By Katherine Gifford of Moraware
What words come to mind when you think about your scheduling process? For a lot of fabricators – especially those with smaller operations – it’s chaos.
Striking the right balance of supply and demand is what scheduling is all about, but when everyone at your shop is adding jobs, removing them, and making changes, that delicate balance gets thrown off.
Overbooking, underbooking, last-minute additions, and forgetting about holidays are incredibly common, especially when there’s no defined process in place for scheduling.
When your shop has too much on its plate, more mistakes are likely to be made. Not to mention some of your best staff members can get burnt out and leave, and replacing talent in this industry is incredibly difficult.
All of this boils down to a lower margin in an already low-margin industry. But don’t worry – there is a better way, and you can take small strides towards a more efficient scheduling process.
Why Focus On Scheduling?
We talk to fabricators every day, and scheduling is typically one of many bottlenecks they’re facing. What makes the scheduling problem so important?
If you think about it, the schedule is the pulse of your business. It’s what keeps everything else alive. Providing amazing service, having stress-free days, and keeping up with demand all rely on good scheduling.
If you overbook, then you have to call the customer and reschedule, but they just took off work to meet you, and now they want to be compensated for their time. It’s a world of hurt just waiting for you at the end of an already stressful day.
Aside from quoting, nailing down scheduling is often the first place shops start when they want to improve their processes.