Implement a Manufacturing System

No two organizations ever implement the same manufacturing system in the same way. Combine the vagaries of different companies, business processes, people, and systems, and “the directions” for how to implement a manufacturing system take on the wandering complexities of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Yet just as the Joyce epic has crib notes, so, too, does manufacturing system implementation.

In simplest terms, a successful implementation boils down to managing a handful of key activities:

  1. Assemble a cross-functional project team with a respected project leader.
  2. Understand why the organization needs the system (i.e., define your business “pain”) and why the pain exists (e.g., system issues and/or business-process issues).
  3. Define the scope of the system.
  4. Establish phases for system implementation.
  5. Gather and define the organization’s requirements of the system.
  6. Prepare the organization for change.
  7. Prepare people and data.
  8. Manage “scope creep.”
  9. Thoroughly test the functionality of the system.
  10. Run and refine the system.