How Much ROI Is Slipping Through Your Fingers?

By Kristin McLane, President of CIMx Software

CIMx Software’s President talks about the easy-to-fix mistakes many companies make as they consider shop floor improvements.

The lyrics of a recent chart-topping song compare life to an hourglass, glued to a table.  It’s true we have only so much time, one measure of sand and no more.

Delaying a decision or waiting on an improvement project may cost you more than you think.

Delaying a decision or waiting on an improvement project may cost you more than you think. Photo:

Whether you are talking life’s biggest problems or the implementation of shop-floor improvements, you never know how much time you have until the next crisis event.  On the shop floor, it might be an audit or a customer return.  Perhaps you’re building scrap because engineering made a change that’s not reflected in the current travelers.  Crises are going to happen, and there is only so much time to correct them before you lose profit, customers, and ROI.

Think of the sand trickling through the hourglass as currency.  Money’s wasted on errors and delays as you struggle to decide what to do, or wait to do anything at all.

Most of the companies I talk to worry about running out of time before they make a decision, get funding and implement.  It’s a legitimate concern with real consequences.  Internal politics and fear delay projects and decisions.  Companies exhaust the cost and production savings before they’ve kicked the project off.  The sand doesn’t stop.

The key to successfully navigating the hourglass is recognizing the potential danger and preparing for it.  Ask vendors how they keep a project on schedule.  What techniques do they have to give projects momentum?  At CIMx, we have measures, from our sales process through implementation, and long-term support and upgrade, to ensure we’re good stewards of your time.  We have resources in house to help build a persuasive business case and ROI, and have designed our software to be implemented in less than 30 days.  Demand a realistic schedule of your vendor, and never leave a project open-ended.

Look at the structure of your company, and identify potential roadblocks early.  If a team is reluctant to take on a manufacturing software solution, get them involved early so they don’t delay the project later.  If funding will be a problem, find an advocate who can lobby for funding and deliver a PO when the time is right.

If you can’t get a larger hourglass, focus on spending less sand.

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