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Tracking Work Orders

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
As business increases, so does the complexity of tracking customer orders. Our order are entered in FrameReady POS. I am looking for a better way to process our orders, and am interested in other procedures that work for your shop. Here is a brief outline of how we process orders:

1) Order entered in FrameReady POS. It is printed and signed by the customer. The order is placed in a Job Ticket Holder
2) Job Ticket Holder - is a plastic bag which contains: Work Order, mat corner samples, frame sample, customer items (such as prints or misc items that are framed). Artwork is too large and is put aside and tagged with the name of the customer.
3) Materials Ordered - based on the info on the Work Order, we order moulding, mats, glass, etc.
4) Job Ticket Holder is stored in a bin until materials arrive and we are ready for framing.
5) Framing - the Work Order is pulled from the bin, and the order is made to specification.
6) Job Ticket Holder is emptied: Mat corner samples and frame samples are put back on racks and walls.
7) Customer is notified when the order is ready. Work Order is placed in a "completed" bin at the counter.
8) When customer picks up: Outstanding balance is paid, Invoice is printed. Work Order is updated to a "completed" status.

In an ideal world, this should work just fine. But, needless to say, many things can and do go wrong. As our volume increases, I find this procedure cumbersome. If I listed the things that can and do go wrong, I would have a very long list, so I will skip that for now. Ultimately, the more control we have of customer orders, they more likely we will produce the work in a timely fashion, do the job right, and the customers will be happy and spend lots of money - ha ha!

Now it is your turn - how do you do process your orders? How do you stay organized? What problems do you encounter?

Ernesto
 
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neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Wow...
Well, we use Lifesaver.
I'm not in love with it but...

The framing comes in.
We select the moulding and mats and make any notes about any issues.
We enter into the system with all of the customer info and framing info.
We take a 1/2 deposit unless they want to pay in full and many people pay up front.

The order is placed in an art storage drawer with a reference in the framing schedule with the due date and what drawer the artwork is in.
If the picture is huge, and many of them are, we place them in a back storage area and the location is marked on the list.
The work order is placed with the artwork and the invoice is placed on a clipboard with the moulding and mats that need to be ordered written on the back of the invoice and the invoice is put on a 'to be ordered' clipboard.
We have a production list that is constantly updated and rush orders are hi lighted on the production list. (So many rush orders...)
Once the items are ordered the invoice is placed on another clipboard to be worked on.

As the jobs are worked on, we put a check on the production list so we know that they are in progress.
When the job is done, we cross it off the production list, call the customer for pick up, and drop it off of the computer calendar.

We are a very high volume shop and this may not work for everyone but it works for us.
The only problem that I often encounter is trying to find the time to eat lunch....:help:
 
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Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Interesting to read for sure.

One thing I find helpful, I print a list of open orders by due dates and cross off when finished which is then later entered in the computer.
I order right away when I have the work ticket. I order online and save it in the shopping cart. I note on the work order when it has been ordered. I also note if I have it in stock.

I don’t have the high volume, so this works for me and would not for you.
 

MATTHEW HALE

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
why keep the mat and frame samples with the art? why not immediately return them to the wall. if we did that with our orders, we would have dozens of samples unavailable for use for 2-3 weeks at a time.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Following this, but our situation is somewhat of a nightmare. We have two retail locations but production is done at a third facility which is also our corporate office. I head up one of the design centers. Much of our work at the center I head up is very specialized. Right now I have three guitars in house, two drum heads with collateral memorabilia, two 1800's French documents that need to be suspended with rare earth magnets between two pieces of MG, 26 sports tickets to be mounted, an 1800's rugby cap, a record album and about 26 concert tickets. I do most all the specialized mountings. We have most of our mats cut off-site by a fullfillment center. I do most of the ordering.

Co-ordinating all this activity has become more of a nightmare as business grows and it's not centralized. FrameReady is a godsend but it's only implemented in my location.

I don't have the authority to implement changes in work flow so I guess I just have to live with it.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
When we started our framing business from scratch in 1988, I set up an order tracking system that served us well throughout the years. With the transition to FullCalc in 1996 and then to FrameReady in 2000, our order tracking system adapted easily; no issues. It's simple, fast, and easy for everyone in the shop to administer - never lose track of any order. This system provides all necessary information at a glance, using a Central Schedule Calendar and five clipboards. Here's a video giving a detailed description of how it works*.

* This link goes to the educational video describing the system, which is one of several offered in the Framing Academy by ArtGlass, an ongoing series. It's all free, but registration is required.
 
