1. Don’t turn it over to an architect until you have designed your storage, conveyor material handling layout. If you do, you are likely to get a cookie cutter approach, i.e. 12′ aisles for lift trucks and columns on standard centers which leads to problems.
2. You can’t determine the size of a facility until you know growth rate, new products being considered, new fields they might enter into and how many people they may hire. These are just a few of the things that need to be considered.
3. By doing number one and two you have taken an important first step, you are now involved with the planning process and are on the way to participating in your own success.
4. All of the above should be done before even picking a site or an architect.
5. Once you have completed your design and it may take from one to two years to complete this phase. It’s real simple, if you don’t put in the time during design then you will not get the results.
6. Are you looking to be unique or another “me too” facility?
7. Now you are ready to get an architect, engineer, general contractor. Some general contractors also have architects and or engineers on staff.
8. Check with the building department for land use requirements, height restrictions and other requirements. The more you know the better off you will be.