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Why Plant Relocations Are More About Project Management Than Heavy Machines

Posted by AME Inc. on 4/13/16 7:00 AM

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When you think of plant relocations and equipment installations, it’s natural to picture hydraulic cranes, optical alignment equipment, millwrights and hand signalers on the jobsite. But what about project managers? While they’re not as visible, they are just as critical to a project’s success… especially if you want it executed safely, on time and within budget!

Project management is not only hard to explain to someone, it’s also difficult to measure until you’re into the full swing of it. For example, without a project manager dedicated to planning every phase of a project, customers will realize in the middle of the move that they didn’t plan for certain personnel mishaps, permit delays or other outside factors that have the ability to derail a timeline.

To help you understand the value of a project manager, we wanted to take the time to explain their roles and responsibilities and a recent experience that can potentially occur on any plant relocation and equipment installation projects.  

What Does a Project Manager Do?

By definition, project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to the overall planning, coordination, and control of a project from beginning to completion.

They are responsible for crafting estimates, budgets and timetables for the client’s overall plant relocation strategy. This role is also generally responsible for selecting any subcontractors and operators and provides the required resources, permits, etc. The project manager is also typically the point of contact for coordinating and collaborating with the engineers, inspectors and specialists.

When delays or problems occur – as they always do – the project manager is the first responder, ready to make the changes required to move the project past the issue.

AME Project Managers in Action!

One of our equipment installations that was scheduled to take eight months recently demobilized after a year and a half on the jobsite.

Due to inclement weather, the building construction was delayed and as a result the equipment couldn’t be stored properly and rusted. Paired with equipment deliveries not coming in on time, the experience of a project manager made all the difference in completing the project.

But how? As soon as we realized the initial project plan was heading for delays, two AME project managers were able to dig in, take ownership, activate contingency plans and help the customer finish the job properly.

Not All Project Managers Are Created Equal

As you can see, when plant relocations start to go south for a customer, a project manager is critical. However, it’s also important to ensure the industrial contracting company you hire has on-staff project managers that are trained to know exactly how to dissect industry-specific problems, assess the damage and develop a new course of action.

What’s been your experience with project managers? Do you have a question for one of ours? Share with us in the comments!

 

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Topics: Plant Relocation