Production Scheduling

Schedules Based on Detailed Rate Calculations

EmbTrak Enterprise has two major production scheduling programs–one for embroidery and one for screen printing. Each program takes into account the same factors that an industrial engineer would use to develop the man-hour rate, run-time, and total time necessary to run an order on a specific machine. EmbTrak Enterprise is like having a team of onsite engineers to calculate standard times for each and every order.

This approach determines which machines are capable of running each order, selects the best machine for each order, calculates the best sequence of orders on each machine, and establishes a budget run-time and total time for each order. This plan serves as a production list, but it also becomes the basis for evaluating individual operator performance on each order. 

Operators quickly learn that this approach adjusts time standards fairly, based on the factors that actually impact performance, which leads to improved operator morale and performance. And managers learn that they won't be blind-sided by changes in order volume, mix of goods, or decoration characteristics.

Shortcomings of Approaches Used in Other 'Scheduling' Software

Standard Units per Hour: Typical production scheduling systems use standard units per hour for calculating machine schedules (e.g. “1,200 pieces per hour per machine”). The scheduling program simply divides the number of units to be produced by standard throughput rates to determine run-time. This is adequate for many discrete manufacturing production situations, but too simplistic to generate accurate embroidery or screen print schedules, much less calculate how long individual embroidery or screen print orders should take.

Rules of Thumb: Ballpark assumptions based on experience and anecdotes may yield an accurate overall schedule as long as the mix of goods and decorations do not vary. But when production circumstances fluctuate–for example, when average stitches per logo drops from 5,000 to 1,000–machine operating efficiencies change and the entire schedule is soon wildly inaccurate. Using the “rule of thumb” approach does nothing to set a realistic rate for an individual order.

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"We got EmbTrak to deal with rapidly growing volume which we could not handle with only QuickBooks and manual processes. Even though we have only been using EmbTrak for two months, it has already made us more organized and efficient and eliminated hand-written orders. It has also reduced mistakes, such as wrong logo, position or color by at least 50%, so it is quickly paying for itself in labor and garment savings. EmbTrak has met the goals we set when we bought it. I should add, customer service is great and Mary is absolutely wonderful to work with."

-Stacy Sesler, Owner of Midwest Punch Emboidery and Applique, LLC


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