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The Wisdom of Perpetual Upgrades

When is the right time to retrofit? Before you paint yourself into a corner.

Have you ever wondered how timing can impact the effectiveness of a project? If you have not, it’s important that you hear this story.

I was working with a client to help spec out a retrofit to their entire line that turned into a million dollar scope of work. Through the process it became clear that we were being sole sourced on the project; as long as we presented a reasonable budget, the project was ours. Needless to say, I was quite excited, right up until the point when they told me they could not afford any downtime.

This was discouraging news considering the size and scope on the project. A project that was straightforward from a technology and application standpoint had suddenly become a monumental task. A system I would normally estimate at three weeks for the startup turned into a six-week, shot in the dark with 24/7 hour coverage just in case anything went sideways. We got it done, but the time, energy, dollars and risk it took to make it happen were greatly amplified due to the no downtime conditions. As an example, the startup had to be rescheduled three times, with less than a week’s notice, due to the fact that they could not derive enough production to stockpile product to carry them through the startup. Continue Reading →