Big decisions. Year end whiteboarding session
Welcome to the first installment of 2023 Minted Minutes. I am happy to have you here and excited to see what this year has in store..
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Shawn and I were able to make it home on a last-minute trip for the Christmas holiday. I was rather excited about this for a few reasons.
I hadn't been home in over 8 months, and I find it relaxing to spend time in a different (albeit familiar) environment.
It is no secret that our lives feel like they are moving at a much faster pace, but it's good to remind myself that my parent's life is moving equally fast, and therefore I should spend the opportunities I can with them.
In 2021, when Shawn and I went home, we sat down with my dad and had a whiteboarding session about the upcoming year. This was a great exercise, and I was looking forward to doing it again.
I was excited to see my dog Brandy (a bloodhound)
The main point of this writing is to go over the decision process around the main topic of the whiteboarding session.
What in the world do we do with our warehouse situation?
I remember the day we were given the keys to the warehouse so vividly. Walking through that door felt like opening the wardrobe to Narnia. The space felt vast and intimidating. I was excited to get moved in but also worried about the stark reality of not nearly having enough stuff to fill it. At times I wondered if I bit off more space than I would need and therefore was carrying excess expense for no reason.
Fast forward 10 months, and we are tapping out of space in that same warehouse. With growth comes new challenges. One of the main challenges is the location + size of the warehouse. Today we are in New Jersey with 5,000 sq. feet of space. While the proximity to NYC is ideal, the rent price per sq. foot is not, so in strategizing our next step, I broke it down into a few different possibilities.
We find a more extensive warehouse deeper in New Jersey
We keep our current warehouse in jersey but add a second location on the west coast (outside of Los Angeles)
We move to a new warehouse in Texas
We move to a new warehouse in Kansas City
All of these options above have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. It was easy to see that splitting inventory between two warehouses (NJ and LA) would not only be difficult from a logistical standpoint but would further stress our lack of operational headcount to ensure it can run smoothly.
Kansas City and Texas had many similar base facts. From my own research, Kansas City is one of the best places in the USA for a warehouse when it comes down to delivery speed to the most significant percentage of the US population, with Texas falling (slightly) behind it. Pricing per square foot is similar depending on the location within Texas. Texas has the advantage of having 29 ports of entry for global trade and warmer year-round weather. Moving to either of these locations would require time spent setting up the initial space along with hiring and training the warehouse manager.
Moving deeper into New Jersey ended up feeling like we were delaying the inevitability of having to search for cheaper (per sq. ft.) rent at some point down the road. While it would be less initial pain now, it would cause a much larger headache down the road.
Ultimately we have settled on the idea of Texas being the new location for a warehouse.
I still welcome any commentary from you all on this decision. There is potential that some of you all work in this space or have direct experience that could sway our decision one way or the other.
Regardless, the future, while uncertain and never promised, fills me with extreme excitement and a desire for continuous improvement.
I hope you all have a great start to the week.