Project Management: 5 Key Supply Chain Processes for Injection Molding
Regardless of the industry or specific undertaking, project management can be a difficult task. For injection molding, however, managerial discipline and oversight are essential. Project Management Offices (PMOs) have become a standard in the molding industry; they ensure high-quality production runs by instituting specific policies and procedures and monitoring the entirety of manufacturing processes.
On top of administrative tasks and implementing strategies to help molding manufacturers meet their goals, project management teams must focus on supply chain organization. Successful supply chain management encompasses the planning and execution of various activities, including but not limited to procurement, sourcing, conversion, and delivery. Here, we will cover the most vital facets of supply chain and project management duties and how they can benefit manufacturing processes in the injection molding industry.
Grasp the “Big Picture” of the Project
A PMO must continuously consider both big-picture strategies and everyday functions to ensure that a project complies with overarching company goals. A successful “management mentality” should aim to tightly control company budgets, keep production and logistic functions on track, oversee manufacturing processes, and facilitate administrative regulations throughout the entirety of a project.
From scheduling tasks and goals when the initial purchase order is placed to coordinating the production/manufacturing/delivery processes, management requires high levels of coordination and discipline. The efficient allocation of resources, including staff, is a core duty of the project manager to help streamline manufacturing projects.
Communication is also vital; effective project management should deliver project updates and information to internal and external personnel and serve as a medium between clients and the company. If problems emerge at any stage in the manufacturing process, the project manager needs to inform the appropriate parties and begin remediation. By doing so, they can mitigate confusion and error while maximizing efficiency and accuracy for all parties involved.
Sourcing Expertise From Partners
Two of the most critical aspects of the supply chain management process are sourcing external customer awareness and internal expertise. In the injection molding industry, managers must coordinate a project to align with the customer’s expectations and manufacturer’s capabilities to ensure an optimal outcome. Because customer service is a vital resource to receive not only real-time information but scheduling and product availability, a project manager must bridge communication between all parties, including design engineers, clients, production teams, mold builders, research experts, and manufacturing engineers.
When receiving materials, tools, or information from a third party, a project manager controls the cohesiveness and timeliness of both internal/external sources. Efficiently managing tasks and allocating resources will ensure design continuity and that the products produced closely match the customer’s needs and schedule.
The project manager must standardize operating procedures for injection molders regarding the selection, qualification, and maintenance of suppliers. By approving supplier lists, documentation, and histories and instituting the appropriate corrective actions, a PMO can leverage a company’s procurement process. Ultimately, creating sound relationships between various departments and ensuring customer service is delivered to the highest standard can enhance the supply chain process and a manufacturer’s bottom line.
The Project Manager Must Follow The Entire Work Flow
An injection molder should have established methods to not only track initial order progression but product production and shipping time frame as well. Standard procedures will help a project manager monitor changes in the manufacturing flow process and respond to fluctuations in consumer demand and supplier constraints. A discontinuity between the injection molder, third-party supplier, and client can create a lot of headaches for the project manager.
Logistics is especially crucial for the project manager. Not only must they orchestrate and evaluate injection molding procedures, but also strategically execute physical distribution processes. Manufacturing and delivery schedules often fall into very tight timelines, and because even a hiccup could disrupt the entire workflow, a project manager must verify the injection molder has easy access for shipping product and regularly scheduling deliveries.
Measuring Supply Chain and Manufacturing Performance
Finally, it is essential for a project manager to measure the performance of the entire supply chain and manufacturing process. It helps if the plastic injection molder already has performance and improvement metrics in place. With visual performance diagrams, such as the Gantt Chart, a project manager can quickly review project time frames, overlaps, task assignments, and goals. Aware of a project’s “who, what, and when,” the PMO can measure efficiency and completion rates and utilize such data to channel the company’s best practices.
Conclusion: Select a Top Plastic Injection Molding Manufacturer
Understanding the vitality and applications of a project manager in any business or industry is the first step in achieving successful supply chain management processes. Companies that focus on proper administrative development and high-performance standards will undoubtedly deliver high-quality production, efficient runs, and invaluable customer service.
New Berlin Plastics works hard to strategize, measure, and continuously improve its injection molding processes and company performance. This is assisted by our professional purchasing and demand management teams to ensure all the pieces are in place for a smooth manufacturing operation and mitigate any risks and delays early in the process. Doing so ensures their customer expectations are met and has staged New Berlin at the forefront in a competitive market. To learn more, explore our website, or call us at 262.784.3120.