The Importance of Good Project Management for Manufacturers

By | October 19, 2011

Previously, customers have been more willing to wait longer for manufacturers to produce their products to a high standard, knowing that they would receive a higher quality outcome. However, this is no longer the case. Today’s global economy has given a rise to a time-conscious industry. Customers want their products to be delivered faster than ever, and it’s now easier than ever for worldwide competitors to enter into markets they may have never ventured into before. Because of today’s industry landscape, many manufacturers have had to adopt new operational procedures to keep afloat in such a time-sensitive business. However, companies using industrial machinery cannot afford to wait for the delivery of new equipment as they have the needs of their customers to consider.

If a manufacturer cannot meet the delivery demands of the customer, then it is more than likely that the customer will seek a new manufacturer to fulfil the job, and they may even be able to do this at lower price. Without good project management, you may find that you have wasted potential or are utilising inefficient methods within your company. Manufacturing software will be able to help.

Of course, manufacturing isn’t just about getting products out fast. Products must also be built to a customer’s exact specifications which means each order takes on the characteristics of a major project. This includes the gathering of information in order to prepare a quote, the cooperation between a number of internal departments of the company, dealing with customers and suppliers, and the designing of individual components. The manufacturing process is time consuming and involves a large number of people and resources.

With each project resulting in a product unique to a specific customer, the chances of the customer being satisfied with said product are much greater if the project was managed with standard proven processes. This means that communication and collaboration across the supply chain are better managed and more efficient, meaning a product is much more likely to be built to a very high standard and, importantly, correctly the first time. This is why top-performing industrial equipment manufacturers seek an enterprise-class project management component in an ERP system. An enterprise-class management system, as opposed to standard desktop solutions, allow for many departments to simultaneously collaborate around all aspects of a manufacturing project, from the designing of the product to the building and delivery of the product.

With this in mind, a management system can allow production to be completed within a much tighter timeframe. For example, manufacturing no longer needs to wait for the completion of a product design before it can start outlining in the necessary processes needed to build it. All areas of the organisation have full visibility of the various stages of production allowing them to be kept up-to-date on design changes and be able to better plan time schedules without delay. This level of collaboration clearly reduces the time needed to fulfil customers’ needs. Time is, of course, money, and this is certainly true of the manufacturing industry.

Not only this, but good project management should also offer all the necessary information to different departments of the organisation, such as links to engineering data and up-to-date parts lists. This creates a good level of support to all involved in a project to make the process as efficient as possible.

About the Guest Post Author: Chris Johnson is a writer interested in the manufacturing industry and business management.