We have seen it too often: steps are taken that seem to save money on your engineering project but actually don’t. Some common one’s
1. Start your project ‘On the go’ and stage it over disciplines
Timelines are strict, and in many engineering processes, the output of one engineering department serves as the input of the other engineering department. (e.g. process that hands their work over to mechanical who hand it over to control). Deadlines are tight, and it too often happens that, due to these deadlines, improper work goes from one department to another who then make use of the wrong input and too often have to redo the work. Although the intention was right, the result is that projects are finished too late, with a loss, an unsatisfied customer and terrifying discussions on who to pay for the additional work. Do you want to prevent it? Start with understanding and make use of dedicated multidisciplinary engineering cells instead.
2. Understaff and underpay
Although it may sound tempting to cut costs by understaffing your projects — as you have to pay fewer people, please don’t do it! People will become stressed, unsatisfied and lose motivation. We all know that this is a recipe for disaster. The same applies for underpaying them; the old verb ‘when you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ still stands here.
3. Solve identified threats in a later stage
Small details that may look unimportant now can have a huge impact later on. Identify all aspects that may bite in the long run and mitigate those risks as soon as they appear.
4. Put safety in the grey zone
Safety measures and systems usually make up a large part of your engineering expenses: the so-called black area (unacceptable so avoided) and the white area (considered safe according to applicable standards). We have often seen that safety engineering targets the ‘grey area‘ to save costs (meets bare safety requirements). Not only indicates that you have an insufficient understanding of your process (and associated risks), but the main issue is that it falls under the category of negative investment; the money saved is likely to be paid in the future at a huge interest. When a problem occurs, the costs to fix it are much higher than doing it right the first time.
To save time, projects need to go ahead quickly to meet deadlines: proper documentation is often overlooked. Even worse, money is saved on a documentation system that leads to a situation where information cannot be retrieved in a timely manner. It may look like an attempting shortcut but will bite you as the project progresses.