It can be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish: adding new technology or automation without disrupting the flow of your operations. The implementation should ultimately lead to increased efficiencies, but in the meantime, adding new technology or automation can be a delicate balancing act. You’ll need a plan of action to mitigate any interruptions to your daily operations. This should start well before the implementation begins.
At the top of the list should be developing both a schedule and a budget. Consider every aspect of your operations, from receiving on through to shipping, and determine how implementation will impact each. Bring representatives from all the affected areas into the fold so that they can share their input and expertise. This will both smooth out any potential wrinkles and win support from those parties—buy in is essential for success, and a top-down approach won’t get you there. Include engineering and IT representation from the beginning, as well. Also consider reaching out to industry colleagues who have been through a similar implementation project. Ask their advice on pitfalls and/or lessons learned. This will help establish your expectations and get ahead of potential problems you might not have considered. Finally, involve your floor workers. They’re the team most impacted by change and getting their advice can open your eyes to issues you wouldn’t know of otherwise. It takes a village when adding new technology.
Contact OPSdesign Consulting today. Our Supply Chain Consultants, Engineers, Analysts, and Project Managers study your business; identify and compare alternatives (processes, systems, infrastructure, and labor); design highly efficient, flexible, and scalable supply chain operations; and always protect your interests.