Many industrial facility managers are concentrating the focus of their company's personnel resources on efforts that either reduce production costs, or add value to the products that they manufacture. As a result, in-house plant engineering groups, an important contributor in providing engineering support essential to manufacturing facilities, have in some cases experienced reorganization, downsizing and even elimination.

To satisfy the resulting gap in services that these groups historically filled, relief is obtained in a variety of ways, including:

  • Reassignment of responsibilities to managerial or production personnel
  • Contracting of technical/management employees
  • Outsourcing of technical and related management functions

How do you know which one is right for you? Here's a helpful look at the potential downfalls and benefits of each method.

Reassignment of Responsibilities

The reassignment of responsibilities approach can be subject to a number of shortcomings. While employees can be eager to contribute their efforts, limited technical ability can result in project outcomes which do not maximize potential returns. Employee project efforts most likely will diminish their performance in their original area of responsibility.

Additionally, downsizing or elimination of employees can result in a loss of "institutional memory" which can contribute to project inefficiencies and "reinvention of the wheel." Demographics suggest that, in many cases, seasoned employees having the necessary experience to allow them to take on plant project duties are now leaving the workforce in increasing numbers.

Contracting Technical/Management Employees

The hiring of contract technical employees can provide an individual resource with the required technical and managerial expertise on a project-by-project, or long term basis without the burden of expanding full-time staff. Contract employees, however, continue to require supervision by plant management and lack the support resources that alternative approaches might offer.

Outsourcing Technical and Related Management Functions

Outsourcing of technical services to a professional service organization minimizes the requirement of oversight by plant management and can bring the experience and resources of multi-faceted project teams to bear on plant problems and projects. Project Team capabilities which might include feasibility studies, capital cost estimating, engineering and design, equipment specification, equipment procurement, permit assistance, project management and construction coordination present options to a facility manager or owner which can maximize a project's return while minimizing interference with plant operation and management responsibilities.

The AMG Project Team Provides Relief

If you have been reorganized or restructured, AMG can step in to fill the gap. We offer:

  • Full-Service, multi-discipline organization
  • Industrial experience base
  • Plant engineering experience
  • Multiple project delivery options
  • Internal project management systems
  • 3-D design capabilities
  • Vendor/Contractor knowledge and relationships

Give us a call to see how we can assist you in delivering your next project.

Topics: Delivery Systems