As Engineering Document Control Manager, you keep information flowing. You make sure everyone is getting accurate documentation when they need it. You ensure that ECOs are signed off and related systems are updated. When all systems operate smoothly, few notice your department. As a result, you risk salary stagnation. Why does this happen?
What are you going to explain? If you could explain that you saved the company, say $3.5 million, in the last year, what would that mean to your next review, your next job offer?
How do you deliver significant dollar value to the bottom line, value that is recognized by upper management? Here is the plan.
Let’s start by targeting a process to improve.
Part 1 of 4, “Introduction and Step 1”
Target a Process
An OEM had a product lifecycle management (PLM) system for about 4 years. The CEO tasked engineering with leveraging their PLM system to find areas to save money. His goal was to find enough money to hire more for product development. The engineering manager, supply chain manager, and engineering document control manager decided to investigate their ECOs. Why were they initiated? How many did they process? Where were the bottlenecks? What would be the impact of improvements? Using PLM, “Helen” the Engineering Document Control Manager looked through the past two years of ECOs submitted, pending, and released. They were looking for a large-value target that could fund the CEO’s goal. They ran reports and read through ECOs of all categories: Supplier Issue, Cost Reduction, New Feature, New Product, etc.
Once taking this closer look, cost reduction ECOs emerged as a large category lurking in backlog. They were always important, yet never urgent, so they were rarely addressed.
Target Process Found: Cost Reduction ECOs
The company in the story had a CEO initiate the investigation, but you don’t have to wait to be told. Take the initiative. Don’t accept status quo from your systems, find places to add value. How do you find opportunities for savings or increased revenue in your organization? Here are some ideas to get you started.
Question everything to find a target process. This is your first step to making a big impact in your organization. Take some time now to start looking for areas that you can impact to save money or bring in more revenue.
Next week, I’ll offer some ideas to establish metrics that will help explain the value of improving the target process.
Note: These are some best practices I’ve found. It’s not an exhaustive list. It’s meant to start a conversation. Comment with your response, your ideas and your experiences. If you email them to me, I can post them with a pseudonym or no name. Thank you!