October 15th, 2010 01:52 PM
I've often wondered why a simple method of communication couldn't be crafted, one that leverages the power of the internet and allows simple capturing, tracking and communication of production information at each major stage of production.
Think of it:
- A simple set of data elements captured about each and every order placed with the shop.
- Each item (holster, car, whatever) gets produced on a first-come, first-served (FIFO) basis.
- A simple Job Data Form is filled out by the shop for each job that's contracted for that captures the OrderNbr, Customer Info, Product Type being ordered, Estimated Days, and Steps Completed.
- A simple set of no more than five major steps is defined for the items being produced. For example, All Raw Materials Obtained; Leather Cut; Leather Shaped; Finishing Coats Applied; Shipment to Customer.
- Each and every time a major step for a given work order is completed, the shop notes this on the job order via either simple data entry or a barcode scan (ie, scan OrderNbr, then scan StepNbrCompleted).
- The web site is used to communicate with the customer. The web site scans the list of orders and provides simple information to the customer whenever the customer asks for an update. By entering the OrderNbr and ZipCode for the order, the customer can get basic data about the work order, such as: the basic order details; the number of items ahead in the queue; and the estimate of the date of completion given the speed of production that's occurring.
- So long as the shop keeps the major steps updated for each and every order, the system automatically estimates completion dates based on the open work orders scheduled in sequence in the system.
- The customer can opt to be automatically notified at each major completion point for major steps in the production of the item.
- Over time, the shop even has estimates of shop efficiency that tracks actual times for production against the shop estimates being used for each job type.
- Key elements:
- Simple data entry by the shop, requiring a bare minimum of time commitment to track.
- Simple and automatic communication to customers of job status.
- The shop can remain focused on gathering specs for new orders and producing those orders. The shop can avoid continually looking up status of orders instead of working on them.
- A simple production schedule exists at all times, based on the date of order, time estimate for production of each item, and the sequence of the work orders that exist in the queue ahead of the given order.
- The system cleans up after itself, archiving old job orders that have been closed for more than N number of months.
- The major risks would be data entry errors, computer failure. But so long as the data is kept simple and updated, communication with the customer would be simple and automatic, while affording the shop a simple production schedule for all orders.
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.
October 15th, 2010 08:57 PM
OK. I think that we're done here.
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