End of Year Readiness
Most of us are taking a little breather after the end of the fiscal year wrapped at the end of last month. However, as we look toward the belly of Q4, those of us in manufacturing have additional end-of-calendar-year concerns we must gear up for.
The months of November and December are full of holidays and other interruptions. In addition to the scheduled shutdowns, often associates will extend their holidays by stacking additional days off. Understanding the landscape of your people power, who is away from their desk or station and when, is crucial to establishing production calendars and delivery dates.
Your suppliers may have holidays that could disrupt your supply chain. Make sure procurement orders take into account any potential slow downs that might occur outside of your control.
Know your own calendar
This should go without saying, but staying on top of the company calendar is just as crucial as the vacation calendar. What days will the shop be shut down completely? How will these shutdowns affect production overall? While holidays tend to boost employee morale, the pause in operations can create bottlenecks and cause unnecessary stress when the workforce returns. Smart planning ahead based on your own shutdown calendar will create the best of both worlds: time off for rest and family time, coupled with a refreshed, energized, on-time production schedule when everyone returns.
Make your shut down calendar public
Moreover, making your shut down calendar public and visible to your customers will help set expectations on your customers’ end, especially for those international customers.
Like with your associates, tell customers well in advance to avoid any surprises.
Announce the dates of your company shutdown on every channel you can. Consider letting customers know through email, social media, your business website, and even physically throughout your facility, assuming your customers visit your shop.
Even with those announcements, some may miss your message. Therefore, put in place a temporary voicemail with the days and times of the closure, as well as an automatic email response letting people know your business is temporarily closed for the holiday.
PR Hoffman’s Thanksgiving shut down will be November 24, 25, and 28th. The winter break shut down will be December 23 to January 2. We’ll re-open on January 3.