ATLANTIC & HASTINGS PRINTERS -- Ironing Out a Schedule
Twilley says he was sold on the TGO theory after hearing it explained at a Printcafe conference last summer. One of the key points he took away was the short-sightedness of the industry practice of scheduling around a shop's presses.
"It's a standard practice to assume your presses are the critical work centers—perhaps rightly so—and then schedule work to them," he explains. "But even if jobs are backed up in the pressroom, you may not want to spend overtime on them if that ultimately is not going to get the work out the door any faster. You could just be creating a backup at the cutter, folder or some other operation downstream. PrintFlow will show you that, so you know ahead of time and can respond accordingly. It optimizes the workflow and shows you where and when best to run a job relative to other work in the plant."
"PrintFlow's strength is that it optimizes the entire plant, including equipment and employees, to obtain the best production possible," adds Wayne Fried, plant manager and a partner in the business. "The system evaluates every job and informs us of the status of each one. It enables CSRs and sales reps to be proactive, rather than reactive, with clients."
The real payoff comes from conveying accurate, timely scheduling information to everybody in the plant, according to Twilley. "We've always had a 'Today's Schedule' button on the shop floor units, but that feature never got used because the constantly changing status of work in the plant made the information meaningless. Now everyone has to use it."
Because of this past experience, the printer did have to work through a learning and acceptance curve with its staff. If work got backed up, operators had been conditioned to know they couldn't go by the schedule handed out that morning, he says. "The PrintFlow system now has proved itself to be useful and reliable.