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Time and Action Plan

Time and action plans are pivotal for a manufacturing process. In the apparel industry, a wellmade and strictly-adhered time and action plan can prove to be quite an asset for the manufacturer. Time and Action Plan refers to simple managerial tools that can be used to complete a certain task within the defined time frame. Simply put, it is a list to things that must be done, along with the time by which it should be done, to complete a certain task. In the garment industry, Time and Action Plan, also referred to as TnA, is mostly used for manufacturer exporters who need to submit a TnA for each export order that they receive. However, TnA can be used for various tasks that need to be done. This article will deal with the application of TnA in the production cycle. For garment exporters, TnA is generally a reverse calculation, wherein the date of the shipment is taken as a zero day, and then all the actions that are required to be done to execute the order are listed and the time taken to complete the job is indicated next to it. The date for execution of the job is calculated in an inverse manner and also indicated next to that activity. The concept of TnA can be applied effectively for domestic garment manufactures that produce various styles to be sold to various customers. If a detailed action plan is prepared for various activities to be done to complete a production cycle of various cutting orders or job cards that have been issued, then an elaborate system is also needed. In such a system, it should be possible to track the status of each job card in terms of its work done, and expected date of completion of the tasks. The steps needed to manage the elaborate system are listed below: a. Identify what goods will be produced in what sizes for whom and at which production centre

A careful and elaborate planning goes a long way in an effective control over the actual events, with a further advantage that the control can be delegated to others in the organisation whose main job will be to ensure that the work is being executed as per the approved plan, and only the deviations are reported to the Top management. Thus, the manufacturing company may plan initially as to the quantum, size ratios, production for and the place where they plan to produce a particular style. Further, when this plan is made, the production quantities planned to be produced at various job workers also get accumulated which can then be compared with the production capacity of the job worker. As the sizes in which the production will occur are also fixed, the marketing module of the application can be configured to take orders in the required sizes only.

b. Record the promised date when the production processes required for the production are to be completed The primary requirement for controlling anything is the systematic recording of things that should happen, and when they should happen. Then only actuals can be compared with the expectations and corrective actions taken. So, as soon as a job card is issued, the manufacturers may take from the job workers the expected date of completion of each tasks, and then record them into their application. Recording of actual events The next step is to keep on recording the actual events as and when they occur. So, when the goods under this job card are sent for washing, the fact is recorded in the application, as also when they are received from washing and then sent for finishing. The actual events as and when they happen can then be reported against a specific job card. Stage-wise production status The next process is to have a report wherein the status of each process for various colors in the same style are listed with actual quantities and actual date when the task was carried out. This is illustrated with the help of the following report:

The above report traces the movement of the style ST-Ralph H/s and its three colours that are under manufacture. It reflects that, say for the Color Earth- Red, 440 pieces have been issued for cutting on 16-6-2010, and yet, 51 days after the issue, 246 pieces are yet to be cut. Of the balance 194 pieces, 126 have reached the finishing line on 24-07-2010, 2 are at the sorting stage while 66 are at the stitching stage giving a total figure of 194 pieces that have actually been cut. Same analysis can be done for other colours in this style. The above analysis is very helpful in allocating material to the Job workers in line with their production capacities, and then tracking the production to see if any process at the job workers end is remaining idle. With the help of TnA, one can know when the job worker is likely to have how many pieces in the finishing line and how many on the cutting table. This helps in ensuring that the material lying at production stages at the job workers is in line with the expected flow of material.

How to Maintain a Time and Action Calendar?

That it is easy to make a TNA calendar but maintaining the same is very difficult task. But one has to maintain it on regular basis. Otherwise, there is no use of a TNA calendar.

Take signature of responsible person when you distribute TNA calendar to them. It is assumed that once they sign they agree on your plan. So that on later nobody shows disagreement on your plan. Take print out of each calendar, make a bunch and keep it on your desk for easy access. When you make days plan "To do lists" refer to the bunch of TNA calendars. At the same time update each calendar by marking done or not done on printed copy. Fill actual start and end date for the completed processes. Where you find something is getting delayed notifies the respective department or the person and ask for the reason for delay. And check if the delay is manageable. If any delayed process is not manageable (complete on due date), next processes will move forward. In this case you may need to make a new plan for rest of tasks. Update your new plan in original TNA calendar. Update your spreadsheet (TNA calendars) at the end of the day. If daily update is not possible then do it as per your convenience. But it must be done on regular interval.

For the control mechanism to work, it is necessary to record the expected values of various events right till the completion of the manufacturing cycle, and then the actual values can just be compared with the expected. This will greatly reduce the burden of the top management of the medium sizes owner-driven companies, where almost all decisions are referred to the owners. A proper application to implement control is necessary to achieve the above, as against the more common method of control through manual workings on MS Word or excel statements. Implementing such applications will mean better use of the computers in the organization, and also better control over various production activities, leading to timely deliveries, customer satisfaction, and improved business, with reduced dependency on human factor.

Time and Action Plan for Womens shirt