search  current discussion  categories  business - production 

one way to set up a calendar system for production

updated wed 31 jan 01


Chris Campbell on tue 30 jan 01

Vikki asked:

" Could you tell me how you made the transition from having a "turnaround
time" to having a calendar system, and how you set up your calendar system?"

The way I do this is to calculate how long it takes me to make each
item from the first touch to the last. I found that many items could be
grouped together in days needed to produce a set number of them. For example
three different shapes took three days from start to finish to make a hundred
of them.

Next I tried to estimate how many of each would sell based on past
experience of my sales. Then I built in days for mistakes so that I would not
be forced to defer orders or send less than my best work.

I then counted how many days I had available to work, once again
building in time for errands, appointments, glaze mixing, repairs etc. Now it
is just a matter of simple math. Do not distrust your numbers here and do not
try to tell yourself that you will not need an extra day here and there.

Keep your list of 'days needed to make objects' handy - for example -
you can substitute mugs for pitchers if the orders shift in that direction.
The great part of this system is that if all goes well you can make extras
and surprise people with an order shipped early.

The key point - deliver on time with your best work. If you get
behind, call your customers and let them know. They appreciate a 'heads up'
because they are promising your work to their clients and keeping this secret
makes everyone look bad.
Chris Campbell - in North Carolina