Developing a Realistic Plan B

So far, the planning process has gone smoothly for your relocation; tasks have been identified, responsibilities assigned and dates set forth.

Next comes the part that few face without trepidation, as it suggests the whiff of failure, or at least, the unforeseen setback. All too often, someone in the C-suite pronounces “failure is not an option!”.

If only saying it made it so. Dates can and do get changed.

The realist will explore the “what if's” from a dispassionate viewpoint if only to prevent being blindsided.

Many factors can contribute to a changed date:
Construction delays
Inspection failures
Delayed permits
Delivery of plant/warehouse equipment extended
System programming and testing does not proceed as planned

The key is to run through the possible scenarios and rank them as a threat level…a “1” is an inconvenience, whereas a “10” will stop you dead in your tracks.

Having a backup plan that will actually work takes a significant investment of time and a keen sense of reality. Maybe the exit date from your existing location has some flex to it, maybe the equipment being delivered can be rented to bridge a delivery gap, or maybe the old system can be pressed into service until a new one can be brought online.

A perennial favourite is to hear someone say “we’ll just go manual until the system is ready” without really thinking of what that will really take in terms of manpower, training and documentation. A simple query of “so how would we do that” will often uncover the reality of the suggestion, and if that conversation yields credible options, you have a solution. If not, it’s back to the discovery stage.

Considering the alternative, the effort required to craft realistic options in advance will pale compared to the impact associated with an unanticipated show-stopper.

Our final article in the series will be posted in 2 weeks and will address “Purging to Save Money".

For more information about The Smooth Move Program™, contact us at info@supplychainsystems.com or call 905.454.8529.

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