Let’s dive into it:
1. Determine a methodology to create the warehouse project plan itself. Are you in a project-based organization? Who are the decisions makers to confirm the methodologies and processes?
2. Determine formats for reporting to management, discussing updates with staff, and monitoring performance.
3. Agree on a specific change request format. How are changes throughout the warehouse or production project communicated? How are they approved? Do the changes have the buy-in of all who is involved? Or, does the change itself require a whole new project?
4. Make sure your processes are aligned with organization. Ensure the approach to the project meets the guidelines of the entire company, whether it be operations, warehousing, sales and marketing.
5. Analyze the stakeholders needs and core requirements.
6. Analyze the stakeholders wants and assumptions.
7. Capture the entire warehouse or production project requirements lists as detailed as possible. Are you looking at a shelving project? How many bays are needed to store the material? How are the staff picking it? Will your forklifts fit in the aisles? What about sprinklers, are they suitable for the height you’re going?
8. Outline the skills and benefits of each stakeholder, and what they bring to the table, either during the project management planning process or during implementation.
9. Meet with stakeholders to determine the objectives and milestones, and their roles in managing them.
10. Schedule meetings with department heads to request the resources you need for proper project implementation. For example you may need forklift drivers, warehouse management, sales, and IT to be part of the new inventory program you’re implementing.
11. Work with your team members to outline the project cost. For example, RACKsteel will source and outline the project costs direct from our factories for you to review. We’ll outline the total project cost along with cost-benefits as requested. If you’re responsible for the project costs to your supervisors, consider working with your immediate team to capture the correct costs involved.
12. Empower the team to give approval to activities needed to accomplish during the project. Turn this into a proper calendar of events.
13. Make sure to get approval from the resource managers across departments as needed, if required. Ensure they sign off on the schedule to avoid conflict.
14. Work through iteration – or revisions – as you review risks and determine risk responses.
15. Create the necessary project documents, or request formal proposals. Ensure the procurement process is in place. Ensure the work breakdown process is captured and easily updated as the project commences.
16. Obtain approval for risk reserves and apply them to the paperwork. Is freight included? Do you know how many trucks it will take to purchase the equipment you’re evaluating? What about the weather, is there a possibility it will be late in delivery which will cost the warehouse production time? This is where risk reserves are critical.
17. Hold meetings with the supervisors or ultimate project decision makers IF changes or requirement cannot ultimately be met. Ensure communication is open and transparent. Outline and identify issues with the senior management before they happen. This is our main focus at RACKsteel when taking on a warehouse equipment project for a client. For example the supply and install of material handling solutions will often bring it’s challenges, which must be communicated to the customer to align all parties expectations.
18. Perform schedule compression tactics when absolutely necessary, when implementing or planning the project. i.e. fast tracking the schedule, adding (or “crashing”) resources to complete a task, or changing the total scope of the project to fit the end user requirements.
19. Plan a kick off (or mid project) party. Ensure the team is bonded together to realize the ultimate vision of the project, whether it be storing and picking new inventory in a new pallet racing system, or moving to a new brand of forklifts that require different skills. It’s important that even the resistors of the warehouse project are encouraged to take part to add their advice, vision, and confidence.
20. Do everything above and have a beer in-between.
21. No – it’s not in an exact order. But the above captures the key ideas of which actions you need to take to kick off a successful warehouse project. Contact RACKsteel to discuss your warehouse project requirements.