Roughly 4.6 million new manufacturing jobs will be necessary in the next 10 years and those new workers will need safe, high-quality facilities in which to do their work.
Facility relocation can be a long, frustrating, and expensive process for manufacturers. While moving your production facility from one place to another, you naturally need to avoid complications that could either pile on more expenses or create excess delays in getting your new lean manufacturing plant up and running.
To avoid complications and ensure a steady move, manufacturers need a clear, consistent, well-documented system: a facility relocation project plan. To help you get started with that, rely on this handy checklist.
Review Your Decision to Move
Once you’ve made the important choice to relocate your facility, you should take some time to look back over your decision in detail.
Consider the risks, legal issues, resource demands, and other challenges and requirements that your facility relocation project plan entails. You should include key staff and senior management in this review, since they can help you see a more complete picture of all that the move will involve.
While you’re at it, make sure you double-check the new location’s available amenities and utilities. You want to ensure it has adequate resources like power, water, gas, internet access, and roadway access. If you’re careless about this part, you could end up moving your base of operations to a place that doesn’t serve your needs as well as your old location.
Communicate Your Decision to Move
Your business’s relocation to the new facility should never come as a surprise to investors, clients, workers, or authorities. Make sure that all the important people know about the move well in advance.
Create both a public press release and internal memos to communicate your company’s intent to relocate at least a few months before the actual relocation date. Be sure to include the new facility’s address and the projected date of completion for the move.
Perhaps most importantly, determine right away whether you’ll attempt to move the majority of your employees to the new location or not. Create plans and incentives for keeping your top talent during and after the move. This will be more difficult the further away the new location will be, especially for employees whose partners or family members have different jobs in the immediate area.
As for your customers, establish clearly how the transition will affect your production timetables. Your goal for this step is to make sure that no one is surprised by your facility relocation project plan.
Design a Layout for Your New Facility
It’s important to have a plan in mind for the placement of all your equipment and workstations before you arrive. This is key to enjoying a smooth transition.
During this planning, remember the principles of lean manufacturing. Now would be a good time to reconsider and rearrange the placement of your equipment. To optimize this process, you should seriously consider hiring lean manufacturing consulting firms.
Prepare for QMS Records and Documents Transfer
Make sure to bring all of your business’s quality management system records from your distribution list, and prepare to have them reissued at your new location. Your distribution list should be updated to reflect changes in your distribution plan caused by the transition.
While you’re at it, make a plan for moving all of your company’s other documents and data to the new location in a secure manner. Make sure you take steps to minimize the risk of losing critical documents. This would be a good time to back up your stored information.
Meet All Identification and Traceability Requirements
In your facility relocation project plan, be sure you account for having all of your identification and traceability requirements being met before, during, and after the transition. Be especially careful of any customer that’s property in your care.
Preserve and Protect Products and Equipment
Your company must do everything possible to preserve the good condition of all equipment and products being moved. This process is especially critical for products with a limited shelf life and calibrated equipment.
Test Equipment and Perform an Internal Audit
After your move to the new facility, every machine should be carefully tested. An internal audit should be run to make sure your production process isn’t lacking.
These are all some critical things to consider for a facility relocation project.