Selection and Implementation of a Scheduling System?

It is commonly believed that in any maintenance department with more than 10 craftspeople and more than two or three crafts, some planning, other than day-to-day job allocation by the supervisor or lead person, can result in better efficiency.

As the size of the maintenance organization grows, for example, the extent to which task planning may be codified and the amount of time that needs to be spent on this activity grows.

So long as the system costs less than the cost of running without it, there should be only as much planning as is required for the best overall efficiency.

Explain the Selection and Implementation of a Scheduling System.

Flow-of-Work Requests

The technique of requesting work from the maintenance department should be defined before any formalized scheduling program can be launched.

This request can take the form of a work description or job ticket, which lists labor hours or equipment requirements, or it can take the form of a worksheet, which collects the same sort of information by either verbal or written communication.

If a scheduling system is to be employed, this information must be directed to a single central location, regardless of its form.

This might be the supervisor, self-directed team leader, maintenance superintendent, or maintenance engineer in a small facility.

It should be done through a staff member or group in a bigger maintenance department.

The quantity of detail on the task request is determined by the scheduling group’s skill.

An overview of the jobs will be adequate if the employee assigned with planning is entirely familiar with the job requirements and can identify the craft skills and labor hours needed, the necessary equipment, and any other information required for scheduling.

On the other hand, if the intricacy of the job is such that it is practically impossible for any individual to have this knowledge, or if the person entrusted with scheduling has the requisite skills to assess the work, the information on the work request must be supplied in greater depth.

The number of labor hours required for each craft, the time, the relationship between crafts, the location and availability of components and equipment, and any unique requirements about coordination with production schedules or employees should all be mentioned.

In addition to work information needed for planning, it is critical to obtain feedback on actual performance in terms of completion notification and real-time utilization, by craft.

This could be included in the work-request system, but it must be sent back to the scheduling center. The scheduling system should also allow for work that is planned but not done to become part of the work backlog.

As such, it is evaluated, along with fresh work, for new scheduling.

Determination of Priority

The job load in any efficiently manned maintenance organization, in terms of quantity or schedule, exceeds the availability of personnel and/or equipment.

As a result, the difficulty of determining the order in which the work should be completed, or establishing priority, occurs and is a critical aspect of scheduling.

Priorities may be established casually between maintenance and production at a small facility with one operating department and a small maintenance staff.

However, when the plant expands and the maintenance department is asked to serve more than one production department, the issue of equitable and efficient priority assignment gets more complicated.

This is one of the most critical issues in establishing strong connections between maintenance and production divisions.

Personalities, working conditions, accessibility, or geographic placement in relation to central businesses all too regularly impact the sequence of task assignments.

This may reduce the plant’s overall efficiency.

The method for establishing job priority is crucial in the development of a work-scheduling system.

On the surface, a solution to this problem would be to delegate priority choices to someone who can assess the impact on overall plant performance.

When no resolution on the priority of work can be made, it is normally best to handle such choices at a lower level of management, with the plant manager having the last word.

Coordinating and Dispatching

It is vital to compromise with the practical issues of getting the task done and done inexpensively while implementing an effective scheduling system.

It is obvious that confusion, incomplete work, and idle craft time would result if a supervisor or team leader guided his/her craftsperson on the assumption that the job must be completed at the exact time he had estimated and then continued to assign work on the basis of his estimate of the time necessary.

A formal timetable provided weekly and mindlessly obeyed, would have the same effect. Instead, the timetable should be regarded as a guideline, with changes made as required.

Rapid transmission of such changes to the persons in charge of carrying them out is critical to the effectiveness of a work schedule.

It is also critical that any adjustments or unanticipated work that has not been planned be routed through the dispatch center.

Typically, the dispatch center can include this sort of job more quickly than a random selection of nearby craftspeople or the injection of higher authority into the picture.

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