5 Key Questions to Ask Your Warehouse Fit-Out Planner Business by Liliana Kendall - March 13, 2017April 16, 20180 A warehouse fit-out is no small undertaking. Hence, in order to prevent unnecessary loss of time, efficiency and of course money, it is of the utmost importance to ensure your fit-out planner is up to the project. In order to help you do exactly that, here are 5 key questions to ask your warehouse fit-out planner ahead of beginning the project. Why are You the Best Man or Woman for the Job? Any savvy or switched on warehouse fit-out planner will be quick to extol a long list of skills they propose to have and which make them ideal for the job of refitting out your warehouse. And any fit-out planner who isn’t should be ditched instantly. As aforementioned, a warehouse fit-out is a huge job, even and arguably even more so when dealing with a small warehouse where every square metre consequently really does need utilising and carefully putting to use. Hence, many warehouse planners and fit-out specialists, such as Sec Storage make a point of assuring that: ‘whatever your storage requirements, we can customise a solution that meets and exceeds your warehouse requirements’. A warehouse fit-out planner who is not confident, quick and self assured when it comes to their own skills and organised and ready to make those skills abundantly clear to you is a liability. Can You Prove It? That is not to say though that any warehouse fit-out planner who is able or ready to try impress you with their skills is worth hiring, or right for the project. Talking the talk is one thing; ultimately though a warehouse owner requires a warehouse fit-out planner who they too are equally confident can walk the walk, so to speak. Therefore, never take a warehouse fit-out planner at their word. Rather, request proof of the skills they profess to have, ensuring at the very least to ask the questions: What prior experience do you have How much experience do you have? Are you able to oversee all aspects of a warehouse fit-out project from beginning to end? Can you provide proof that you are able to accurately budget for a warehouse fit-out? Have you previously fit-out any similar warehouses and / or warehouses of this size and nature? Can you provide testimonials from previous clients and projects? Are you up-to-date with current Planning Permission and all Health and Safety Regulations? Finally, in order to ensure you know when you are being told the truth and in order to ask specific planning permission orientated questions and communicate with the most efficiency with a potential or chosen warehouse fit-out planner, make sure you are first up to date with current UK laws and the regulations relevant to almost warehouse fit-out projects. You can do this by taking a few moments to read over the Planning Portal guide to planning permission. At the very least doing so will enable you to see through those who are all talk and not much else besides. Can I Trust You? Ensuring that the budget and duration of a project come in on target is not just about saving valuable time and money, although neither of these two issues can be undervalued by any business owner. Pressing a potential warehouse fit-out planner as to how they came to reach these figures and this time scale and how they propose to stick to them should quickly provide you with either reassurance or doubt as to the validity of these figures and the competence of a fit-out planner. Further, by discussing the details and hows that lead a planner to reach these numbers and estimates, you will better be able to evaluate their resourcefulness, organisation skills and general level of competency. This should also serve to build your confidence in their ability as build a more solid rapport. In turn, this will not only help you to trust a fit-out planner, and you will need to be able to trust them, but to trust their decisions should the project require sub-contractors and / or third party suppliers. As explained in more detail by the experts at Acorn Warehouse Solutions Ltd: ‘your warehouse solution provider [A.K.A. planner] may use sub-contractors and 3rd party suppliers to complete certain aspects of the work involved in the complete project’. Hence, it is imperative that a fit-out planner is able to manage this reality without it impacting on your budget or timescale. During the Fit-Out, Who Can I Speak With? Another top tip provided by Acorn Warehouse Solutions Ltd, is to ask a planner outright who it is that you can guarantee you will be able to contact and speak with throughout the project. This is not only important in building confidence and trust, but because it is likely that you will want to know what is going on every step of the project, but because if you are in doubt over an aspect of the project you will require to speak with someone as soon as possible to prevent potential financial losses and wasting valuable time. What About After the Fit-Out? Is the warehouse fit-out planner with which you are speaking prepared and in agreement to be available to speak with in case any unforeseen issues should arise once business recommences in your new warehouse space? Again, and because the point cannot be stressed enough, a warehouse fit-out is a huge job. Whilst a diligent and able planner will be able to foresee and so prevent many potential issues and tackle others head on and during the project, there will most likely still be a few issues that only arise or come to light upon the completion of the project. The right planner, for any project, will know this, make no effort to deceive you of this reality and instead offer to be available in order to address these potential issues and offer ongoing support for a negotiable length of time subsequent to the initial completion of any warehouse fit-out.