4.1.4 Business Plan preparation


Rose Ann

I'm a new Production Manager (4 wks.). I was thrown into this position un-expectantly. Now I'm told I have to write a business plan with short term and long term goals. I've recieved a little advice on how to do this, but I want to do a good job. Can you help? Our audit is in 2 wks.


Bryon C Simmons


Seems kind of unusual for your executive management to delegate the writing of the business plan to a production manager. Typically, this is a senior level management document, to be used by senior management in the planning and execution of future business plans for the future success of your company. While I have no doubt that you are capable of writing it, it seems a bit odd.

I am not sure you will be able to develop a plan in two weeks. best I can tell you would be to look at the requirements that the standard calls out, and try to gather as much information as you can that already exists, and put that into some type of usuable format. Remember, the Business Plan is confidential...the auditors can't look at it, if you dont show it to them. My experiene is, that they will want to see evidence of its existence.....like maybe a table of contents or equivalent, and then in your Level II procedures, state your methods of tracking, updating, revising, etc. Also, you need to control the pan, per 4.5 This is relatively easy to do. COntrol it similar to your Quality manual.

Put together a format.....may be all the time you will have, prior to the audit. If your audit is pre-assessment, you will get a non-compliance perhaps, but that will give you time to develop it better, prior to the registration audit. If this is a registration audit, then your plan should already be in existence somewhere. Ask your senior management if they have any of hie types of data that should be included. THey may have something started already, and just not aware of it.

Hope this helps.


Rose Ann

Let me clarify. I only have to write the portion of the business plan that applies to my position. I have become better informed and what they are really looking for is a strategic plan to show continuous improvement. Not the company business plan. I think I'll go with bench marking where we are at now and where I hope to be in the future. Does that sound like the right direction?


Kevin Mader

One of THE Original Covers!
Rose Ann,

Traditionally, strategic plans, as you clarified, are used to develop the senior level business plan. Bryon has given details on the control of the business plan. Your idea to benchmark is a good one (keep in mind that you benchmark against an outside agent, generally a "best pratice" outfit). Your idea to use baseline data for comparative measures is also a good idea. When developing your strategic plans, state your objectives and goals in specific, measurable, and realistic terms. Determine your possible obstacles and solutions for them and bulletize when ever possible (as in an Executive Summary). The simpler the stated terms and benefits are, the better. Only the highlights of your strategic plans will be outlined in the Business Plan anyway. For production, I might include topics such as Labor Variance, Labor Efficiencies, plans to automate, and training. Be sure to have a mix of short term and long term topics. I hope this helps to get you going. Good Luck!
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