Scheduling and Estimating Production Time


Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. We are excited to share with you some knowledge that one of our co-hosts, Terry Combs, has accumulated over his 30+ years in the industry. Terry talks about ways that you can increase your profit, get more work down and manage your production without adding employees or more expenses. He gives us practical tips that we can use right away, and teases some of the bigger details and step by step instruction you can get from his upcoming training series “Scheduling & Estimating Production Time”

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  • Buy something local today… Next week were are talking to Sloan about a Support Local Program #hereforgood. Also saw a good post going around. “Hey remember all those local businesses that you asked to support your event, now is the time to support your local business.”

  • Terry spoke with Katie from the NBM Show and she tells me the Providence, RI show slated for May 15-16 has been canceled and not postponed. Their problem is, all shows are being pushed back and simply running out of late summer and fall weekends. There’s more information to come on some other future shows this year.

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Scheduling and Estimating Production Time

Aaron: Terry, you’ve spent years on the screen printing production floor, and you’ve moved 10’s of 1,000’s of pieces. You’ve talked Production Scheduling and Estimating Production Time many times on this show. And you’ve talked about the five steps in the process. Ready to talk about them?

Terry: There are two keys to being a successful screen printer: Do good quality prints, and deliver on time.

Aaron: Let’s talk first about the Estimated Production Time formula.

  • You are either juggling production or scheduling production
  • EPT is a simple formula to calculate 

Aaron: I know step 2 in the process is about every shop being different. Let’s discuss using your own unique production numbers

  • You can use my numbers all day, and still not know where you stand
  • You can’t use perfect scenario numbers and be successful at scheduling
  • Most people have no real idea what they’re capable of producing – wish they could produce

Aaron: Terry, you talk a lot on our show about scheduling production, but we see out in the real world decorators delivering late, working over time, and basically lost as to how to schedule. Talk to us about the process of creating a schedule.

  • Obviously you have to use the EPT formulas
  • You have to allow for the entire Direct Production process – Direct  vs Indirect
  • Allow for the unexpected
  • Allow for the Sales Dept to participate

Aaron: One of the things you’ve talked about here before is basically holding your employees’ feet to the fire. Talk about how you deal with operator efficiency.

  • I have a method to calculate an efficiency percentage for operators
  • And I publish that % for all to see
  • More importantly, this doesn’t work if you don’t track results

Aaron: I’ve heard you talk lots of times here about the printing being the easy part. Then what’s the hard part?

  • The hard part is setup and breakdown
  • Tracking only printing

Aaron: Let’s talk about this four part series you’re offering on Scheduling & Estimating Production Time.

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