As a whole, installation of material handling projects can be a nerve-wracking prospect. Even when working under the most ideal of circumstances it becomes the most critical piece in ultimately labeling a project a success. Many a good project has succumbed to improper installation.
Successful installation begins with proper planning and solid project management. Designs have been finalized, vendors have been chosen and the job has been sold. It is now up to the project manager to ensure that deadlines are met and progress is made according to pre-determined timelines.
Without a doubt, the insidious ‘Mister Murphy’ will rear his ugly head to throw a wrench into even the best laid plans. However there are steps that can be taken to minimize the impact of these occurrences within the installation period:
- Plan, Plan, Plan. Anything that can be accomplished ahead of time should be.
- Clearly and concisely relay proper product specifications to vendors.
- Work closely with vendors to ensure that product delivery is on-time.
- Meet with installation crews to discuss the project and make sure there is a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished.
- Stay close to the installation; if not on-site, via phone. Be available at all times to answer questions and give direction so downtime is minimal.
- Keep the customer up to date as to progress. Relay progress on a regular basis so that if a delay occurs, the customer understands the reason and expectations are adjusted.
- Be honest. Don’t set timelines that aren’t reasonable and relay any concerns to the customer if timeline demands exceed the reality of the installation.
Installations will commonly have bumps in the road. Be prepared for this inevitability, pre-plan and be flexible to make adjustments ‘on the fly’. Follow these guidelines and you will give your installation the greatest chance for success.