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What Is Manufacturing Project Management?
Projects in the manufacturing industry include a diverse set of schedules, tasks and decisions. The sheer diversity of projects allows for multiple ways to improve efficiency.
A manufacturing project management team looks at the methodologies, systems, software and other aspects of a particular project. The primary goals are to reduce waste and meet budget, schedule and safety goals.
What Are the Benefits of Project Management for Manufacturing Companies?
Working with expert engineering consulting firms such as Design Systems, Inc. gives you the opportunity to see how you can grow your business and improve your project. Professional project management in manufacturing industry situations offers you the following benefits:
- Reduced error rates
- Improved team communication and flexibility
- Reduces costs
- Improved risk management efficiency
Inefficiencies present themselves in a number of ways. Some project managers have very clear goals for reducing the time or cost of a particular project, while others tasks may be less obvious. Whatever your personal goals for a project manager, working with an experienced manager can give you access to an outside eye, the latest software solutions and other essential benefits.
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 team at DSI works with all sizes of projects to provide organization, communication and management.
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
Navigate these five phases successfully with a skilled project management team. 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 expert engineering consulting firms such as DSI work with you to create action plans for each step. A strong project kickoff needs follow through, so we work through all five steps to grow your company and hit your targets through your project.
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.
Key Components of Effective Project Management
A key component of our project management services is our commitment to ensuring our clients’ 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.
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.
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.
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.
Industrial Project Managers
Over the years, the Design Systems, Inc. team has had the opportunity to serve in both project management consultancy and hands-on project management roles. Tell us about your project and we can advise you on what role we can assume to best suit your needs.