Changes to the operations of your business, be it upgrading the processing equipment orders or purchasing a new forklift, updating your Pallet Trucks Direct can prove to be a challenge. Acknowledging the difficulty in the implementation of the changes is often the first step towards a seamless integration especially when the change is not included in the quotation or contract. It is a thing that, therein, stipulates the need to have clear terms and conditions of change included in large quotes.
From a customer’s perspective, implementation of change is a necessary element that ensures things go the right way and get done as they should. However, the applications should only take effect after analysing the change, the most suitable options, and the overall impact the change will have on the operational project.
Identify the Change
What is the source of the change? Is it from the senior management, support staff, supplier, or the operations team? Knowing the source, and early, can help avoid disruptions during the implementation. For instance, safety bars were in use but have been found to be not the ideal for racking and are to be replaced with wire decks. Identifying such a need can have a significant impact; it will prevent schedule overruns by extending the project lead times and thus reducing the overall cost of operations. If the change is known, it can be measured to determine its effect and the expected results.
Analyse the Impact Carefully
The change will affect the operations; therefore, you need to look and relook its impact based on critical factors such as the quality affected, the scope of the change, cost, scheduling, and the expected results (which can be summed up to the performance baseline).
Create a Change Request
The change cannot be implemented without a proper plan, and this starts with creating a request for it; which will need a revision of the quotation and updating the proposal. Other documents that may also need updating include the sign-off sheet and the end-user request form. The documents should be availed to all parties for them to review and approve the implementation of the change.
Assess the Change
Is the change necessary? Will the change impact the project significantly or will its implementation make the change seem like an entirely separate project? Taking the previous example of the wire mesh decks; they probably were not needed but were requested together with the safety bars during the production of the racking equipment. But, is everyone on-board with the change and do they understand what safety bars do? Were all the stakeholders aware of the safety aspects of the project?
Assuming the wire mesh decks were not a typical change, and may not have been captured in the production requirements. It may just as well be that the wire mesh decks would not be a necessary replacement for the safety bar; and if that is the cases, then this should be clarified to the stakeholders.
Weight All Options
Change may be necessary, but what other options are there that can be implemented that would invalidate the change request? What can be done differently and still give the desired impact? What are the possible implications of such actions? For instance, perhaps the management team approved a pushback racking system. But things are not going as planned with the production because the equipment is scheduled to arrive in several weeks. So, double deep racking would be a viable option to consider that can still reduce the production costs and still address the issue at hand.
Improving the lead time can also be an efficient means of saving cost while speeding up installation. It may not be as effective as the double deep racking, but may still offer sufficient results. The good thing is that it will not require a complete redesigning of the racking layout, on the system it is used in. However, the impact of both options because a special deep-reaching forklift will be necessary for moving a double deep system. Would such a fact rule out the dual deep racking option?
It is wise to leave some wiggle room for the supplier (project manager or sales professional) and the customer/client (operations team, or warehouse manager) to make revisions to the small changes. Any significant changes may only be implemented after the approval of the customer’s senior management. Alternatively, the supplier may have to consult with other partners such as the engineers and manufacturers about the change.
The right approach for effecting any change will, therefore, require the documents to be updated and sent to the all the stakeholders. The idea is to have enough room to accommodate change requests from the customers or clients while utilising a professional approach for the application of the change, big or small, after considering all factors that would make the implementation a success.