Coffee in the New Orleans skyline mug, "So Long, So Wrong" by Alison Krauss and the Union Station on iTunes. It was truly random--I started iTunes up and just hit play--but it is appropriate. I spent the weekend (up to 6:30 this morning when the last piece went in to slump) fixing mistakes on orders. I have been plagued for the past few (several) months with little errors in my orders. Paying more attention doesn't seem to be the solution, and my existing firing schedule doesn't work anymore either. Time to get all Filemaker Pro on the problem's ass.
In my current system I take a hand-written or faxed order and I manually enter it into an order form (in a spreadsheet--Excel) on the computer. Then I manually enter all the orders into my firing schedule. Previously, when putting things into the firing schedule, I was also taking into account the stock I had on hand, but that was messing me up as I would mark that I had something and so didn't make it for an order and then when it came time to ship, I no longer had it and was screwed. Whatever. Anyway, I then follow the firing schedule and only refer to the order again when it's time to ship--at which point lately I keep finding myself with the wrong pieces or not all the pieces I need to ship.
But I have solution for the problem (I hope), and an intern to implement it. Now I am going to manually enter everything once. Everyone knows that the more times you transcribe data the more chance there is for a mistake. So one entry, one chance. I am going to put them all into the Filemaker Pro database I have been creating and then create reports against the one set of ddata for orders to fill, etc. This way not only will I have a current report of all orders due to ship, but I will also be able to run reports on product popularity and order history by account. With all this data collection, organization and potential for analysis, one might be tempted into thinking I actually run a business!
So the morning is dedicated to data, wholesalecrafts.com website organization, and bills both paid and sent. This afternoon--after shipping three large orders and putting in a full kiln load for another--I am going to let work spill into the garden again and pressure wash the concrete pad in front of the studio annex, er, garage. There'll be fireworks tonight!