Probably the most exciting professional challenge I've undertaken was during my tenure at Wikus when I was tasked with finding a larger space for our Illinois manufacturing facility.
One win was negotiating with our future landlord, convincing him to include the office build out. In addition to the construction costs, this also eliminated depreciation expense, amounting to approximately $70,000 in total savings.
Another big victory was regarding new warehouse storage. I found that code specified shelving that was ineffective for our purposes, and the approved options were extremely expensive. I met with Village fire inspectors, gave them a tour of our existing facility, discussed our product and requirements, and persuaded them to waive code for our install; saving us nearly $100,000.
All aspects of the move were successfully accomplished under budget, and within time constraints.
I faced a more personal challenge when I was asked to speak to a local organization. I had assumed it would be a five minute "elevator" type speech, but a week before the event, the facilitator told me I would have an hour! For about 15 seconds I was terrified, then I figured, what do I have to lose? I was intimately familiar with the topic, and I'm an outspoken extrovert by nature.
I researched ways to connect with and engage an audience, outlined a talk that had a couple optional segments in case I ran short or long on time, and delivered! Afterwards, one attendee asked where I'd be speaking next as he'd like to hear me again!
The experience was exhilarating and since then I've gladly taken on other speaking opportunities.
Another interesting project was replacing Import Logistics' legacy ERP, a proprietary workstation basic solution custom designed in the early 80's.
ILI already had relatively new accounting software, and had purchased a new warehouse management system but hadn't implemented it yet. A new ERP had to integrate with the existing software, provide management reporting to our staff and more than 50 clients, and communicate with multiple client systems.
The project included selecting, purchasing, installing, implementing, and integrating both an ERP and EDI solution, plus training our staff. Final cost was 6% under budget and the project took only 15 months. The reduction in data entry hours alone provided for an ROI of less than 2 years.