Your company is rolling out a new application. In addition to users at your headquarters, you have to coordinate the rollout to 42 locations with over 300 users. Your CEO expects the rollout to be live with all users connected by the end of Q1 so you can go live in Q2. You have to image the new systems, source peripherals, keyboards, monitors, mice etc. and ship and kit them to all locations. It’s a complicated process with a lot of logistical details and you have few resources outside of IT for support.
You're also dealing with space constraints. Bringing in so many systems and peripherals into the IT area will make running your day to day work nearly impossible. Though it seems daunting there are several steps you can do ahead of time to organize the project and meet the deadline.
Allocate the space you are going to work in. Don’t let the project move beyond that area. This is important to protect your day to day work but also to prevent systems and peripherals from being misplaced. If you don’t have the space consider working with your IT partner to warehouse items or rent temporary space. One thing to keep in mind is your power requirements and confirming the space is free of electrostatic discharge which can damage systems.
Coordinate with purchasing so your systems and peripherals arrive on time. Build in extra lead time for possible delays. The last thing you need is being late because you didn’t get mice and keyboards in.
Figure out how you will ship the systems and peripherals and order the appropriate boxes, packing materials, etc. Will systems and peripherals be boxed together or separately? Do you want to ship all peripherals to one location in one big box or would it be better to make single system kits? Will you need special packaging for delicate items? You should also consider the resources at remote locations and how easy it will be to sort and allocate peripherals to end users onsite.
Set expectations at your remote locations. They need to know when they can expect systems and how to set them up. If you can prepare a setup document to be included with each system even better.
Create a mini assembly line process once a system is imaged to make sure you’ve gone through all the steps required to properly image the systems and include all necessary peripherals. Using checklists can be very helpful.
Capture all asset information including part numbers, serial numbers, image build number, warranty expiration, ship to location and if you have it user name. Knowing what, where and to whom you have shipped will be very helpful if there are any issues later.
While this is not an easy project, with planning and organization you can make it less burdensome and more importantly, you can meet your CEO’s deadline.
Read our other blog posts in this series on logistics here.
Farida Ali is CEO and President of Dynamic Computer Corporation. She is an experienced executive with over 25 years of experience building and transforming Dynamic to be uniquely positioned as an expert technology solutions provider in highly regulated industries. Farida holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan, as well as a Juris Doctor degree and membership in the State Bar of Michigan. As a certified woman-owned business and a certified minority business enterprise, Dynamic has a strong focus on diversity and inclusion, with Farida spearheading this initiative.