Yasemin Akaydin Miller, managing director, PASS International FZE, discusses how impractical deadlines can harm OS&E objectives
Has it ever happen to you? You are at a project meeting, looking out of the window to the hotel that is being built and thinking about the opening date you have just been given. Have you asked yourself, if this is the same building they are talking about or you are lost in translation?
There are many reasons why projects get delayed; it is sometimes inevitable. However knowing the dates have been pushed forward and not informing the parties involved, is not a good move, especially for OS&E procurement.
What are they trying to achieve?
Trying to make the owners and investors happy by saying ‘ it can be done’ (well let’s face it, sometimes you could loose your job if you say no) or making sure that you keep everyone who is involved in the project on their toes all the time or you like to stress others and yourself for no reason, or you are a very, very optimistic person and believe in miracles or you really don’t know what you are doing…
I can go on with the list, but still could not understand it till this date, why a certain non achievable deadline is set or the project is delayed and everyone is told to follow the original schedule, despite the fact that in numerous occasions, ‘unofficially’ everyone tells each other that ‘it is not going to happen!’… Everyone knows, but everyone still follows blindly.
There is a contract and unless someone sends you an official letter regarding the opening date, you are obliged to follow; in case a miracle happens, you don’t want to be the one who is blamed for non-performance!
What happens next?
You start working very hard to achieve the deadline. You have lots and lots of products to be sourced and to be specified. You need to get all the quotations, analyse and compare the costing, get approvals and issue the orders. You put pressure on everyone around you; the operator to specify, the owner to sign orders and pay deposits, the suppliers to commit on deliveries.
You continue checking with the site regarding the opening date. You still get the same answer. You -should- warn them about the consequences, cost implications, handling and procedural difficulties. But most of the time nothing changes.
The time comes… (Congratulations, you have managed to achieve the deadline!)
You now want to organise the deliveries; you will hear the following:
‘The site is not ready to receive the goods!’
‘The areas are not handed over to the operator, so nothing can be received at site!’
‘Hold on to the goods. Don’t deliver them yet!’
‘Ask the suppliers to keep the goods in their warehouse!’
Surprise, surprise… Or should I say, smile you are on the candid camera!
Can you imagine the position that you would be in as a procurement person? You pushed the suppliers to manufacture, to ship, to do whatever they can to achieve the date, do the impossible; at the end when the time comes, you say: ‘Stop, don’t deliver. We are not ready…’ And now, you are even asking them to store the items for you. Is this fair? No, not really. Will they do it? Yes, they will, up to a certain time, depending on the amount of the order. Everyone is prepared for a month’s delay. But if it is over that period, then they will start charging you.
When should you deliver OSE?
Other than couple of items that need installation, like your mattresses, minibars, safes, TVs, everything should be delivered at least one month before the opening. The ideal and best way to deliver OSE is directly to site, where everything can be received, counted, stored and placed at the right areas by the operator.
If you don’t have a ready site, you have to deliver the items to a warehouse. Not an ordinary warehouse; a big, air-conditioned and a managed warehouse. You store your items there till the site is ready to receive deliveries.
Not only this has a huge cost impact on your project, it also creates big logistic issues; everything need to be double handled; transported, received, counted and delivered again. Along the process, it is almost inevitable to have some items broken, misplaced or lost.
The consequences at delivery are not the only obstacle; you have also created the following by achieving an unrealistic deadline:
– No time for negotiation
– You cannot get what you want; you get what is available
– No time for customisation, making something special
– Because of minimised production time, you pay more for the items
– You rushed everything; you are open to make mistakes
– You spent a lot more, not for what you get, but to clean up the mess.
So, keep smiling…