Include all stakeholders affected by the plant closure
The wide range of stakeholders affected by a manufacturing plant closure will have different and often diverging interests, including business efficiency, corporate reputation, regulatory compliance, fair employee treatment, customer satisfaction and optimum value recovery.
Use a phased process with clear stage gates
A plant closure process has six to seven phases. It starts with a manufacturing site being identified for possible or definite closure and ends with the full closure and review. The benefit of phasing is that it allows you to establish clearly defined points where there is a definite go/no-go or re-do decision and where all work streams and their dependencies are checked.
Manage key dependencies within the plant closure project
A manufacturing plant closure project incorporates many dependencies: between retention and run-down, and run-down and build-up of capacity at receiving sites; between technology build-up and transfer; and between personnel retention and stakeholder communication.
Appreciate the different closure types
There are five different types of manufacturing plant closure: product stop, volume transfer, technology transfer, continue plant with same purpose or continue plant with different purpose. They are not mutually exclusive but each comes with different considerations. Tailoring your approach to the type of closure you are dealing with maximises the chances of a successful outcome.
Monitor project and business impact separately
Make a clear distinction between project-related impact and ongoing business key performance indicators.
"A plant closure is much more than just discontinuing a business," says Harmen van Os, PA Manufacturing expert. "Project management must be applied from the very start, and should cover all relevant business functions."