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42 SMT007 MAGAZINE I NOVEMBER 2019 Project management is a fundamental func- tion in many industries. Large-scale projects require a team of project managers, functional leaders, and subject-matter experts to deliver the project on schedule, within budget, and within the scope of the project requirements. In manufacturing, many projects are launched via the umbrella of Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5s, and other continuous improvement programs. However, many contract manufacturing organizations are hesitant to employ project managers or apply project management methodologies across the business due to the perception of high overhead costs and administrative burdens that project management could bring to the operations. This column introduces a recommended approach to project management in a contract manufacturing environment. Project man- agement does not have to be complex, nor Are CMs Ready to Embrace Project Management? costly; on the contrary, project management can help create a culture of operational effi- ciency, enhanced customer engagement, and employee self-accountability and enable data- driven decision-making. Operational Challenges in Manufacturing Project management can address operational challenges manufacturing companies face. Here are 14 operational challenges that were identified by a recent survey [1] : 1. Improving internal production processes 2. Strengthening customer relationships 3. Finding enough people with the right skills and talent 4. Increasing labor productivity 5. Increasing demand responsiveness 6. Maximizing capacity and asset utilization 7. Meeting customer demands for product customization 8. Achieving annual cost reductions 9. Improving product and service quality 10. Responding to customer requests for quotes and proposals 11. Improving labor flexibility 12. Enhancing supply chain collaboration 13. Optimizing supply chain performance 14. Faster and more frequent new product releases and launches Operational Excellence Feature Column by Alfred Macha, AMT PARTNERS

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