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Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
I don't have the authority to implement changes in work flow so I guess I just have to live with it.
You may not have to implement changes in work flow but, in your case since you're working with FrameReady which runs on the FileMaker platform, you might consider extending the software capability just for you.

At the very least you could create a separate table in any software you feel comfortable, including FileMaker, to where you could use the table as a job board list with various status of your concerns.

The typical table column headers are:
JobNumber, Status1, Status2, Status3 etc., CustomerName, JobReference, DueDate/Time, WorkType, CSR, Note(s)
The status cells just hold a single letter code such as: O (open) H (hold) X (finished) for that particular stage of production.

FrameReady should be able to export the above data (other than the status data) as common excel or csv format so you won't need to re-enter it. The "job board" is easy-on-the-eyes and readily shows what's happening with each job so long as the status is updated and finished jobs are omitted (but not deleted) from the list.

If you create your job board table in FileMaker, you can probably display it in the shop on an iPad and iPhone too. It could also be possible for your other satellite shops to access the same board. "Workplace Innovation Platform" is FileMaker's current sales slogan.

Maybe see what FrameReady tells you?
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
When we started our framing business from scratch in 1988, I set up an order tracking system that served us well throughout the years. With the transition to FullCalc in 1996 and then to FrameReady in 2000, our order tracking system adapted easily; no issues. It's simple, fast, and easy for everyone in the shop to administer - never lose track of any order. This system provides all necessary information at a glance, using a Central Schedule Calendar and five clipboards. Here's a video giving a detailed description of how it works*.

* This link goes to the educational video describing the system, which is one of several offered in the Framing Academy by ArtGlass, an ongoing series. It's all free, but registration is required.
Hi Jim,
I went to checkout the video, but not sure which one to check out that outlines WO tracking. Also, where is the reference to Central Schedule Calendar ant eh 5 clipboards ?
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
why keep the mat and frame samples with the art? why not immediately return them to the wall. if we did that with our orders, we would have dozens of samples unavailable for use for 2-3 weeks at a time.
This is exactly one of our issues. When doing a design, I need the same frame or mat that is in the Job Ticket Holder, so I have to borrow it, and be sure I put it back in the correct Holder, and of course the phone rings, or another interruption occurs and where did I get the sample from? And you are correct, I dont like to tie up the samples. On the other hand, I will not know mat A4902, or frame # 354002, so I have to go look it up on the POS and then I have to find the mats in the group of mats delivered ... and this becomes a nightmare very quickly. So how do you handle this?

Ernesto
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Interesting to read for sure.

One thing I find helpful, I print a list of open orders by due dates and cross off when finished which is then later entered in the computer.
I order right away when I have the work ticket. I order online and save it in the shopping cart. I note on the work order when it has been ordered. I also note if I have it in stock.

I don’t have the high volume, so this works for me and would not for you.
We do something similar, except I order a batch of orders at the same time. And, I like to keep the sample mats and frames with the Job Ticket Holder for ordering to make sure I did not make a typo when order, or when the order was placed. It happens! We also check to see if we have it in stock, and this is a visual check because we do not track the inventory on the POS. I am working on a procedure to put the samples back on the rack and wall immediately, and yet be able to easily identify the components when the order is being worked on.

Ernesto
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
As business increases, so does the complexity of tracking customer orders.
Not really. The same simple system for tracking a single customer order would work for tracking thousands or more.

Seems you're using FrameReady and seems you could a job board as well. Does FrameReady not provide such a feature? A FileMaker job board can contain photos as data and thus show both an image of mattes, frames, art, etc., along with identification style numbers, etc.
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
You may not have to implement changes in work flow but, in your case since you're working with FrameReady which runs on the FileMaker platform, you might consider extending the software capability just for you.

At the very least you could create a separate table in any software you feel comfortable, including FileMaker, to where you could use the table as a job board list with various status of your concerns.

The typical table column headers are:
JobNumber, Status1, Status2, Status3 etc., CustomerName, JobReference, DueDate/Time, WorkType, CSR, Note(s)
The status cells just hold a single letter code such as: O (open) H (hold) X (finished) for that particular stage of production.

FrameReady should be able to export the above data (other than the status data) as common excel or csv format so you won't need to re-enter it. The "job board" is easy-on-the-eyes and readily shows what's happening with each job so long as the status is updated and finished jobs are omitted (but not deleted) from the list.

If you create your job board table in FileMaker, you can probably display it in the shop on an iPad and iPhone too. It could also be possible for your other satellite shops to access the same board. "Workplace Innovation Platform" is FileMaker's current sales slogan.

