I often hear this debate among my peers and customers in the hospitality industry – is warehousing a good idea? Of course, theoretically speaking, the use of a warehouse is ideal for every project. The problem is, the added flexibility of having all of the construction and FF&E material within a few miles of the project usually doesn’t result in the highest ROI.
When partnering with an FF&E transportation management, warehousing and installation firm, the decision to warehouse or deliver direct-to-site are often made according to the project progress and location. Hospitality projects in urban environments with little on-site staging space and projects with constantly-changing schedules often require the use of warehousing to avoid logistics issues.
I have met with large, publically-traded companies who believe warehousing is required on every project. In contrast, I have met with groups who do not believe anything should pass through a warehouse. The truth is, there isn’t a blanket statement when deciding to use or not use a warehouse on a project. There are, however, a few guidelines I have developed:
When to use a warehouse
- If your project is in an urban environment with little or no on-site staging area
- If you are not using a transportation management company with extensive hospitality experience
- If your installation and receiving company does not have much experience with on-site receiving of full truckloads
- If your project schedule is in a constant state of flux
- If you have a number of trades working concurrently
When to avoid a warehouse
- If you are working with a company who can manage the transportation from manufacturing to installation on-site
- If your project allows for some on-site staging
- If you project has a well-managed schedule that allows for on-site receiving and immediate installation
- If your FF&E firm has expert single-contact coordination
One must weigh the cost of warehousing against the added flexibility required on each project. Since there are so many factors involved, it’s not always a simple equation.
That’s where Planes Specialized Logistics can help. Our experienced team of logistics consultants can work with you every step of the way to help you maximize ROI and supply chain efficiencies. And our global network, which includes 46+ million square feet of warehousing, is ready to handle hospitality projects of any size, so that when, or if, you do need warehousing, we’ve got you covered.