vice versa).
In addition, a relocation can help you tap into a new customer base that you were previously unable to target.
Access to Manpower
A relocation means a new talent pool to tap into, which can be a huge advantage when expanding your business. A different geographic area also gives you the opportunity to fill positions that may have been open for some time and gives you the opportunity to introduce more skills into your operation.
access to infrastructure
By moving closer to a major transportation hub or artery, you can significantly impact your customer shipping and fulfillment costs, materials and other expenses. Motorways, ports and air freight hubs can all bring benefits in this area, and every kilometer makes a difference.
Many states and municipalities offer favorable conditions for attracting jobs and companies to the region. Find out about the various tax benefits available and whether these locations would be a good fit for your facility.
Utilities vary by city and state and are based on numerous factors. Moving to an area where utility costs are lower than your current location will reduce your overheads, sometimes significantly – more than the relocation investment will recoup over time.
Factory relocation tips
With these benefits in mind, factory relocation now seems more attractive than ever. If you’re considering a move—or are ready to make the move—these tips can help facilitate an organized, efficient, and effective transition:
Take an inventory
It is important to know not only what you have and where you are going, but also if everything is needed for the trip. Evaluate your equipment inventory objectively and determine if each part is needed and if it is more cost-effective to move or buy new for the new location.
Take the time to tweak the new layout
As mentioned above, a factory move is also an opportunity to reorganize your machine layout and the flow of the floor. Don’t take this opportunity for granted as it is essentially a “giveaway” that comes with your move that you will rarely have the opportunity to do again.
Determine the optimal flows for people, inventory, work pieces, and equipment, and consider adding more machines in the future.
Machines must inevitably be shut down in order to switch from one system to the next. Develop a logistics plan with your contractor and staff to streamline the move and minimize downtime as much as possible.
Anytime heavy machinery is in motion, there are risks. Make sure your staff stays safe and that your mover conducts a safety session to prevent injury to anyone involved in the move. Professional moving services like Packimpex Mannheim make your move smooth, safe and efficient.
With these benefits and tips, you’ll be well-equipped to make an informed decision about relocating your factory – and know how to do it efficiently.
Author’s biography: 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 focused on high quality CNC machine tools. Jared has been with Gray Machinery Company since 2015.