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David Geller: Get Near 100% Delivery on Jobs from Your Shop

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On Running Your Shop: Get Near 100% Delivery on Jobs from Your Shop

BY DAVID GELLER

Published in the November 2012 issue.

Use the right systems to ensure jobs are done on time.

Question for you, the owner: If a job is promised for Friday the 21st, what time does the customer expect to pick it up?

“10 a.m. when the store opens on the 21st.”

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But if you ask the jeweler: “End of the day on the 21st, as promised, right before I go home.” Getting jobs done on time is a constant battle for many owners, who are often reluctant to push too hard out of fear they will tick off their jeweler and lose him.

If that’s you, here are some ideas that might help:

In our store, we put all jobs in our POS program. Each morning we ran a report of all jobs due for pickup within three days along with the name of the jeweler handling it. The jewelers then had to check off whether the job would be ready the day before it was due, and if not, we’d give it to another jeweler or call the customer and put them off. We then placed a red dot on the top of the envelope to let everyone know this job took priority.

We ran the same report for any jobs that had findings/parts/stones/mountings on order by vendor so we could be sure these items would be in on time. We’d order from another vendor if need be.

And we’d run the report for dates for waxes to be viewed by the customer.

We found it helped to place small color-coded stickers on top of the envelopes and to write the day of the week. Monday’s sticker was blue and had “Mon” on it. Think about it: A jeweler has a million jobs in her box, she looks over at 2 p.m. and sees four jobs with a blue “Mon” on them. She knows “I gotta get these four jobs done,” which is an attainable goal. (Buy these dots at www.grainger.com; search for “removable label.”)

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In addition, we had a date board up front that announced to the staff and customers when jobs could be ready. The shop foreman corralled the jobs and knew the next availability. We stopped doing “5 days” and promised by “when it could be done” not when we hoped it would be done.

One foreman had a desk pad calendar that he nailed to the wall. For each job that came in, he would estimate the time it needed. If it was 1.5 hours, he would write that on the next free day, say the 18th, as well as on the envelope and the customer’s receipt. If the next job was estimated at four hours, that was written in, bringing the total to 5.5 hours for the day. That date was then crossed out, because the foreman figured 5.5 hours a day for workable/billable hours. The next job that came in, no matter what, was promised for the 19th.

I like systems, although sometimes you just have to be the strong arm of the law. Don’t forget to remind everyone that we all work for the customer.

Getting jobs done on time is a battle for many owners, who are reluctant to push jewelers too hard.

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