Author Topic: Scheduling Per press/location  (Read 691 times)

Offline ebscreen

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4243
Scheduling Per press/location
« on: March 28, 2024, 03:42:55 PM »
I'm finally getting around to putting our whole daily shop schedule on a giant screen TV so that hopefully anybody
that doesn't know what they should be doing is able to see at a glance where to go. Detailed production information will be included to hopefully
clear up some of the million little questions I answer daily.

The dilemma I'm facing is how to format this info/scheduling. Currently each entire job is scheduled to one press, and the schedule for that day
is displayed. Our press ops are fiercely defensive of their individual machines so it's obvious who goes where in that regard.
The reality though is that rarely is an entire job produced on one machine, it's typically split between two or three, IE fronts on small machine, backs on larger, etc.
So a daily schedule by decoration *location/method* starts to make sense.

Basically it will be a ton of work for me to implement that style of scheduling/display and I'll probably break a million other things in our database
in the process so I'm hoping for a unanimous "yes do it that way it's worth the effort" or "no that's dumb" kind of response.

If anyone has images or info on how they like their scheduling displayed I'm appreciative. I try to approach it
as if I'm the employee looking for info but it's hard for me to conceptualize as I'm on the other side and already have all of the info haha.


Offline 3Deep

  • !!!
  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5256
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2024, 04:01:41 PM »
Sounds like a great idea, but as you say it's going to be more work on you or whomever has to do a daily schedule to be posted up each morning, but you know and I know every good plan has faults.
Life is like Kool-Aid, gotta add sugar/hardwork to make it sweet!!

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2024, 06:28:37 PM »
Must...resist....temptation....to respond in a long tome on this extremely important topic. Seriously, it could easily be derailed into subtopics so for now, I will observe and absorb before commenting further.

Offline ebscreen

  • !!!
  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4243
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2024, 11:34:59 AM »
I'd love to hear your thoughts Tony. For me, scheduling is the unsung most difficult aspect of this industry.

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2024, 12:40:09 PM »
Suffice to say I've seen scheduling "models" that run from letting the press ops pick and choose what they want to run, to having a scheduling dept that plans production several weeks out over 12 presses three shifts in two separate plants hundreds of miles apart; with dedicated youth, pocket/sleeve autos. With regard to the latter model; the schedulers allow X amount of time per screen for teardown, Y amount per screen for set-up, and Z figure for avg run time (including aInterruptive downtime allowance). Suffice to say that all the pre-press elements are dialed in and are pre-staged and press ready. No wandering around looking for anything. Over the years of careful record keeping, the numbers became more accurate and predictable, with specific numbers assigned to certain presses etc. Those days of printing long run 500 piece minimum orders have passed most of us by however. There are times that may take longer to changeover a press than it does to run the order (lets hope that a rare exception!)
I have yet to find industry base software scheduling that fits all needs and many simply can not be modified. The best models I have seen/used are ones that are built from the ground up in an excell spreadsheet or something similar. I have yet to see allotments for pallet paper changes, for instance. Much more on this but that will have to do for now.

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2024, 06:36:16 AM »
Fast forward to days more typical production model, with a couple to a handful of autos and often smaller minimums. Certainly, all the progress with DTS,LTS, and pre-reg systems will reduce turnover times but still, to me at least, the key is to develop a scheduling model that allows for flexibility without chaotic disruption. We all know how crap happens. Missing shirts, art issues, pallet/paper changes, screen reburns....you know the drill. A seemingly obvious advantage is to put everything on wheels. Of course shirt carts, but screen racks, ink carts, squeegees/floodbars on hand at all times. At Harlequin we had prepress carts with inks, screens, squeegees floodbars, printed design instructions, and approved printed samples kept in a "parking lot" waiting to be assigned to a press for example. Those same carts were used for teardowns where they would be wheeled off for cleaning etc.

My hats off to the shops that have things dialed in with minimum disruption and last minute changes but I feel that is less than normal. So again, for me, flexibility is key; whether you schedule on a monitor or paper. And perhaps not lastly nor leastly, strong management that is capable of changing the course of the day without incurring the inevitable complaints or mutiny! I have also learned over the decades to listen to the seasoned press ops whom, at times, may come up with a more efficient, less stressful approach. Its important to listen and encourage this. Serious morale booster in my experience. Again, every shop has its own set of issues that vary far too greatly for me to comment on exactly how to schedule. Best advice is to learn from what you do already and do your best to streamline. The only constant in this business is change.