Maybe see what FrameReady tells you?
Hi Stephen,
I have considered adding the capability to access data tables. What is required to do this? Do we have to have a developers version of FileMaker, or is it readily available with FrameReady? I am very curious about this. Pls advise.

Ernesto
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Following this, but our situation is somewhat of a nightmare. We have two retail locations but production is done at a third facility which is also our corporate office. I head up one of the design centers. Much of our work at the center I head up is very specialized. Right now I have three guitars in house, two drum heads with collateral memorabilia, two 1800's French documents that need to be suspended with rare earth magnets between two pieces of MG, 26 sports tickets to be mounted, an 1800's rugby cap, a record album and about 26 concert tickets. I do most all the specialized mountings. We have most of our mats cut off-site by a fullfillment center. I do most of the ordering.

Co-ordinating all this activity has become more of a nightmare as business grows and it's not centralized. FrameReady is a godsend but it's only implemented in my location.

I don't have the authority to implement changes in work flow so I guess I just have to live with it.
Dave,
I feel for you. We have also entertained the prospect of a 2nd retail outlet, but the logistics are daunting. For us, having a streamlined procedure to take orders, purchase materials, produce the work and complete the cycle is necessary and key. For this to happen, we have FrameReady at the core, but have a need for other procedures to communicate status, material availability, production status, which are necessary. Currently, we are exploring using the web for central communication.

Ernesto
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
I'm guessing you may have a full copy of FileMaker and it doesn't need to be a developer's version. Check to see if you have any FileMaker version and that you can create a simple table, or open any other simple spreadsheet software table, using the column headers outlined above in previous post.

Then check to see if FrameReady can export any data in any format. You would want to export just those few column's of data outlined from FrameReady. The routine is very common to most users of any version of FM and has been for decades at this point.
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
We have also entertained the prospect of a 2nd retail outlet, but the logistics are daunting. For us, having a streamlined procedure to take orders, purchase materials, produce the work and complete the cycle is necessary and key. For this to happen, we have FrameReady at the core, but have a need for other procedures to communicate status, material availability, production status, which are necessary. Currently, we are exploring using the web for central communication.

Ernesto
FileMaker Inc, the platform of FrameReady, has recently been renamed to a previous company name of theirs from years ago called "Claris." Claris now offers a new product called Claris Connect for FileMaker. Basically APIs for a plethora of popular internet communication connections. You might become familiar with Claris and then ask FrameReady what they're working on. Costs? I don't happen to know at this time.

What you're needs are happens to be the same as so many other's.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
This is exactly one of our issues. When doing a design, I need the same frame or mat that is in the Job Ticket Holder, so I have to borrow it, and be sure I put it back in the correct Holder, and of course the phone rings, or another interruption occurs and where did I get the sample from? And you are correct, I dont like to tie up the samples. On the other hand, I will not know mat A4902, or frame # 354002, so I have to go look it up on the POS and then I have to find the mats in the group of mats delivered ... and this becomes a nightmare very quickly. So how do you handle this?

Ernesto
Mine was a one-man show so my system (if it deserves that name) was much simpler and would not work for a larger shop with employees. However, one thing stood out from this post and that is the line I have highlighted above.

I don't know how others manage this but if someone said "frame #354002" to me the picture of that moulding and its whereabouts in the racks would jump straight into my mind. Likewise the matt colour although I must confess I never used the matt numbers on customer orders, always the name ie "Crescent Antique White" rather than "1502" ( it's been a while, is that right??:() and always thought of them by "name" rather than number.

It may take a while to get a mental picture of all the materials you work with but having that knowledge stored between your ears may well speed up the process.

:(
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
...
It may take a while to get a mental picture of all the materials you work with but having that knowledge stored between your ears may well speed up the process.

:(
Well, I can recognize a few of the numbers and sometimes, I do remember the matboard with names, such as "real red", but my memory cells seem to evaporate into oblivion as I age. Also, I have become lazier as I age and have established some poor habits, such as photographing everything I need to possibly remember. For example, I use my cell phone to take a picture of a medicine bottle, and the license plate on our vehicles, and business cards etc. So when the Dr asks what medications my wife takes, and what is the dosage ... I pull out my phone and voila, there it is!

Similarly, I am working on a procedure to photograph orders and mat samples, frame samples, artwork, layout etc along with the Work Order. This info needs to be shared with other framers, and anyone who takes an order will have to take a similar photo and put it some place where is can be shared by whoever is scheduling, ordering, production or billing the Job. I am incorporating ideas and once it proves effective, I will share this with other Grumblers.

