What is manufacturing project management? A manufacturing project management team looks at the methodologies, systems, software and other aspects of a particular project and through a process of analysis, planning, coordination and execution meets a set of established goals. Common goals in manufacturing are to reduce waste, increase efficiency, meet budget, schedule and safety goals.
What Are the Benefits of Project Management for Manufacturing Companies?
Working with lean consulting firms such as DSI who through analysis, planning, coordination and ultimately the implementation of a cohesive solution can offer many benefits including:
- Reduced error rates
- Improved team communication and flexibility
- Reduced costs
- Improved risk management efficiency
What Does a Manufacturing Project Manager Do?
Because of the diversity of manufacturing projects, the role of a project manager can vary. These are a few key tasks that a manufacturing project management team or individual can handle for your company:
- Organize a new production line installation
- Navigate an emergency repair process
- Assess the efficiency of your existing production process
- Improve organizational communication
- Maintain a project budget and schedule
Some projects require an entire team of managers, while others can be handled by a single, experienced professional. Our project planners and team of industrial engineering consultants works with all sizes of projects to provide organization, communication and efficient, effective project management services.
What Are the Five Phases of Project Management?
Manufacturing project management can be divided into five distinct phases. While the activities, objectives and resources in each phase vary depending on the project scope, these five phases can be reliably used in most projects:
- Initiate the project and complete a feasibility test
- Plan the project using specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals
- Execute the project with the right team
- Monitor the project objectives and KPIs
- Complete the project and offer evaluation
Missing a step or overlooking a key area during a step can lead to delays, additional expenses or unsatisfactory results in the project. This is where project managers knowledgeable in lean manufacturing consulting work with you to create action plans for each step.
What Are the Different Methods of Project Management?
Manufacturing project management relies on a specific method or set of methods to achieve results. Depending on the scope of the project and your management team, the best set of practices and techniques may differ.
Most methods fall into four basic categories. These categories are far from exhaustive, but in general you can sort different methods into one of these area:
Most methods seek to create a full system, or strategy. By creating a full system, these in-depth methods allow different managers tackling different projects to reach similar results. Of course, the more complete a method seems to be, the less likely it is to be personalized to a specific manufacturing need.
Carefully consider your project and project manager before exploring a particular method of management. Is your project a fairly routine task for your industry, or is it an unusual task that may require a fresh, flexible method? Project management for manufacturing companies relies on a delicate balance between these two factors.
Integrating Warehousing and Distribution Projects
Modern project management services turn outdated warehouses and distribution facilities into well-oiled machines. A single inefficiency in your distribution and storage process can result in delayed shipments, missing components and a disorganized warehouse. Our management service team offers these competitive services for your industry:
- MES, or manufacturing execution systems, implementation
- Simulation engineering
- Supply chain consulting
- Mechanical engineering consulting
- Comprehensive project management services
Our MES implementation starts with an evaluation of your existing facility. We move through the tracking and tracing steps to provide you with a product performance analysis. From there, we can recommend and offer management changes that help your company complete your projects on time, efficiently and without any unexpected and costly suprises.
Simulation engineering is a highly effective way to test out a particular machine, equipment or planning strategy before investing in a full-scale redesign of your facility. Through simulations, you can determine the most effective and cost efficient course of action in the event of unforeseen difficulties.
While a simulation can’t predict the future, it can prepare you for a wide range of possible or plausible situations your facility may face. By organizing, training and preparing for difficult situations, a team of project managers can assist and provide a layer of protection for your growing facility.
Key Components of Effective Project Management
A key component of effective project management services is the commitment to ensuring your projects meet all established targets. These targets include finishing on time and spending within the budget.
1. Preliminary Planning
Some manufacturing project management professionals might argue that the planning stage is the most important of bringing an idea to fruition. At this stage, we consult with you or your clients to better understand what the deliverables, parameters and restrictions are. This information provides us with the context we need to make good decisions that keep your project on track.
2. Design and Detail Engineering
Projects in manufacturing, engineering and construction have several moving parts that must align together to reduce delays and ensure on-time completion. We piece this puzzle of parts together into one detailed plan that shows when activities need to occur, in what order and who the responsible parties are.
3. Installation Coordination
Having a strong plan in place plays a crucial role in the successful completion of a project, but you also need professionals on site to ensure the project goes according to plan. We meet this need by providing professionals who coordinate the execution of the plan. Aside from overseeing the project, these professionals might also need to resolve unforeseen issues that arise.
4. Start-Up Commissioning
Just as important as ensuring workers follow the plan is ensuring that work completed is done to spec. With this in mind, our manufacturing project management professionals tackle issues that arise, related to product quality, work quality or changes in the clients’ original plans. Ensuring high-quality deliverables during the project makes a successful closeout even easier.
5. Project Closeout
At the start of the closeout process, our professionals check each deliverable to ensure everything was completed as planned. If there are any quality issues in the project, we want to discover this before a client does, so we can resolve it in a timely manner or present solutions and not just a problem. We then invite you or your client to review the work and approve completion.
Some of the Sectors We Serve
When most people think of industrial project management, construction comes to mind. However, construction itself may intersect with other industries. This has created a wide range of possibilities and a wealth of interesting challenges for our team to tackle. We look forward to putting this experience to use on your project.
Whether municipalities need to construct new roadways after a natural disaster or companies want to expand their warehouses, we have the tools necessary to manage these projects. One of the projects we are most proud of include optimizing a truck rail network.
When it comes to complexity, the manufacturing industry sits close to the top of the list. This industry has many moving parts that begin with the manufacturing process, continue with logistics and end with the distribution process. Manufacturing project management jobs we handled in this area include increasing inventory turnover and reducing material handling labor hours.
We assist clients in a number of transportation sectors, such as aerospace and motor vehicles. These sectors have some of the strictest regulations. As a result, only the most competent contractors receive opportunities to tackle these. We are honored to count the contractors who comprise our project management services team among them.
From hospitals to pharmaceutical companies, this is another industry governed by strict regulations. We have worked with a number of clients on both ends of the market. For example, we helped pharmaceutical companies tackle warehouse and distribution projects. Our team also worked with hospitals to improve automation systems and optimize space.
Project Management Services
Over the years, the Design Systems, Inc. team has had the opportunity to serve in both project management consultancy and hands-on project management services. Tell us about your project and we can advise you on what role we can assume to best suit your needs.