Selecting the right solutions provider is only the first step in a distribution center’s greater automation journey. Once a vendor figures out what technologies will optimize material flow, then comes the all-important step of project management.

From project planning, design, production, assembly and testing, to installation, commissioning and acceptance—effective project management ensures smooth, on-time implementations so facilities can start reaping the benefits of automation. Before embarking on a major automation project, make sure you have the following project management essentials in place.

1. An organized and detailed project manager

Project managers serve a vital role in overseeing the whole process between the sales phase and final handoff to customer support. They set tight but realistic timelines with precise, targeted milestones so that projects are completed on time, within budget and with the utmost quality.

As an intermediary between the solutions provider and distribution center, a project manager needs communication and collaboration skills, as well as the ability to think through problems from different angles. An indication of a strong project manager is certification through the International Project Management Association (IPMA).

2. Appropriate project management structures and teams

In addition to an overall manager, project teams will typically include:

  • Technical managers
  • Commissioning managers
  • Software project managers
  • Site managers
  • Mechanical, electrical and software designers
  • Additional subsystem specialists

Your vendor should clearly define team members and make their respective responsibilities fully transparent. The team structure and size will vary depending on project type, size and complexity. Larger and more complex projects require more planning, monitoring and managing, so they require larger teams to ensure everything is covered.

3. Proven experience and expertise

Experienced solutions providers offer wisdom and insight into what challenges may arise during projects, and how to avoid them. On international projects, consider the level of expertise your project teams have in working with different languages and nationalities. That way, nothing is lost in translation and you can prevent culture clashes.

In the end, project management boils down to know-how, experience and trust. Good project managers and teams help ensure that you get a solid return on investment and that the automated systems ultimately meet your needs—with top quality and minimal risk. They lay the foundation for what will be a long-term, beneficial relationship for all.

Author Jari Jylli

This site uses cookies to provide you with a best browsing experience. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies as explained in our Privacy Policy.

Interested?

Leave a contact request —
let us contact you.

By submitting this form, you agree to Cimcorp Group's terms, conditions and Privacy Policy.
Post Type
Category
BLOG POST
Welcome to the smart warehouse
General

Welcome to the smart warehouse

BLOG POST
Three tips for effective equipment lifecycle management
General

Three tips for effective equipment lifecycle management

BLOG POST
When quality and safety matter: choosing an ISO certified solutions provider
General

When quality and safety matter: choosing an ISO certified solutions provider

BLOG POST
Trends in global tire markets and their impact
Tire Industry

Trends in global tire markets and their impact

CUSTOMER INTERVIEW
Olvi – Refreshed with automation
Distribution

Olvi – Refreshed with automation

BLOG POST
The three essentials to successful project management
General

The three essentials to successful project management

BLOG POST
The need for speed in fresh food distribution
Distribution

The need for speed in fresh food distribution

CUSTOMER INTERVIEW
No time to waste – What Fazer Bakeries learned from a nightmare
Distribution

No time to waste – What Fazer Bakeries learned from a nightmare

BLOG POST
Planning for success
Tire Industry

Planning for success

BLOG POST
Takeaways from the holiday peak season: is it time to automate?
Distribution

Takeaways from the holiday peak season: is it time to automate?

CUSTOMER INTERVIEW
Colruyt: Automation built to last
Distribution

Colruyt: Automation built to last

BLOG POST
Ergonomics and its effect on distribution globally
General

Ergonomics and its effect on distribution globally

BLOG POST
Tire manufacturers: prevention is better than a cure
Tire Industry

Tire manufacturers: prevention is better than a cure

BLOG POST
Automated order picking for refrigerated and frozen foods
Distribution

Automated order picking for refrigerated and frozen foods

BLOG POST
Don't retire brownfields; automate them
Tire Industry

Don't retire brownfields; automate them

BLOG POST
New construction or retrofit an existing warehouse?
Distribution

New construction or retrofit an existing warehouse?

BLOG POST
Tire factories: the early bird gets the worm
Tire Industry

Tire factories: the early bird gets the worm

BLOG POST
Doing things smarter: finding the right materials handling strategy
Distribution

Doing things smarter: finding the right materials handling strategy

BLOG POST
Industry 4.0 and its impact on the tire industry
Tire Industry

Industry 4.0 and its impact on the tire industry

BLOG POST
The ROI of automation
Distribution

The ROI of automation