Scheduling: A Tale of Two Businesses

I believe there are two types of businesses—those that plan and seek growth systematically, and those that move forward using the sometimes outwardly successful, but unnecessarily risky “wing and a prayer” approach!

For those of you who have asked for more detail about systemizing your company—particularly your SCHEDULING system—HERE IT IS! Hope you “wing and a prayer” people will lean in!

I’ve had numerous conversations with business owners and production or plant managers about Production, Project and Service Scheduling Systems, and they generally ask, “How can you deliver your product ‘on time, every time’ at your company?” They express doubts that it could be accomplished in their own company, due to the difference between their turnaround times and ours, and the different types of product or service we each provide.

This article is addressed especially to the “risky business” group.

To begin with, as with any process or event that needs to happen in a consistent manner, and on a given date, what is needed is a complete system—no GAPS! To build a great Production or Service Scheduling System, you need several systems working in concert for a complete solution, starting with a detailed list of steps in the entire process, from start to finish.

Hereafter, the term production will be used to describe the steps in any process; whether for a service company or for manufacturing. The same basic principles apply, whether you are a printing company or manufacturer, food provider, medical facility, restoration company, etc.

Today there are many types of software on the market for Production, Project and Service Scheduling. Some companies use Excel spreadsheets, industry-specific software, or a Manual Scheduling Board, showing all the jobs/projects in progress for a given day (also known as WIP, Work in Progress). These are great tools, but only part of the solution in building a great Scheduling system.

Philip Beyer, founder/president of Beyer Printing and Ebiz Products LLC in Nashville, TN, is a chronic entrepreneur, business systems analyst and consultant, author of "System Busters: How to Stop Them in Your Business," and an InterTech Award recipient for the design and development of System100™ business process management software. Philip speaks to business owners across the country on how to bring lean, sustainable order to their businesses.
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