Companies often find themselves in a position where a work transfer is needed, especially with today’s rapid increase of new technology. This can occur when work is transferred from one facility to another, changing suppliers, utilizing new equipment, transferring work to a different country or even relocation of equipment within the same facility. Capacity is one driver for the need for work transfer, along with cost reduction, procurement strategy, and performance improvements.
Aggressive timetables often force companies to skip the very crucial part of planning it takes to complete work transfer well, leading to issues with quality. Planning is the key to success even when companies are under such tight demands.
The Key to Work Transfer
What is the key to ensuring the work transfer takes place seamlessly, without incurring downtime and while mitigating risk? It starts with operational planning and control to ensure safety, sustainability, performance, compliance, and the brand quality you have built into your products. Your company will need to establish, implement, and maintain a process plan to ensure the conformity of the work to requirements.
Checklists are an essential part of the process to ensure steps are not missed, as this can be the downfall of your work transfer. Thurman Co has created a checklist that includes:
- Risk assessment
- Transition schedule
- Repeatability of Build Process
- Successful completion of “gates”
- Last Article Inspection (original facility)
- First Article Inspection (new facility)
- Review of the new location’s process metrics
Last Article Inspection, an inspection of the last unit off the original production line, often referred to as the “Golden Unit,” is extremely important to ensure the “First Article Inspection”, an inspection of the first unit off the new production line, is perfect and meets all quality standards to help ensure repeatability.
What is repeatability? It is the ability to perform repetitive taskswithout deviation as success and sustainability are dependent upon consistency. Repeatability is both qualitative and quantitative. The former being visual checks for inconsistencies in manufacturing, and the latter being the measurements of the produced parts to their expected tolerance range.
Checking the boxes in the “checklist” helps to ensure all areas are covered to 100% satisfaction. These are all very significant steps in work transfer and the reason project management is vital from concept to completion.
Transferring Work to Another Country
There are also legalities and compliance factors that need to be well planned and understood when transferring work to another country. There are many challenges, including the alignment of supply chains along with legal and regulatory environment, imports and exports, intellectual property (IP), and the authority your company will have in the new country. Location analysis and strategic site selection can significantly impact the success of business.
The regulatory environment can encompass several areas, including the political environment, policies, and environmental laws. Competitive analysis is also an important consideration and involves cross-referencing and benchmarking areas such as the economic environment, labor (wages, skill levels needed of employees), and taxes (duties, corporate taxes). Each relocation may require a tailored approach.
The Importance of Project Management During Work Transfer
A lot of time and energy goes into projects, and the last thing anyone wants is for a project to fail. Hence, the importance of project management. Failed projects can create a substantial financial burden on companies and can ultimately cause the company to fold. The goal is for the project team, project managers, upper management, stakeholders, and all involved, to understand the scope of a project and communicate during the entire process.
Work transfers start with a good project management plan and requires quality control, scheduling, budgeting, and communication.
A study in 2012 by Michael Stanleigh showed that 68% of companies worldwide do not use project prioritization processes or tools to align projects and corporate strategy. Implementing a repeatable and sustainable project management process will ultimately result in team efficiency and quality.
Developing a well-defined project plan is the most important step in a work transfer. Creating a comprehensive plan with clear ownership will help your company with a successful transfer. A project management team is vital to company success, and each member needs to understand their responsibility. PMs are leaders that set everything in motion, and all sides of the team rely on the other to understand all details required for success.
Need help with planning and the success of your work transfer project? Put your next project in the hands of a trusted source with Thurman Co. We help businesses manage projects to make a significant impact on their success and growth. Contact us for more information to get your projects managed by a professional.