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  • #16
    Yes John is spot on on his points. Bills example is common. But entire companies have been built on their reputation for taking on problematic and with tight deadlines........figuring out how to get it right and on time is critical to building the customer base. I'll spare everyone the examples.
    Not sure how any of this applies to T-Formation though.
    tp

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    • #17
      All:

      If you haven't guessed already, Josh works for me. This topic thread is completely related to my post last week about scheduling software (Tony guessed correctly!)

      It's not completely bananas here, as some would think by the comments made. Not taking it personal, but we do have a great shop, and a great team of people that work here. What we're after is the industries best practices. I've interviewed a lot of production managers and toured some shops all around the country and everyone does something different.

      Some folks have their own company program that's tailored to them, some use off the shelf products like Shopworks (which is what we use), and others just have a chalk board or cork board with information on it. We've looked at other software before, and we're not against doing it again.

      We do measure quite a lot of information in our production area, and I have the Excel Pivot tables to prove it. Previously we've performed process flow studies and also some Lean excercises to help eliminate waste and cull out the bottlenecks. The question that Josh is posting about, and my scheduling question from last week are in a similar notion.

      We're currently just looking to improve the way we're handling our process information. T-Formation has a diverse client base, and all the headaches that go with that. We do short runs on tight deadlines, all the way up to contract printing hundreds of thousands of shirts that aren't due for weeks. We need to find a way to easily gather the information and communicate it to our production team and also other stakeholders. Shopworks is ok, but only goes so far. Maybe they will update their software to be more user friendly and manageable, but the current version isn't there yet.

      All in all, we appreciate everyone's time on these boards and the knowledge and skill of everyone that posts (or lurks more like me). I think anyone that contributes to these boards all just wants the same thing - to be able to improve.

      So the question is - how do you schedule your shop?

      Thanks,

      -M

      Comment


      • #18
        Marshall...my closest example to T-Formation was a company up north that had 9 autos in one facility and 7 in another and they ran 24 hrs. They used a rather rudimentary (comparitve to today)system not unlike what John describes where a certain amount of time is allotted for tear down/set up (per color), interruptive downtime, and actual cycle speed. What made it work was time studies as mentioned in other posts. Also all the machines were 14 clr challengers all purchased in the same year which takes the machine element out of the equation. John is right of course about stroke speed and length but thats unrealistic to be able to feed that into any software pkg considering the volume. So in the end what worked were averages based on time studies as you are already doing. When production was ahead of schedule immediate action was required to communicate this to sales as they were usually able to fill any voids. If they fell behind immediate action was required to catch up, determine the cause and take corrective action.
        Assumption #1..Nothing scheduled till approved
        Assumption #2..Pre-Press always ahead and staged in "Ready Racks"
        Assumption #3..Always stock on hand
        Assumption #4..HR immediately notified with personnel needs
        So how much of this applies to you? Probably not much. I'm pretty sure you're a sharp guy and I'm not telling you anything you don't know but if you want to chat in length just send me a p-mail.
        cheers tp

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        • #19
          This speaks more to production efficiencies in large volume shops but heres a typical scenario: Pre-press staging has "parking spots" assigned to each press for carts or racks. My favorite is modified bakers racks. Screens on the bottom, inks on top, eyebolt for 5 gal bucket for sqg/fbar, another for approved sample and print instructions. Upon teardown press crew removes screens, sqg/fbar and stage dirty in empty rack and immediately begin setup of next job. Cart is whisked away to ink room for final cleanup, screen dept for reclaim, then to cleanup area for sqg/fbar. Empty clean carts are now sent to "parking Lot" for restocking of upcoming jobs. This process ensures that press ops are performing at their peak instead of performing non-profit generating tasks of cleaning and looking for things. Often a pre-press supervisor not only oversees those department but is entitle with making sure is right and ready and all work stations are properly stocked with ancillary items.
          Of course no two shops do it exactly the same way....this is a generalization.
          tp

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          • #20
            Originally posted by T-Formation
            All:


            So the question is - how do you schedule your shop?

            Thanks,

            -M
            I find the simplest way to schedule is.. when the art is done and goods are counted in complete, put it on the board. Nothing more, nothing less.
            John Sheridan
            Blacktop Graphics Screenprinting
            619.933.9053

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            • #21
              All:

              Maybe I should have phrased the question differently.

