Temporary warehouses hold the key to UK growth

By June 9, 2017 Warehousing

Temporary warehouses hold the key to UK growth

Lack of space can be seen as a barrier to growth and the warehousing industry across both the UK and Ireland is currently facing a number of challenges. Diminishing warehouse facilities, increasing competitiveness, rising costs of raw materials, import rises due to a weakened pound and customer demands, are just some of the obstacles firms are now having to navigate. So, could temporary warehouse buildings provide the ideal solution? Leading exponent, Spaciotempo, certainly thinks so.

Whist the numerous warehousing solutions available today – such as third-party warehousing, XXL warehousing and build-to-suit warehousing – have their distinct benefits, they are not without their drawbacks. There is an alternative solution, however, which is growing in popularity and delivering business benefits for the short and long term, for a reasonable investment.  For more than 40 years, Spaciotempo has been delivering a complete solution to industry – temporary warehouses.

Temporary warehouses are typically constructed from aluminium frames, which are fixed to concrete bases to ensure optimum robustness. These temporary structures are clad in single skin steel panels and topped with a thermal insulated roof, consisting of an inflated PVC fabric envelope. In addition, customers have the choice of a range of different doors, including manual roller shutter, electric roller shutter and speed door options, which ensure structures are weather proof and watertight – comparable to any permanent structure.

Temporary warehouses do not come with the kind of capital outlay and scalability limitations of many other warehouse options either. As such, they are rapidly becoming the most effective solution to the UK and Ireland’s warehouse crisis.

Temporary warehouse buildings offer flexibility and scalability

Opting for a temporary warehouse provides businesses with much greater freedom than many of the permanent solutions currently available. Rather than committing to a fixed solution, which restricts and limits development, temporary structures provide much needed flexibility, with buildings designed to individual specifications during the planning stage. Installation is a rapid process, allowing businesses to continue without the risk of disruption to their everyday operations.

One of the major disadvantages of a permanent solution, even with build-to-suit models, is that they remain fixed and are inflexible. Temporary warehousing offers a more scalable solution, which is easily adaptable upon completion, allowing businesses to either up or downscale as demand dictates, providing warehousing managers with additional peace of mind when navigating a rapidly changing climate, and enabling businesses to remain competitive and financially viable.

Once they are no longer required, temporary structures can be taken away or moved elsewhere if reconfiguration of the site is needed, delivering a more cost-effective solution than XXL warehousing and rental schemes; putting control back in the hands of warehouse managers.

Sustainable temporary warehouses for business growth

As availability of commercial space continues to fall, businesses are increasingly looking for options that are not only cost-effective, but provide a practical and genuinely sustainable solution. Latest research from the UK Green Building Council reports that the UK building sector is responsible for almost a quarter of UK waste, producing more than 400 million tonnes per year. Sourcing solutions that do not contribute to this is a critical consideration for the industry.

Temporary warehouses for logistics provide a genuine and scalable solution for businesses concerned with their green credentials, providing a solution that not only helps to save the planet, but business capital too. The nature of temporary buildings means that they are constructed in a fraction of the time of a traditional building, providing around a 65% reduction in energy usage. Once they are no longer required, they can be taken away to be either utilised elsewhere or reconditioned, causing minimal environmental impact.

Temporary warehousing ensures stock remains at optimum levels

The value of good customer service should not be underestimated at any time. However, as markets become increasingly saturated, the degree to which a company can successfully maintain and develop its customer relationships becomes fundamental, with the ability to differentiate yourself from your competitors vital. Utilising a temporary warehouse, which is typically installed in a matter of weeks, not only ensures that business operations can remain on site, but the immediacy of the solution enables business activity to continue, uninterrupted, providing that all-important competitive edge.

The additional benefits of a temporary structure, by keeping facilities on a single site, provide warehouse managers with the ability to ensure client stock remains at optimum levels and readily available, reducing stock fulfilment times and inventory processes, which impacts positively on company financials and – most significantly – customer service.

Are temporary structures the permanent solution the industry now needs?

Although it’s still early days, we can feel reassured that, according to research from the EEF, few businesses have seen an immediate impact following the Brexit vote. The fall in the pound is, of course, concerning from a long-term perspective. However, on a more positive note, it is leading to a number of manufacturers exploring opportunities within the export market.  The long-term future for both manufacturing and exports remains uncertain. Therefore, the ability for businesses to remain proactive is vital.

The warehouse is a vital link for businesses and the supply chain. Having an effective warehouse management facility in place is a critical component of an effective overall supply chain. While there are a number of solutions currently available on the market, and certainly none are without merit, most lack the ability to provide a comprehensive solution; unable to offer a truly scalable, cost-effective option within the current landscape.

Could a temporary warehouse prove to be the permanent solution the industry now needs? There are exciting and positive times ahead, not without their pressures, but managing investment and where that is placed is all part of the consideration process that firms now have to consider. Is it better to build a permanent warehouse facility, rent off-site or opt for a temporary structure that can last for years and be flexible to a whole host of business dynamics? At Spaciotempo, we believe the choice is clear; temporary buildings provide a cost-effective, agile and effective solution to the warehousing industry’s diminishing storage capacity.

Temporary warehouses can be a key enabler for growth

“The use of temporary or semi-permanent buildings can be a key enabler for growth for firms looking to balance the cost of expansion and provide flexibility in capital expenditure.” says Scott Jameson, Managing Director at Spaciotempo. “Temporary or semi-permanent structures are both more cost-effective and quicker to install than permanent buildings, offering a viable and innovative solution.”

The nimble expansion capabilities of Spaciotempo temporary warehouses have certainly proven to be a key enabler for the UK wing of global transportation and logistics experts, Kuehne+Nagel. “For all of our clients, it is important that they can have immediate access to their goods, something which was a priority for our merchandise client who at any one time could have upwards of 4,000 products stored at our site in Heywood,” says Mark Handel, Manager at Kuehne+Nagel.

“This is something we couldn’t always provide, due to having to move goods between sites. Since installing the new onsite storage facility we have been able to ensure that we have instant access to our client’s goods, significantly reducing stock fulfilment times, and improving the service we can offer to our clients,” he adds.

It was a similar story for global retail packaging suppliers, The Wilkins Group, who can now respond swiftly to spikes in demand, thanks to temporary warehousing courtesy of Spaciotempo. “As a business serving customers from a diverse range of sectors and industries, we consistently need to ensure that we are completely reactive to their needs,” explains André Wilkins, Managing Director at The Wilkins Group.

“If this means greater order volumes at times, then we need to have the processes in place to accommodate the peaks. As a business, this means we need to find suitable storage, which can be installed quickly and Spaciotempo’s solution fitted the bill perfectly,” he adds.

“Firms are now innovatively looking at space creation,” Scott Jameson concludes. “Not just for storage and warehousing, but building facilities for other business requirements, demonstrating how a semi-permanent structure can be used in the same way as a permanent building for either housing people or goods.”

This is an extract from a recent white paper entitled ‘How can we help businesses in the UK and Ireland manage growth and market fluctuations through temporary warehousing?’ Download the complete white paper here. For more information about Spaciotempo temporary warehouses and structures, please contact us!