Managing a warehouse is about more than picking, packing, and shipping. Special projects set you apart from your competition, pad your bottom line, and help your organization to operate more efficiently and achieve its goals.
This article will discuss the role, types, mechanics, benefits, challenges, and considerations involved in special projects.
Understanding Special Projects
A special project is any request outside the normal pick-pack, receiving, or shipping processes. These requests could range from designing a custom packaging solution for a new product line to relabeling a batch of products.
In any warehouse operation, special projects can play a crucial role in helping a business adapt and innovate in response to new challenges or opportunities. By taking advantage of special projects, companies can stay ahead of the curve, improve their processes, and maintain a competitive edge.
Types of Special Projects
- Kitting: Packing multiple products under one SKU is known as kitting. Kitting combines two or more related items into one neat package or bundle. Instead of forcing customers to browse numerous options, kitted bundles make getting what they want effortless.
- FBA or Walmart Prep: Some 3PLs offer Walmart and FBA prep services for inbound receiving rules, including ASIN labeling, order packaging, and fulfillment center shipping.
- Wholesale/Retail Order Prep: 3PLs can provide transportation, order fulfillment, and inventory management services such as warehousing, distribution, shipping, handling, and tracking.
- Inventory Removal or Disposal Request: When a client wants items stored in a fulfillment center, returned, recycled, or thrown away.
- Barcoding Products: Barcode printing is time-consuming, but special projects can optimize the process by considering space, accuracy, and speed.
Process Optimization in Warehousing
The demand for companies to produce more with less has never been more pressing. Process optimization in a warehouse minimizes room for error, resulting in increased productivity and decreased operational expenses.
Using technology integration, companies can leverage predictive analytics to better forecast seasonal trends in demand and allocate resources accordingly.
The Mechanics of Special Projects
Every stage of setting up for special projects demands attention to detail, from project planning to monitoring and evaluation. With the right mechanics, special projects in the warehouse can be executed confidently and efficiently.
Work orders are critical for project planning in ShipHero facilities, providing a solid foundation for successful execution. With the ability to attach vital project details like images, videos, and documents, this feature ensures that every aspect of the project is accounted for, minimizing the chance of errors. You can easily track inventory movements in real-time, update progress, and assign tasks.
Watch our video walkthrough right here to learn more about work orders.
Collaboration between people with unique expertise is key to the success of these projects. Investing in employee training and development is also crucial, as it ensures your team has the knowledge and skills needed to tackle any project.
Implementing new technologies like WorkforceHero can connect employees with special projects, track data and locations in real-time, and follow your team’s progress. WorkforceHero informs decisions more comprehensively, reduces idle time by allowing you to pre-assign tasks ahead of your team’s arrival, and alerts potential improvements.
With the ability to track person-hours dedicated to each job or project, you’ll never forget to bill a client again.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluating metrics is important to ensure a warehouse operates smoothly and enables prompt and effective action to prevent supply chain failure.
It’s also essential to have a sophisticated system that can analyze and interpret large amounts of data, such as ShipHero WMS and our WorkforceHero. By continually striving for improvement and being adaptable to changing circumstances, your warehouse can thrive and maintain its effectiveness over the long term.
Watch our video walkthrough right here to learn more about WorkforceHero.
Benefits of Special Projects in a Warehouse
Prepping for special projects in a warehouse can offer several benefits to enhance overall efficiency, productivity, and operations.
- Process Improvement: Analyze and improve workflows to increase efficiency and reduce costs.
- Capacity Expansion: Improve warehouse capacity for special projects by optimizing storage space, implementing new shelving systems, or reorganizing inventory.
- Technology Integration: Use automation, robotics, or WMS to streamline operations and reduce errors.
- Inventory Accuracy: Update tracking and management systems to improve inventory accuracy, reduce stocking problems, and lower costs.
- Cost Reduction: Optimize processes to reduce labor and storage costs.
- Customer Satisfaction: Better warehouse operations resulting from special projects can improve order accuracy, faster order fulfillment, and shorter delivery times, enhancing customer satisfaction.
- Flexibility and Scalability: Special projects can make the warehouse more adaptable to changing business needs and market demands.
- Resource Allocation: Special projects help identify resource needs and allocate them more effectively, whether labor, equipment, or technology investments.
- Competitive Advantage: Special projects can give a competitive advantage by improving warehouse operations for faster response times, lower costs, and better service.
- Employee Development: Special projects improve employee skills and cross-train them, which can increase job satisfaction.
By implementing special projects in a warehouse, businesses can reap many benefits that improve operations, reduce costs, and enhance their competitiveness.
Challenges and Considerations
Special projects in warehouse operations are a unique challenge that requires effective project management.
The primary challenge is time. Effective time management through proper planning, scheduling, and monitoring to meet the deadline is essential.
Then, the project scope must be well-defined, with specific goals and deliverables outlined to ensure focus and desired outcomes.
Finally, it is essential to keep in mind the significant cost constraint. The project expenses include several factors, including monetary fees, labor, vendors, and quality control.
A specific aspect to consider is the potential for workforce training and development. Warehouse workers can easily take on new challenges by providing specialized training.
The commitment and expertise of a well-trained warehouse team make them a valuable asset, enabling your business to stay ahead of the competition and be prepared for any unforeseen challenges.
Integration with Existing Systems
Warehouse operations can be complex and challenging, from managing space and inventory to mitigating risk and preparing for unexpected fluctuations in demand. Tackling these challenges is easy with the help of a warehouse management system (WMS).
As a smart nerve center for your warehouse, a WMS can provide powerful insights and optimizations that streamline your operations, protect your inventory, and drive profits.
Integration with existing systems is key, and ShipHero offers powerful integrations that ensure every part of your warehouse is covered, giving you visibility into all corners of your operation.
With ShipHero on your side, you can overcome any challenge and take your warehouse operations to new heights.
Harness the Power of Special Projects
Special projects can have a significant impact on your warehouse operations. Optimize your processes, collaborate with your team, and train your workforce to ensure their success.
While special projects can improve efficiency, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase competitiveness, they can be challenging to implement without proper workforce training and WMS integration. Evaluate your current approach and invest in advanced WMS integration for long-term success.
- Special projects are requests outside the normal pick-pack, receiving and shipping processes.
- Special projects include kitting, FBA or Walmart prep, wholesale/retail order prep, inventory removal or disposal requests, and barcoding products.
- Process optimization minimizes room for error and increases productivity with new technology integration.
- The mechanics of a special project involve project planning with work orders, execution with team collaboration and training, and monitoring/evaluating to assess outcomes.
- Benefits include process improvement, capacity expansion, technology integration, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, flexibility/scalability, resource allocation, competitive advantage, and employee development.
- Challenges and considerations involve expectations management, clearly defining the project scope, and highlighting cost constraint awareness.
- Workforce training and WMS integration are key to successful execution.