Is This How You Manage Your Systems Projects?
Results Matter when it Comes to Project Management!
“Are we going to ship on time this year?” bellowed Carrie, the COO of HallowTreats, the maker of Pumpkween. The favorite orange candy shaped like a pumpkin had outsold candy corn every year for the past 30 years.
Casper, the director of Distribution at HallowTreats, shuddered on the other end of their video call. He had been there almost as long as the company had been around and was the leader of the team implementing the new Warehouse and Distribution system. The Trick-or-Treat season had been affected by the pandemic and orders were being placed two months in advance instead of six months in advance. This put pressure on their brand-new warehouse management system (WMS).
Meanwhile, Carrie was under her own pressure to make sure that each and every customer order was filled complete and shipped on time. Every Pumpkween had to make it to customer shelves prior to the fast-approaching Halloween weekend.
Casper had been invisible the last few days, and Carrie was concerned that he was hiding possible bad news about the readiness of the new systems. Were orders making their way through the distribution process in an accurate and timely manner?
The new warehouse and distribution system had not been a perfect implementation. Nevertheless, HallowTreats needed to shine this Halloween season. Their sales numbers needed to rise to show the bank that the company was solid, despite the pandemic.
Results would matter now more than ever.
Carrie knew that Casper was light on experience but always sounded eager to take on greater challenges. Would he make this season spooky or sparkling?
Are you relying on staff to take you through a complex maze of new systems implementation when you should bring in experts?
Casper knew the company was relying upon him, but he had no relevant prior experience implementing any type of large-scale systems. His specialty had been managing logistics and distribution. Occasionally, he would help to set up user computers, and he was handy at creating ad-hoc reports through the old system.
During their video call, Carrie was about to learn that their status was more Trick than Treat!
In response to Carrie's question about getting the orders out on time, Casper evaded giving a real status by claiming that certain aspects of the system were not working as designed. Carrie started to stew, and her face turned a crimson red. Casper sensed a little anger was brewing.
Carrie began to lecture Casper on how the company had relied upon him to manage the systems integration so that the system would ‘go-live’ on the date that they had all discussed.
Casper assured Carrie that the system would be 75% operational and that he would have the internal project team put in extra hours to make sure that most of the orders would be processed and shipped as planned.
But there is no room for back-orders when it comes to Halloween. Either Pumpkween was on the shelves or the orders would be cancelled. Carrie was now visualizing the call from the CEO asking her to explain all of the short shipments and lost revenue.
Carrie sprang into action. There was no choice. Their biggest season was coming up, and she wanted it to be their strongest.
Following her disastrous meeting with Casper, she called all the department heads and went through the following six steps to get the WMS system running in time to make the season successful:
Project Scope and Deadlines were agreed upon
Project Responsibilities were clear and project tasks were assigned with target completion dates
Project Status meetings would take place regularly every three days to review implementation progress and to identify open issues quickly
Procedures were reviewed alongside customization requests to evaluate best use of the new systems features
User training and testing would be conducted in a structured manner
Data migration / cut-over plans were prepared and agreed to by all
Carrie was working a double job to fulfill the project management of the systems implementation. Casper was friendly but invisible as the project proceeded.
The season came and orders flew through the system. Customers praised the on-time deliveries. The CEO came to Carrie and gave her the best Halloween Treat – a Thank You and a Bonus!
Following the above six steps will ensure that you have a great implementation.
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Rubenstein / Justman Management Consultants (RJMC) assists mid-market companies to evaluate, select, and implement ERP solutions including Financials, Manufacturing, Distribution, Warehouse Management, Supply-Chain Solutions, CRM, and Data Analytics. We are skilled and experienced consultants who provide the Project Management that gets the project done. To start the dialogue, give us a call at 310-445-5300
We know how to Get Projects Done!