So with all the stakeholders to consider (over twenty in my last post) come interfaces. A core operational team might have four interfaces between five activities on the critical path of a decision to order a luminaire, column or CMS node. For example: 

a) site survey 

b) street lighting design 

c) check and approval

d) client ‘acceptance’ 

e) material order

Each activity is often packaged and supplied in a linear process. That is to say that surveys are completed as a package, say 500 or 1000, then passed to the street lighting design team, who then pass a similar size package to the client for acceptance, and the package finally stops at commercial / procurement for materials order.  I realise each contract has a different set up but at best, in my experience, activities a) and b) can take four weeks each. So that is at least eight weeks before you get a material order in place. Of course once you have the order, there is another four weeks or more for materials to be delivered. Optimistically, that is at least twelve weeks lead-in. 

It doesn’t have to be like that.

With the right digital process, all the critical activities are working on one platform and lead-in goes from months to minutes, for surveys to material orders. 

Taking this to its natural conclusion, if your supply chain luminaire manufacturer, column supplier or lighting infrastructure provider is tied into the process, the manufacturer can raise orders as they come in. 

So that’s a lead-in time from twelve weeks to four weeks with the luminare on site.

What do you think about a manufacturer raising their own orders? Sound wrong? Well think about it; that’s less administrative work (none) for contractor commercial operations and the manufacturers are exactly the right people to review goods specifications, so can immediately come back if anything is wrong – and they will also be keen to get work flowing. You have a clear, auditable flow to review and transparency for stakeholders. Moreover, the manufacturer can add delivery information and ‘just in time’ deliveries become feasible resulting in less warehousing.. 

I’ve put a critical process under the microscope here, but what about everything else that goes with it?

If you buy into the concept this can then be rolled out across all stakeholders, lead times for every process evaporate and, taken as a whole, what were complex administrative tasks become smooth, simple and blindingly obvious ones, once the system is implemented.  Make you wonder why – if this is so easy – more people don’t do it?

Next time I’ll take a look at some of the blockers. If you can’t wait for further information or want some examples or case studies, please do contact us directly on jon.watt@gather.pm.