5. Identify other benefits. It’s possible that the project will provide your company with other benefits such as team development or establishing a long-term direction for the company. The knowledge gained in the new process may be used to improve the rest of your production floor.
6. Don’t forget profit. Develop a budget early that can be tracked and reviewed. Provide different versions of the budget – some more comprehensive than others – to meet the needs of each department working on the project. All versions should include common milestone targets that can be measured. Keep track of real-time spending.
7. Identify and evaluate the team. The impact of bringing new processing capabilities online impacts the entire organization. Make sure all departments are represented on the project team to ensure effective implementation, including management, sales, engineering, administration, purchasing and production.
8. Narrow the choices. Take a good look at your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Understand the differences between current processes and the new process to determine what changes will be needed to ensure success. Will your shop personnel need training? Are new equipment, materials or molds required? Perhaps a more stringent quality control process will be necessary. If the process does not fit what your company wants to be going forward, eliminate it.
9. Make the commitment. It is expensive to start a new process and retreat. Spending time upfront makes sure all participants understand what is expected and identifies a clear set of goals. Commitment must come from upper management. Without their unwavering support, the project may fumble.
10. Go to your resources. Hold conversations with distributors and suppliers to learn what they already know. It may help you avoid making the mistakes others have already made. Read articles in composites trade publications related to your project, and reach out to sources in the story. Outside consultants also can be an excellent investment and deepen your internal knowledge pool.