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2024, 07:02:20 AM »
Addendum to the addendum.....I've found that whether industry specific, or homegrown, the better scheduling models list the "cliff notes" on each order. # of colors/flashes, yth/adult etc, and course locations and quantities. Color coding helps a lot with this. In some shops You will see check boxes for garments pulled, screens burned, inks ready, approval required, etc. Goes a long way to prevent hiccups

Offline GraphicDisorder

  • !!!
  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5854
  • Bottom Feeder
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2024, 08:31:01 AM »
The key to scheduling time is someone who has done it doing the scheduling. Otherwise IMO it often wont be logical/close.

We used Monday here which is great for us. I sell the job and put it on the logical day. I dont really dictate the order of work ON the actual day so if operator would rather do job 3 first and job 1 5th or whatever that is all fine. We do have 1-5 star system, 5 being must produce that day and works it way down to how "hot" the job is. So in those cases we do the hotter jobs first.

I dont always nail it but in general im pretty close. Its not perfect and its literally by "feel" from having done it so long.
Brandt | Graphic Disorder | www.GraphicDisorder.com
@GraphicDisorder - Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2024, 09:17:27 AM »
Based on the short period of time I visited you Brandt I'm sure that works about perfect. I believe most of your work is 6-10 colors and very few pallet changes so due dates are good guidelines based on priority. Couldn't agree more that if you haven't spent hard time on the production floor printing, you simply will not be a great scheduler. All the schedulers at OATS were promoted from production.

Offline bimmridder

  • Gonzo Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1854
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2024, 10:04:22 AM »
We've developed our own "Tracking System" over the years. Years ago we tracked every job as far as pieces, garment color, set up time, tear down time and some other numbers. We (not we, my business partner with the brains) crunched numbers and came up with a system of assigning "units" to a job. A big way of doing some averages basically. Using this system we can schedule by number of units. It's not easy to explain. And I guarantee this system wouldn't work in any other shop. With all of that said, we have a schedule, but we don't. I have access to all of the scheduling info, but I don't post it. We always try to image a day ahead. Much more flexibility for us that way.  Being a big supplier to Minor and Major League Baseball, you may be able to imagine the number of orders running through right now. We are very hands on, making sure we do all we can to please every customer. Sales Manager may come to me and ask if we can switch some orders around. Sh gets to decide which customer gets bumped a day or two. She knows her customers, I know production. Imaging a day ahead gives us flexibility to do these kinds of things. Along with imaging tomorrow's work today, I'm prepping orders that will be imaged tomorrow today. So basically I'm given the freedom to juggle things around in that three day window. Throw in the "must ship by" and "can't ship until" orders and it can get fun. It sounds like chaos, but it works well for us. And no, it really wouldn't work in many, if any other shops. I can almost see the smoke coming out of Tony's ears right now.
Barth Gimble

Printing  (not well) for 35 years. Strong in licensed sports apparel. Plastisol printer. Located in Cedar Rapids, IA

Offline tonypep

  • Ludicrous Speed Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 5623
Re: Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2024, 11:44:40 AM »
If you remember Barth Gimble, you might also remember "Get Smart" (okay it was aired quite a bit earlier but couldn't resist!). The show was all about Chaos vs Control. Although Maxwell Smart wasn't always in control he tried to fight the good fight. And I believe thats what most of us strive to do with scheduling, sometimes with the same amount of humor (the series was written by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry). With the exception of very large shops, as we can see with Dave and Brandt's post many of us look at scheduling as a foundational structure for what needs to be completed in a given amount of time. Not necessarily in an ABC timeline, but in a path of least resistance manner. Sometimes problematic orders take longer than expected, some presses may actually finish earlier than time allotted etc, so not to belabor the point but fluidity is usually more important than a rigid schedule; at least for most. If you don't like that analogy think of each day like a day on the football field. The game changes up constantly with the unexpected being inevitable. It takes a good coach to roll with the punches and change strategies as necessary.
All that said, I went from Printavo Calender here (lacking the cliff notes) to Printavo Power Scheduler, (over engineered for us and too much clicking to access info) and back to using a combination of both which is clunky but works for now. Interesting enough, can't seem to actually print from Power Schedular. I know, they want a computer at each work statiion but not in the cards for now.

Offline CBCB

  • !!!
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 472
Scheduling Per press/location
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2024, 02:18:11 PM »
I have been saying for years I wish our industry had a standardized ‘point’ for productivity.

1 screen = X
1 impression = Y
1 person = Z
A multiplier for easy/medium/hard jobs.

These threads come up all the time and get derailed into how to improve your efficiency - away from how to measure and manage it.

So many times I hear a shop saying they do Y impressions without mentioning how many setups, or people involved.

I often see big shops add another person to a press while another press sits idle.

How many points per person can you achieve in a day?

How many points is this job?

That’s how mine works. We aim for 150 points a day. A point should also equal a certain amount of revenue so you can spot when a job is not worth the points:revenue ratio. That’s how I started seeing which type of jobs are truly profitable.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2024, 06:22:31 PM by CBCB »