Now, if I can just find my glasses, I can get back to work. ;)
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Hi Jim,
I went to checkout the video, but not sure which one to check out that outlines WO tracking. Also, where is the reference to Central Schedule Calendar ant eh 5 clipboards ?
Watch the video titled "The More Efficient Frame Shop-Part 1". All of it should be useful for you, but the "order processing" section begins at around 4:30 minutes.
 

MATTHEW HALE

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
This is exactly one of our issues. When doing a design, I need the same frame or mat that is in the Job Ticket Holder, so I have to borrow it, and be sure I put it back in the correct Holder, and of course the phone rings, or another interruption occurs and where did I get the sample from? And you are correct, I dont like to tie up the samples. On the other hand, I will not know mat A4902, or frame # 354002, so I have to go look it up on the POS and then I have to find the mats in the group of mats delivered ... and this becomes a nightmare very quickly. So how do you handle this?

Ernesto
when orders arrive from our vendors they're (almost always) clearly marked on the item as well as on the pack slip. we match those #'s to the entry in our order log book, write the client's name on the material and store it until it comes time to complete that w/o. the only exceptions are solid core rag mats, which aren't always marked with their vendor #'s. there are times when a shipment will include 6 different white or off-white rag mats with no ID on them but using the invoice or pack slip from the vendor and a careful perusal of our samples in the show room it's usually fairly simple to zero in on which is which.
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
Similarly, I am working on a procedure to photograph orders and mat samples, frame samples, artwork, layout etc along with the Work Order. This info needs to be shared with other framers, and anyone who takes an order will have to take a similar photo and put it some place where is can be shared by whoever is scheduling, ordering, production or billing the Job. I am incorporating ideas and once it proves effective, I will share this with other Grumblers.
Again since you're using FrameReady, FileMaker (Claris) provides a free app called "FileMaker Go" for iPad and iPhone with included databases enabling photos from those devices to be imported immediately or from a photo library.
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Again since you're using FrameReady, FileMaker (Claris) provides a free app called "FileMaker Go" for iPad and iPhone with included databases enabling photos from those devices to be imported immediately or from a photo library.
I will check the FileMaker Go app. I was not even aware it was available. This might be helpful for taking photos of moulding samples and importing into the product table. Still, we have the issue of having this made available to multiple users. We only have one copy of FrameReady.

BTW, I would guess your are programmer since you use the camelCase syntax?
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
when orders arrive from our vendors they're (almost always) clearly marked on the item as well as on the pack slip. we match those #'s to the entry in our order log book, write the client's name on the material and store it until it comes time to complete that w/o. the only exceptions are solid core rag mats, which aren't always marked with their vendor #'s. there are times when a shipment will include 6 different white or off-white rag mats with no ID on them but using the invoice or pack slip from the vendor and a careful perusal of our samples in the show room it's usually fairly simple to zero in on which is which.
The order log book sounds like a better way to organize the material procurement. Q? Do you write the clients name on the matboard? How do you tag the moulding?
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Watch the video titled "The More Efficient Frame Shop-Part 1". All of it should be useful for you, but the "order processing" section begins at around 4:30 minutes.
Jim, I found the video. Thank you! I did not see the Central
Watch the video titled "The More Efficient Frame Shop-Part 1". All of it should be useful for you, but the "order processing" section begins at around 4:30 minutes.
Jim, thank you for the video. Good information. I like the status associated with each "clipboard". The calendar was not helpful because there was no reference to the actual orders. Perhaps, the example in the video was only meant to visualize a large calendar. However, the concept of keeping a list of orders with the due date, customer name and a brief description on a board (or glass) is important for everyone, provided that it is kept up to date.

The status clipboards are excellent. We use a slight variation, where in addition to "awaiting materials", we have a status of "awaiting digital processing", which for our shop means there is pending digital work (photography, PhotoShop, printing) is needed.

Again, thank you for the excellent videos. I am fine tuning our tracking procedure with the input I am getting here on the Grumble!

Ernesto
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jim, I found the video. Thank you! I did not see the Central


Jim, thank you for the video. Good information. I like the status associated with each "clipboard". The calendar was not helpful because there was no reference to the actual orders. Perhaps, the example in the video was only meant to visualize a large calendar. However, the concept of keeping a list of orders with the due date, customer name and a brief description on a board (or glass) is important for everyone, provided that it is kept up to date.

The status clipboards are excellent. We use a slight variation, where in addition to "awaiting materials", we have a status of "awaiting digital processing", which for our shop means there is pending digital work (photography, PhotoShop, printing) is needed.

