Skip to content

The fundamental keys to any successful factory design project

Imagine the following scenario…. 

One minute you think you have it all sorted; your product is selling well, your ranges are well received, your sales team are working in sync, your branding is on point, and it looks like you’ll turn a profit this financial year. And then comes the call: your customer says that they need 3,000,000 units of your product on their shelves next year.  

That number, however, exceeds your current annual output by 50%. 

That one phone call elevates you into a completely new tier of business – you’re now considered part of the big league. 

If you can make this work. 

Granted, it’s a great problem to have, but it’s a problem none-the-less.   

The calm you felt only a few short hours ago has now flown out the window as you stare down the barrel of a seemingly endless list of new priorities, including how on Earth you elevate your current factory footprint into a manufacturing powerhouse. 

Whilst this may seem like a fanciful story, it and many iterations of the same dilemma, are the mainstay of one of Australia’s best kept Factory Design secrets – CDE Design Solutions. 

What now? 

To ensure that priority list converts to product on the shelves and sales in the bank, you have two critical, and inextricably linked decisions to make: 

1. Partnership 

This is not the time to be reaching for a consulting firm to outsource your project. This is the time to work in partnership with a company, who has worked with many operators just like you, who is vested in your outcomes, who understands the solutions to the factory design problems that you never knew you had and who will walk and work with you as part of your team, or even act as your team for the duration of the project. 

When deciding on your factory design partner:

  • Choose a multi-faceted business with multiple streams of in-house engineering and technical knowledge. You may not need to work directly with the whole team but knowing that your project lead is supported with diverse knowledge behind the scenes is worth more than you could calculate. 
  • Choose a flexible business, one that will work with your existing engineering team or as your engineering team. One that can fill the gaps in your team’s expertise or work on or off site as your factory design team. 
  • Choose a partner that you like. You don’t need to be best friends, but factory design projects are intense and stressful and involve many moving parts – you want to be working with someone you actually like – again this is worth so much more than you’d expect. 
  • Choose experience. Your factory design partner needs to show longevity and success across multiple and diverse projects, customers, industries and solutions.

2. Scope 

In short – undercook, overlook or underestimate your scope and there will be a world of pain coming your way. But – ensure your project is scoped correctly, and you and your business are well on the way to success.  

According to the Project Management Institute, Pulse of the Profession report, over 52% of projects experience scope creep. Project creep and its detrimental knock-on effects are fundamentally caused by the project lead and/or the engineering firm, having insufficient knowledge, often driven by a lack of asking the right, or enough strategic questions at the beginning of the project. 

When scoping your factory design project, there are no shortcuts, there is no such thing as “near enough is good enough” and there is only one way to ensure scoping success. Experience. 

And here is the inextricable link – nothing trumps experience; when your project is required to be finished on time and on budget, it must be scoped correctly. 

Choose your partner wisely. 

What next?

CDE Design Solutions, we’ve have been solving factory design problems for manufacturing companies for over 20 years. Fostering long term partnerships with family businesses that have grown to household names as well as multinationals who’ve long been part of the Australian FMCG landscape, our team measures our success by the success of our clients.  

At CDE Design, we choose to work with clients who share our values and, as such, our relationships with clients extend beyond basic commercial partnerships. We are vested in our clients’ outcomes, and therefore, our solutions become their solutions. 

^ Originally published in Food & Drink Business Magazine | August/September 2023