Project Management in FMCG Manufacturing

FMCG manufacturing organisations are excellent at keeping production lines running and producing products at the required quality efficiently. This is accomplished through many techniques such as planned maintenance, quality audits, lean, Kanban, Continuous Improvement or Six Sigma. Generally, goods are produced and delivered on time at the planned costs and customers are satisfied.

These techniques bring huge rewards to the companies that employ them; customer satisfaction, healthy organisational culture which reduces stress and increases employees’ satisfaction and of course increased profits.

Their organisations are structured in such a way as to achieve those outcomes and employees are hired as experts or trained to gain the skills required to maintain manufacturing processes.

When embarking on major projects such as building new factories and installing new production lines, often the correct people are not employed at the time, as major projects can be rare occurrences. People from within the organisation are asked to run a project, but occasionally these people will retain some responsibilities for their regular jobs. They will possibly have little experience in running projects or indeed will have had no training in project management.

If this is the case, then the risks to the organisation are great:

  • The project is not clearly scoped leading to unknown risks and costs, perhaps to a point which the organisation cannot afford
  • The project is late and benefits are not delivered when expected
  • Daily operations are negatively impacted as distractions occur and the project interferes with production through unforeseen events
  • Communications suffer
  • Morale is negatively impacted
  • Customers are let down and go to competitors
  • Product innovation is stifled
  • ………………………..

The list could go on.

By using proven project management techniques and planning the project and its potential impacts to the existing organisation fully, companies will gain the huge rewards they get from the way they run daily operations.

Most importantly, setting up the correct temporary project organisation will deliver these great benefits. Teams made up of experienced project managers, integrated with internal experts from the required disciplines (who are given time to play their parts), will enable the most accurate planning of the projects. FMCG manufacturing companies would add value to their projects by mitigating risks in this way and increase the chances of project success.