Less than a year after the delivery of a brand-new fulfilment centre in Waalwijk, in 2018 bol.com started with the expansion of the centre. The expansion is necessary because the webshop grows 30 percent annually. This means an extra 50.000 m2 extra space is needed. To make sure the construction goes according to plan so it can be used in 2021, bol.com asked Critical Minds for help.
Insight and oversight
“The new building consists many different disjoined projects, at which the building is only a small part of the scope.” Says Christiaan Voogt of Critical Minds. “Every project has its own contractor and schedule. Without the overview, bol.com would not be able to check the effect of an alternation in the schedule .” To be able to get a grip on the schedule, they let Critical Minds create an oversight. “Of every disjointed project, together with the stakeholders, we create a complete schedule’’. If a main event would shift, you would immediately be able to see the effect on the other subprojects.”
An integral overview
The integral overview showed a few potential risks. “By laying the different schedules side by side, one can find out if things do not align. When needed, we adjust so future delays can be avoided”, says Christiaan. By doing this we increase our chances of finding possible ways to speed things up. “We focus on speeding things up by splitting a big area in smaller parts’’. Because of this we are able to complete more work in a smaller timespan. This way we are able to keep our focus on time reduction.
Critical Minds created the integral overview in Microsoft Project. This is a project management tool that bol.com used at the time. Because the integral overview has been set up structurally, it shows the impact on the tasks in the project when there is an alternation. When the program proposes changes, the employers of Critical Minds get in touch with the contractors. The schedule will not be changed without correct consultation. “Every two weeks we will get in touch with all the stakeholders and talk about the progress in the project. That information is processed into the integral overview”, says Christiaan
Now that the integral overview has been made, monitored and complied with, Critical Minds has a new challenge. The deadline gets closer and the different processes do not follow the normal order. “In the ideal situation first you build a building, then you finish the building and finally you furnish the building”, explains Christiaan. “But in the case of a big building like bol.com, you start furnishing as soon as the roof has been closed. This means some activities will be executed at the same time, to make sure to project stays on schedule.”
This approach requires a well collaboration between bol.com, Critical Minds and the different contractors. Christiaan sounds positive: “Everyone has a very flexible attitude. They make sure the right people are at the right place at the right time, do what they said they would do and are able to help where needed.” With this pleasant collaboration and a well monitored schedule, the first package of 2021 will be finished.
Want to know more? Read about how we optimize processes for the construction & infrastructure or read the case how we helped ‘Van Geloven’ to combine their two factories together to one big factory.