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Project Management Case Study: The Spares Distribution Center (SDC) Essay

In the article written by John McMichael and Lockwood Greene (1994), the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (BCAG) started to design and operate the new Spares Distribution Center (SDC) in SeaTac, Washington, for the company’s Customer Services Division. With the project aimed at yearly growth rate in the areas of inventory and shipments, there were internal and external risks that BCAG faced in relation to the project. Internal risks had something to do with the control system’s project design and implementation.

As indicated in the article, “Custom software development with extensive sophistication and complexity could have increased design costs and jeopardized the overall schedule” (McMichael & Greene, 1994, p. 516). There were risks also in material handling, in managing extensive user input, and in the use of outside consultants. Internal risks were more centered on technical issues, which had to be solved through skills and correlation. When it came to external risks, however, these had something to do with political and social consent and acceptance.

There had to be permitting by the new municipality, where the new project was to take place. Environmental impacts of the project had to be also considered here. More so, it was written that SeaTac was incorporated as a municipality “only months prior to the start of the project” (McMichael & Greene, 1994, p. 515), which reflected that the municipality was somehow alien to the processing of building permits and inspections. As for social acceptance, the new project of SDC would have had huge impact on the neighborhood, mainly because the project itself was huge.

With the building to be extremely close to the SeaTac Airport, FAA’s rules and regulations should not be ignored. The new project of SDC posed some risks in the external and internal environments. However, these risks posed problems that could all be solved through communication, correlation, personal skills, and the procurement of knowledge and data. The most important thing, though, was to come up with the best project design that had to nullify all these risks.


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