Shop Calendar and Shop Scheduler: Overview - is it right for my shop?

Welcome to the Shop Calendar and Shop Scheduler features! This article will give you an overview of these two features and you can decide if it is right for you. Included is a section for small shops and larger shops and best practices.

Note: These are a free add-on feature that you can request by emailing support@shopvox.com

The Challenges

The first question is - what is your current process? In most shops there are a lot of moving parts and different processes for your products. You are probably managing this with a few apps that don't have any connection and don't update across the different platforms.

I'm sure this sounds familiar.

  • Too many production pieces
  • So many different types of jobs
  • Not able to see everything in one place
  • Too many tools used for scheduling:
    • Google Calendar
    • Whiteboards
    • Trello
    • Email

Google calendar has a few shortcomings.

  • It is not connected to other systems (meaning you have to update other systems manually if something changes)
  • The name, description, and other data (aside from the dates/times) are unstructured - which means we can simply type anything, whether it's relevant or not
  • It is tough to manage multiple calendars for different departments, team members, or equipment

So we'd like to introduce our Shop Calendar and Shop Scheduler features.

shopVOX Methodology and System

Shop Calendar - shows all the steps that have a scheduled from/to dates on a calendar format

Shop Scheduler - is a view of the same data (steps/events) and ONLY shows events that have a user(not a role) or a machine associated with it.

Scheduling in small shops

One thing to note right off the bat is you don't want to manage your management system. Meaning - you shouldn't over complicate the process and get mired in the process of constantly having to update your shopVOX account.

Keys to success

  • Keep scheduling dead stupid simple. Seriously.
  • Understanding that shopVOX does not replace a production manager
  • Use the dates attached to the Job
    • These are simple to view and update from the Job Board. If you are only tracking one or two additional dates (aside from the overall Due Date)
    • We recommend you ignore Job Steps on the Shop Calendar / Scheduler. Instead try using the Job dates.

These are simple to view and update from the Job Board. If you are only tracking one or two additional dates (aside from the overall Due Date), we recommend you ignore Job Steps on the Shop Calendar / Scheduler. Instead try using the Job dates.

Recommended Dates To Use

  • Art Due Date
  • Production Due Date
  • Install Date

Adjust settings to display dates

If these dates are not visible when creating jobs or using the job board, here’s how to add them.

Account Settings > Forms > Job

Check box in the Visible column to show them as options on the Job board. You can also choose dates as Required as well. Required will force users to fill in these dates for the specific incremental dates you want to track.

Job Board > List view > Gear Icon

Check box beside the dates to display them as columns. Make sure to drag them in order to put them right beside the Due Date.

Scheduling in larger shops

Keys to success

  • Keep scheduling as simple as possible
  • You will need to have at least one person who OWNS scheduling and will manage conflicts
  • Your shop Foreman or Production manager should be your eyes and ears for everything that is being done.
  • This tool will be their control panel to keep everything in order and running smoothly

Using Shop Calendar

  • Google or Outlook style calendar
  • What’s on the agenda? - Use the different default views to see daily, 3 day and weekly calendar views to get on overall sense of the workload.

Using Shop Scheduler

  • Gantt style resource planning
  • How much capacity do we have?
  • What jobs can we move around to use our resources more effectively?

Let's take a look how this is setup!

Setup for Shop Calendar and Scheduler

These are the settings to configure shop Calendar/ Scheduler

  • PCS Settings
  • Shop Calendar Settings
    • Event Types
    • Google Calendar Sync
    • Time and Formats
  • Machines
  • Workflow Stages
  • Workflow Templates
  • Company Hours & Employee Hours

PCS Settings

Auto update schedule

  • Do you want to automatically schedule out steps for each job?
  • Recommended: Start with this unchecked

Update due dates on proof approval

  • Do you want to update the Workflow Step due dates when the customer finally approves the proof? This doesn’t change the due date for the overall job, just the dates when the individual steps should be completed.

Shop Calendar Settings

Event types

Limit the event types to ones you only truly need.

Recommended Settings

☑️ Job Show

☑️ Job Step Show

☑️ Sales Order Show

☑️ Task Show

Google Calendar Sync

  • Do you want to post all shopVOX Calendar event data to Google Calendar?
  • We recommend you dial in your usage of calendar before turning on the sync.

Time and formats

  • Pretty self explanatory
  • Show in 24 hr format instead of 12 hr format

Machines

 ⚠️ LARGER SHOPS ONLY

We recommend only larger shops with personnel who can manage scheduling use the machine functionality within shopVOX. The fact is they are better positioned to use this more effectively. Just because the functionality is there, doesn’t mean you have to use it.

Setup machines for major equipment where you have a couple options to choose from

If there’s only one machine to perform a step, there’s not a lot of use in creating a machine for it within shopVOX. Or if it’s not a highly important and highly used piece of equipment, just keep it out of shopVOX.

Good examples

✅ Automatic Press 1

✅ Automatic Press 2

✅ Manual Press

If you have several different presses to print shirts on, it could be handy to know which press you plan to run the job on. They also account for the majority of your revenue if you’re a screen printer.

Bad example

🚫 Heat Press

A heat press is not likely to be a major bottleneck in production. And it usually won’t matter which heat press you are using if you have multiple. It doesn’t make much sense to track assignments for this.

Pro-tip: Machines can be a proxy for departments

If you’re having trouble with capacity planning in art department, try adding the Art Department as a Machine

Then you can default the Design step to the Art Department for resource planning, but also still assign to an individual designer for accountability and notifications.

Workflow Stages

What phase is the job in?

Start with 3 stages

By default all shopVOX accounts start with three stages -

  • Pre-production - before a Product is made
  • Production - while a Product is being produced
  • Post-production - what is done once the Product is completed

Most production processes can fit within the above mentioned stages. Don’t add Stages for every part of your production process. It’s just for logically grouping steps together. 

Actual work is ONLY performed and marked completed on the steps. Not the stages.

Add new ones only if you’re 110% sure you need it

Stick to maximum of 5-6 stages. The shopVOX UI was designed around shops that use 6 or less. Nothing will break, but your experience will be better if you keep stages to a minimum.

Workflow Templates

Setup steps as departments instead of individual processes

You don’t want to make the steps too detailed. It’s better to keep them simple as possible. This makes it easier to keep the job board updated – so you’ll know more accurately what is happening in production.

Any steps that happen in rapid succession should be combined into a single step.

Steps like loading, printing, and folding shirts quickly - one right after the other. These should be a single step, Production or maybe Printing

Here are some examples:

To get more information on Workflow templates, please refer to this article - Click here.

Hours

Company Hours

These are the regular hours you are open and performing work.

Input only your standard hours here. If you’re technically open at 8 a.m. but production doesn’t start until 9 a.m., enter 9 a.m.

Employee Hours

There’s an important distinction between the two tables for users.

Work Days & Hours

What days and times would you like users to access your shopVOX account?

If you’d like to prevent employees from logging into shopVOX outside of working hours, or on weekends THEN setup these hours in this table.

Recommended: LEAVE THIS BLANK if you want employees to be able to access shopVOX at all times.

Schedule Work Days & Hours

What days and times is this user usually available to perform work?

Used for the shop calendar and scheduler.

Enter the normal working hours for this employee in this table if you plan to make assignments to individual users within the workflow.

If you assign a workflow step to a user, it will use these settings to determine what the start time for that step will be.

What's Next?

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