Dealing with multiple hot projects is a struggle that many of us can relate to. It seems to never fail, every once and awhile numerous ‘Mondays' sneak up on us at once. Each individual develops their own method of dealing with multiple simultaneous stresses. When a company has multiple hot projects going on, the resources of the company can be stretched thin.
Resource planning is a means to avoid bottle necks and resource conflicts. Resource planning is a high level activity. When resource planning involves people as opposed to machines the complexity increases. The upside to proper resource planning can mean the ability to quickly adapt to changing workloads and demands. This can mean better manufacturing response and in turn, can reduce lead time and lower part costs which can mean larger profit margins.
The difficult thing is the balance between being flexible and having rigid, precise systems in place. Flexibility is a fantastic thing when you need the adaptability to service numerous industries. However, adaptability can sometimes mean less efficient. On the other hand, rigid, precise systems are absolutely a must when cost needs to be kept to a bare minimum. These rigid precise systems could be a quoting system, a design process or a dedicated machine making one type of part. How can a company be flexible but still have rigid, precise systems in place? Can you really have your cake and eat it too? Can resource planning help a company be flexible yet still be cost competitive? I don’t know! I do believe in the pursuit to drive down costs, but one must also keep an ear on the tracks and listen to what is coming.
At UEA we strive to serve our customers with precision and rigidity, while keeping in mind our longer term obligations. Any growing company must balance the varying customer demands with streamlining efficiencies, and UEA is no exception. During the past few months we have been evaluating our project management systems to improve our ability to respond flexibly to our customers and maintain our precise systems.