Work Order Prioritizing method?? HELP

stickermonkey

New Member
Hello 101'ers!

It's been a long time since I've posted. Been super busy. :) But feeling a little disorganized. I've been doing this since 1994 and just haven't yet found a practice that works, plus we have many more staff than ever have.

Anyhow...we are looking for a solid and easy to implement way to prioritize all the work orders. We do many things and you all know how many hands a project can be held by from beginning to end. What do some of you use as a way to prioritize projects so that all departments and people can easily know when it's their turn to pick up the job? Ya know what I mean?

I've thought of everything from the basic dry erase board or clip boards on a wall to specialized software. Ideas and even pictures would be soooooo helpful on this one. :)

thx everyone
Kyla
 

signswi

New Member
Invest in project management software. For a small shop/agency I like ActionMethod, larger shops it gets trickier. There are also open source solutions depending on your technical level and then there's LEAN/AGILE targeted products...
 

stickermonkey

New Member
I like this...but the rest of my staff are asking for something more concrete and well...soemthing you can see with your eyes and feel with your hands. I think that it would be something that would help me with my own schedule though. thx for your info !! :)
 

drive

New Member
A board for each 'department' with slots for each day running down it.
Mondays stuff is due Monday etc.... we use 3 color carbon copy paper work orders when there is a due date for different depts.
Have the boss go to each board a couple times a day and give someone a dirty look from each department each time.
We've talked about implementing a workflow 'system', but if someone decides they're not going to do it, it's a total waste of time around here.
The bosses dirty looks are priceless
Simple, but it works.
 

stickermonkey

New Member
thx for your suggestions...we are working on something similar. I"m just really interested in hearing what other shops do and what works for people.

:)

We have a job board (dry-erase + magnet receptive) and "dockets" where all the work order/quote/info is held. Numbered dockets and I color code the job name on the board based on whether is it ready for production (green), ongoing project (orange), rush (red), new/needs to be reviewed (blue), and "who the hell knows what is happening with this project" (black).
Works okay....then again I'm a micro-manager and just end up doing most the jobs myself since no one even reads the details in the f'ing dockets.

We are trying to improve this system, so I can update if/when we get something going that works better.
 

stickermonkey

New Member
LOL ....dirty looks wouldn't get anything but a laugh from my staff...I am pretty easy going. lol I like the carbon copy idea.

thx a lot :)

A board for each 'department' with slots for each day running down it.
Mondays stuff is due Monday etc.... we use 3 color carbon copy paper work orders when there is a due date for different depts.
Have the boss go to each board a couple times a day and give someone a dirty look from each department each time.
We've talked about implementing a workflow 'system', but if someone decides they're not going to do it, it's a total waste of time around here.
The bosses dirty looks are priceless
Simple, but it works.
 

Custom_Grafx

New Member
Google calendar - create a different colour/calendar for each priority.

I do my calendar for the next day at the end of my day, print it out in colour on a nice A3, and voila. And... it's free... and anyone can learn it in 5 seconds.

If you really wanna get into it... and if your staff have smartphones, you could set them each up a gmail account - assign reminders on the events on the calendar, they get auto email reminder on it. you can even give one staff permission to make changes to the calendar as they see fit. it's as simple as drag and drop on a browser and no software needed.

I thought... heck, just coz it says calendar it don't mean i can't use it as a task manager.
 

Gene@mpls

Member
I have struggled with organization for 14 years and here is the closest
I have come to a job board that works. It is a steel sign panel that has
a laminated print applied- the small segments are prints applied to mag
material and cut up. Dry erase lam would work better probably but 210
works. The mag segments are put up on the days as needed with what-
ever info needed for the task- and here is the new part- it can be moved
to a different day, or the bottom of the board if there is a 'hold' on the
job or it can be put on the back burner. The background print is an older
plan that I was not satisfied with- the mags are the ones with writing on
them. The stickpin mags to the left can be used to mark who is working
on the job, etc- which I have not been able to use as well (staff does
not relish change as well as the 65yo leader). Sorry about the pict being
sideways. Gene
 

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binki

Member
we have a dry erase board but that didnt work too well so we switched to dry erase strips with velcro on them.

we have 2 boards. one is a scheduling board and one is an 'in production' board. we move the strip when it goes to production.

for preproduction we have our work order next to the computer if it needs material ordered and it moves to a pegboard once the material is ordered. We use binder clips to hold all the work order, invoice, customer supplied materials together and hang it on the pegboard with the loop of the binder clip.

the strips have the customer name, what we are doing and due date on them.

at any time we can look at the board and see what is due, what is in process, and what needs materials ordered.

all of this works ok except this last week we had 2 Toms and 3 Ricks on the board. go figure.
 

Edserv

New Member
We have a really cool system that's worked for years and years- (way before I entered the sign industry!) It's based on departments/stations and a really basic Microsoft Access database.

We prioritize jobs by two categories: 1) Delivery dates (for the project or sub-projects in general,) and 2) Requests (all the things that impact the project or sub-projects.)
We've assigned "over-under" dates to everything so we know if we're "ahead of schedule or behind." So any employee at any station or department can instantly see their immediate query for everything facing them, and exactly how far ahead (or behind) they are. We have "budgeted" and "real" times, so we can challenge staff members to get their work done based on the budget, and we also have "real revenue" numbers so they can see what really happens (that hits the company's bottom line.)

Anyway, I know I've simplified this, but it's worked really well for us. It allows us to forecast and manage staff, as well as know who's pulling their weight and who's slacking.

We're also (finally!) getting ready to start a bonus program for staff members who excel. Which is awesome, because I really believe it will help us motivate and keep the best employees. All this on a very affordable MS Access program!

Good luck!
Edserv
Lets Go Banners dot com
 

signswi

New Member
I like this...but the rest of my staff are asking for something more concrete and well...soemthing you can see with your eyes and feel with your hands. I think that it would be something that would help me with my own schedule though. thx for your info !! :)

Paper based job tracking is the worst--paper has a tendency to get lost and if you don't also have electronic tracking of it you're screwed when something falls through the cracks. I've been in a lot of paper based job tracking systems and every single one led to jobs being forgotten about or lost in the shuffle somehow.

If you do go paper make sure you're also tracking it electronically on your end, at least tracking what "phase" it's in so you know who to hit over the head when the job stalls and that no job or client gets forgotten about.
 
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