Production Scheduling Procedure
The Pressroom is looking to upgrade it's production scheduling traffic board. Currently, it is a manual procedure involving hand written hangtags on a pegboard that are moved as a job progresses through the shop. It is time consuming and repetitive. We also use a similar system for the stitcher traffic...more repetition. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Mark D. Sharadin
Do you guys use printsmith? They have a scheduler module for that program
For what it's worth we use exactly the same system (pegboard and tags). For us it's a very quick visual reference for every job in the shop and where they stand. We've tried lots of other things but always come back to this very manual (and archaic) method.
I guess it comes down to what your intention is with this board.
I didn't really tell you anything did I?
I use Scheduler every day. I haven't tried any others, but I don't think it can get any better.
Originally Posted by RGPW17100
You really need the wands that scan the tickets though. You also still need to rely on your people scanning the bar codes on the tickets just as you need them to move the pegs with the system you're using now.
Our scanning locations right now are:
Prepress - out on proof - approved - production - bindery - complete
You can add others.
I'd be surprised if much has changed since my earlier post, printmonger (advice needed please!). Most scheduling in the average print shop is probably still going to the wall. The big advance will come with the kind of plasma screens the national news networks are having so much fun with - the kind where you can move jobs around with your index finger.
THAT WOULD BE SO AWESOME!!!! Could you imagine, after you convert a job to a ticket, an image of the ticket (using animation and a plasma screen) would post on the "board". Or better yet, when you enter an estimate, it would post and then remind you in BIG, RED LETTERS, and a loud gong, to follow up with the customer! (I am terrible at follow-up. I attribute any loss in sales to my lack of having a system in place.)
Originally Posted by Morning Flight
Buuuuut. Then I realize that kind of wishful thinking would only contribute to a paperless society. And we love paper, don't we?!
LOL! I apologize as well printmonger as I don't think I have been very helpful as well. At least you can see, with all the posts so far, what everyone's thoughts and feelings are concerning the subject of scheduling. I'm all digital and crap moves so fast and changes constantly, I feel that our manual scheduler is almost burdensome (and an electronic one wouldn't be much better).
Somewhere in every pre/press room there is a peg board or a magnetic board with tags. I've never seen a shop completely rely on electronic scheduling. A few shops have had a scheduler who walks around with a clip board checking a jobs status in different parts of the plant. Department managers would come and "observe" the board, but never touch it, so that one person had the definitive answer. The shop I worked at worked much like that. If the regular "scheduler" was out for some reasons someone else took over and moved the board.
For what ever reason a board like that is able to communicate to everyone what they need to know as compared to a web page with the same info. I don' know what it is or why it is but that old manual way always works. Always...
We use scheduler exclusively. As a production manager I like it so I know where jobs are without having to tour the whole shop to find things. We do not use the wands. We had all kinds of tracker issues when we did that. Each operator either bindery, prepress or press operators log into their work center and their jobs are there. We schedule every job to the first open slot and then I move them when higher priority items come in. Bindery tags are always moved to the day they are due. We do this because bindery always has the most tags and it is tough to find the jobs unless you know the due date. The way our schedule works we are pretty much doing the bindery the day it is due so it is pretty accurate. The hardest part of scheduler was getting enough computers so access was easy for mainly production people. The next issue was getting CSRs and Sales reps to click the job status to proof ok. I periodically check the work in progress for the Proof Ok jobs then release all the production tags and assign the correct dates at this time.
Sounds like your job scheduling and tracking is as organized as it's going to get, RGPW17100. As long as someone with a pulse has to update the status of pretty much anything, someone else always has to follow up.
Originally Posted by RGPW17100
Quick question: Does Scheduler consolidate? Say you have two jobs of the same sheet size and with the same ink colors, neither of them time-critical. Will Scheduler put them in sequence to minimize set-up and wash up costs? During my 36 years of owning and running a print shop, scheduling jobs for efficiency often took priority over getting them out the door when the customer or sales rep wanted them.
Morning Flight: Print Estimating Software for Offset and Digital
We use simply a dedicated calendar in Outlook to schedule print production and color code projects based on where their at in the production cycle. Very simple, and everyone can access it anywhere. Its still very much manual, particularly as far as scheduling for efficiency, but it works for us.