By Jim Barnes
| Barnes Says:
|We are often surprised by the disconnect between how management believes an operation is executed versus the actual process.
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Before you embark on designing a World Class facility, it is important to clearly define your strategy. While a strategic design should evaluate the business trends and growth in your business five to seven years into the future, the reality is that few companies can really forecast and predict their annual sales revenue five years in the future.
There lies the first don’t: DON’T swag at a sales numbers. Rather, DO take the time to work with your sales and marketing team and understand what the sales trends really are. In addition, consider any potential changes in your sales strategy. For example, is your company planning to use new sales channels (e-commerce or catalogue), or more importantly, is your product mix going to change in terms of cube (cubic feet per case) and selling unit of measure?
These above mentioned factors can impact your facility layout and space requirements considerably. The next “DO” in starting a project is to identify the resources that will be involved in the project and identify their specific roles. The team members should be kept informed of the project status at regular intervals. By keeping everyone informed, you will not only ensure that all key strategic decisions are common knowledge, but when it comes to addressing any potential issue on the back end of the project, you will work as a team to come up with a solution instead of pointing fingers and blaming one another for the failure.
Future sales trends (percentage increase or decrease over the previous year) are typically used as a basis for SKU growth, inventory, purchase order and sales order trends. Our next “DO” is to document your design assumptions, who made the assumption and what the logic was behind the assumption.