Especially for SME’s – 43: Time – Prioritizing and Scheduling.

08 June 2022


Mr. Lowe: What if we have several orders, some new, some in progress of not just one but a few customers? Your goal is to never say no to any customer and deliver on time to all customers. Also imagine more than one task is competing for getting to load at the same work centre. How would you prioritize here? The software I have in mind has an algorithm for this so it sees to it that the sum of delays, if unavoidable, for all your customers is the minimum. Imagine you have a to-do list prepared for every manager / supervisor in your organization with the priorities decided by the timely delivery of accepted orders to the customer. This is what the system does. Moreover, it also suggests to you how to solve the peak work load at any work centre; we saw how we don’t even see this as a problem to be solved. This system I am talking reduces the waiting time to bare minimum from the order receipt to dispatch in all the departments, direct and indirect, front office and back office of the unit by ensuring a smooth co-ordination which is a huge problem today. Today senior managers are spending their time in chasing various tasks in various depts. keeping track of their progress physically and ensuring appropriate action is taken by various depts. The senior managers in India also get a lot of appreciation only because they are good chasers!

SME 3: Can you give an actual example of Indian managers’ performance as chasers?

Mr. Lowe: Yes, I can: there was a huge project order in which several countries were involved and the customer was a Singapore organization: As the project was huge and of long duration, there was a fortnightly meeting called at Singapore for the review meeting. India and UK were also in the list of people to execute the meeting. Indian supplier was BHEL.

SME 3: Interesting; what happened in these meetings?

Mr. Lowe: the GM – BHEL, Vadodara, who was handling the project, when asked any question regarding the project has all the answers. But the UK representative had to tell, I would contact head of such and such dept. and get you the information you need! Of course this GM thought before hand what questions will come and talked already to those concerned and had all the answers. This was also facilitated by the resource constraint at that time even in giving telephone calls. Remember those days when we had to wait for hours after booking any trunk call, leave alone international! He obviously outshone his British counterpart. Now don’t ask me the name of this GM, because if you know his name you may be put off!

SME 1: This makes us more curious and so we want to know the name now!

Mr. Lowe: Raja was his name, not the CA we know recently.

SME2: Are there any other useful hints at prioritization?

Mr. Lowe: It is useful on many occasions to do short duration jobs first than long duration ones, unless such priority interferes with our Never say No to customer. This is because a 5 minutes job gets delayed by two hours if priority is given to two hours job. However, a 2 hours job gets delayed only by 5 minutes if the 5 minutes job is given priority. ……………..contd.


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