Printwear

July '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 J U L Y P R I N T W E A R 4 9 USE A SCHEDULE WITH REAL DATES Production scheduling is one of the hardest things to master in most shops. It's akin to being an air traffic controller. Due to the com- plexity of the orders and the nature of the work, there are a lot of variables that can influence whether the shop stays on track or not. Regardless of the software your shop uses, one great trick is to schedule all orders to the workstation they will be produced on the day after the job is entered into the system. If you have a good esti- mate on how much work each production crew can handle a day, it is easy to see when they are full of work and can't take on any other jobs. But that won't work if the dates are padded. You have to use real dates for a production schedule, so everyone knows when that job has to leave the building. Having a schedule that shows the dates and production equipment to be used ahead of time allows the rest of your shop staff to understand their own internal deadlines for art, purchasing, receiving, etc. AN EXTRA PAIR OF HANDS Have you ever heard the phrase, "Many hands make light work"? In production, this is a cold, hard fact. Whether it is staging jobs by the production team, setting up for the next job, or cleaning up at the end of the day, sometimes a helper can really accelerate performance. Instead of stopping to add ink to a screen, what if someone was walking around doing it for you? Maybe you have those 500 shirts to unbag. Another person ripping into that plastic would go a long way. But does that mean you need to hire another person? Not nec- essarily. Your management team can do more than bark orders and sip coffee. If one department doesn't have much to do, you can rede- ploy a person somewhere else to help out. Sometimes, though, when you are in your busy season and slammed, just bringing in a temporary worker or your neighbor's cousin's kid or something can make a difference. Put an end to the 'not my job' syndrome. Make sure everyone knows that the most important thing in your shop is decorating a shirt. When that function isn't happening, the shop isn't making money."

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