              Looking ahead, how do you post your schedule so departments in the company can communicate effectively? Screen room knows what to burn, inventory knows what to pull and what press to bring the jobs too, post-production knows what jobs are being finished so they can prepare for re-labeling or polybagging....and the biggest of all - sales and customer service know what's being printed when so they don't overbook the days and weeks ahead?

              Up to date, real time production schedule that's easy to understand and can communicate the workflow to everyone involved. This has to look ahead days, weeks maybe even months ahead depending on the parameters of the order.

              It would also have to communicate the completeness of various functions too. Art ready, goods received, screens burned, etc. Everyone can see the next step.

              So that being said... What are you using?

              -M

              p.s Thanks to everyone that's posted - both publically and privately. We appreciate your input and knowledge!

              Comment


              • #22
                I really would like to hear how are progressing with improving scheduling?

                We are trying to improve our production flow as well, on much smaller scale, and only beginning to move away from paper sheets. Spreadsheets are OK for analysis, but not for actual production.For now I came to conclusion, that real time information about stage of each order will be step one. I believe it's crucial that Information about everything influential is available in real time. We are developing simple to use application, where each employee will enter status change of each order and his activity in less than 10 sec. This way we will be able to know when will order be ready, and hopefully predict what else can we finish on a given day.Most of our jobs take all in all few man hours to complete. We get no more 5000 Pcs or more orders. But that's another theme. So long term scheduling is not an issue. We plan all our orders from delivery date backwards anyway. This year we have seen the biggest delivery difficulties from all distributors ever. The enormous rate of partial deliveries and back orders make it impossible to have control over orders anymore. Worst case of this year was order of 500 shirts, that came in in 13 deliveries from 3 suppliers (contract order). Well, to make it short, we will continue to schedule manually, but use all available info to do it more accurate and less stressful. This way shop will run more profitable. We increased sales in these year, but with less profit.

                Simple Android based Tablet PCs make it affordable for small shop like mine. We are 25 employees and make over 4500 orders this year. We do screen printing, transfers, embroidery, DTG.
                Will we are develop it into good scheduling tool? I don't know. But if I were to operate big shop, I would definitely look in other industries. We are maybe unique as an industry but our issues are universal, many other industries have similar scheduling difficulties. Which are taken care of as well.

                Boris
                www.transferdruck.si
                www.rogac.si

                Comment


                • #23
                  I would really suggest splitting up the production manager into two positions to give one person the time to keep track of capacity and be able to sit down and work on a system.
                  "What do you mean it broke itself?"
                  Don't just fix the problem, find the cause and prevent it!

                  Matt Regula
                  Production Manager/Equipment Technician
                  League Collegiate Wear
                  http://www.leaguecollegiatewear.com
                  matt@4league.com

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                  • #24
                    My problems are solved. Future forecasting is now possible. Strict guidelines for CSRs and clients had to be slowly implemented and enforced. It was worth the work.

                    Thank you everyone for your advice and wisdom

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                    • #25
                      Good to hear Josh.....looking forward to seeing you and Gary next week
                      Cheers tp

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                      • #26
                        Production Capacity

                        We use t-quoter. It has it's quirks , but I don't feel it's scheduler can hold enough slots .but for two autos, it's greAt. 2 autos 1 manual 1 shift

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                        • #27
                          Re: Production Capacity

                          No matter what the thing is productivity is always a bother,If something is being used appropriately that is always necessary to be performed in the finer manner because at the end it has that sort of input which should be discussed,Through tools like Scrum for this time production capacity can be increase a lot which is quite a positive sign.

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                          • #28
                            Production Capacity

                            Listening to you guys is amazing. We're just a small shop with an auto, manual, and production moving through google docs. Hats off to what you guys do everyday.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Production Capacity

                              I use custom built management software in conjunction with an intricate color coding magnet system and a few excel spreadsheets. That said we are in constant verbal communication minute to minute. Four autos two manuals. It works quite well however we've had well over a decade to polish it.

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                              • #30
                                Re: Production Capacity

                                We have 2 Autos 1 manual and 12 heads emb . We started using Printavo and placed ipads and flat screens with apple tvs so everyone is on same page. Unlimited users .=) Tquoter made updates which made it no longer useful to us.We run about 30-50 orders a day.

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