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Time Management

The effects of poor scheduling

"I found out that the similarities of my morning routine and many manufacturing companies are quite astounding."

Caroline Carter – Marketing Services for Rifle-Shot Performance Holdings; Social Skills Specialist and mother of Georgia (age 6).

I can tell from the negative effects of my own poor time management what happens to my relationships – whether they’re friendships or family or work relationships that need nurturing, all relationships suffer as a direct result of my substantial lack of proper time management.

No, I’m not trying to get myself fired. I just found the similarities of my morning routine and many manufacturing companies quite astounding!

Usually, I fall out of bed late (after having gone to bed at a ridiculous hour trying finish articles like this one in time for the deadline), stumble to my daughter’s room where I have to wake her up in a stressed voice and tell her that we need to be super quick this morning! I find myself yelling at her to hurry up and brush her teeth, and yelling at her again because she got toothpaste all over her school jersey. I slap together her lunch (unhealthy treats are the quickest to prepare) and forget to send her library book back, so she ends up being the only one in the class who is not allowed to take out another one until the following week!

In the make-to-order manufacturing environment, this kind of frantic activity, high stress levels, reduced quality, deteriorating customer relationships  and as a result, lower profit margins seem to be about as common as my morning routine – and as ineffective.

If I prepared healthier snacks in advance, I would still be able to put them in the lunchbox as fast as the junk, but I would know that I was delivering a higher quality meal to my most valued customer. In manufacturing, poor scheduling means losing money on expedited purchasing – if there is no advance forecasting, you’re likely to be paying the maximum price for materials as well as a delivery charge. Incidentally, junk foods turn out to be more expensive than fresh foods too… And the inventory in my grocery cupboard has no resemblance to what our nutritional needs are. Do any of you ever find yourselves with too much useless inventory in your stock rooms? This not only ties up money that could be spent on materials you actually do need, but it also creates clutter and slows down work processes because your factory staff have to sift through it all to find what they are looking for.

Duplicated administrational tasks are another consequence of poor planning – if you’re using your purchasing and scheduling correctly, you would produce a schedule for a job, which has a set of materials associated with it, and those have to be at certain points during the schedule. Some you will already have, and others you will need to buy. Scheduling will ensure that they arrive in time for when they are needed.

If you don’t have a consolidated schedule for your jobs, five buyers (buying per job) each buy materials for their own jobs. When this happens, you don’t get bulk prices and then there are 5 different invoices for the same materials to reconcile and pay. With a schedule, we can consolidate orders, optimising buying and reducing admin tasks as well as the duplicated bank charges associated with paying the same supplier 5 times for the same parts ordered by different buyers!

A consolidated schedule will also allow you to see clearly which machines are being used at which times, so you can plan around its unavailable times and avoid bottle necks. Equally the operator on that particular machine does need to have a lunch break occasionally (preferably not one packed by me), and his time needs to be factored into the production schedule too. Much the same as when my daughter and I are both trying to brush our teeth over the basin at the same time and two bowls of uneaten porridge wait patiently in the kitchen.

Clearly, efficiency in planning and scheduling is an absolute necessity in the manufacturing environments – unless of course you’d like for your business to remain as sustainable as my frantic mornings.


2 Thoughts on “The effects of poor scheduling

  1. Pingback: How Did Online Employee Scheduling Software Change The Scheduling Process? | Nigh Watch Software

  2. Pingback: 5 Best Ways to Manage Stress – Communication Breakdowns

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