Again, thank you for the excellent videos. I am fine tuning our tracking procedure with the input I am getting here on the Grumble!

Ernesto
Yes, the video illustrations are not complete...I wish they could be as good as the ones I use in classes.
Actually, on the Central Schedule Calendar, the orders are described by customer name and Work Order number. When an order is taken off the clipboard for production, a dot is placed next to the number, to indicate that the order is on the bench. Then, when the order is done, a checkmark indicates that it is completed and the customer has been notified. These are quick & simple markings that show the status of every order at a glance.
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Ok, here is a summary of the new WO tracking procedure we have implemented. Take what you want, or just ignore it. I do have to say, I have more control and visibility into our work order than ever before via this implementation:

Prerequisites: 1) A phone camera 2) Wifi Access 3) Google Drive app on the phone and on the computer.

First, create 5 folders on Google Drive, with the appropriate names - in our case the folders are:

ScreenHunter 18.png

Procedure Step 1 - After taking a customer order, layout the artwork, mat samples, frame samples and the printed work order on the table and take a photo with your phone camera. Upload the photo to Google Drive from your phone and place it in the "New Orders folder.
Return the samples back to the wall and store the artwork. Here is an example:

Jan 29 2020  John Doe - Two Dogs.jpg

Notice, that you can visually see the mats, frame, artwork and the Work Order. With your phone, you can easily zoom in a read the WO.
At the end of the day, you will have a collection of new work orders in the folder.

Note: when the orders are uploaded to the New Orders folder, they have a file name of File_000.jpeg. Right click on the order to rename it. Typically, we rename to something like, Jan 30 2020 - John Doe - Sport Jersey.jpeg - with due date, customer name, descripiton. This is very helpful for we can immediately recognize the priority, the customer, and the project. This will help us work on the orders based on due date priority.


Procedure: Step 2 - Procurement. From the Google Drive, move the new orders to the Procurement folder. You can read the orders from your computer and check your inventory, then place material orders from your vendors. When material is ordered, we highlight the material on the physical work order. If we happen to already have the material in inventory, we allocate the material by writing the name of the work order and customer on the back of a matboard or a tag on the frame. We indicate this by highlighting the order and writing "House" next to the item. This way the framer know the material is already available in inventory. Once all the material is ordered for a Work Order, the order is moved from the Procurement folder to the Incoming Material folder.

Procedure: Step 3 - Incoming Materials. Immediately, we check the packing slip and inspect the materials, making sure we have the right material, the material passes inspection and compare against the customer work order. We place a check mark by the material when it is received and acceptable. Any errors should be corrected asap, and reordering done if necessary. If all the material is received for an order, the order is moved to the Production folder. Otherwise, notes are made on the work order and the order remains in Procurement folder.

Procedure: Step 4 - Production. This folder contains orders that are in production. It is assumed all the material is on hand, and the orders are worked in due date priority. Any errors that occur, such as cutting material to wrong size may require reordering. In this case, the error is noted and the order goes back to procurement. Once an order is completed, the work order is moved to the Completed folder.

Procedure: Step 5 - Completed orders are ready for pickup. The customer is notified, and any outstanding balance will be paid when the order is picked up. When the customer is notified, and note is made on the printed work order along with the date the customer was contacted.

Recommendations: The phone is used to take the first picture and upload the photo to the Google Drive. Everything else should be done from Google Drive on your computer where you have better visibility. All renaming, movement and ordering can easily be done from your computer.

Benefits: I have full visibility of the status of our work orders. So, if a customer calls, I can quickly find the order in one of the 5 folders to get status. I can consolidate purchases by having visibility of multiple orders from the desktop, thereby reduce my shipping costs. I can also see what needs to be worked on next, and have better planning for the use of the work tables. I can keep tabs on who needs to pick up their order, thereby reducing the amount of clutter that accumulates while waiting for pickup.

Summary: We have found a way to implement a better Work Order tracking procedure by using visual photographs of customer orders, layout, material and the printed work order. The photographs are easily collected using free software (Google Drive) to upload the images. Using Google Drive, we manage the flow of orders as they are processed through various stages.

Please let me know if anyone else finds this useful.

Ernesto
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Yes, the video illustrations are not complete...I wish they could be as good as the ones I use in classes.
Actually, on the Central Schedule Calendar, the orders are described by customer name and Work Order number. When an order is taken off the clipboard for production, a dot is placed next to the number, to indicate that the order is on the bench. Then, when the order is done, a checkmark indicates that it is completed and the customer has been notified. These are quick & simple markings that show the status of every order at a glance.
Jim, I studied your video and applied some of the work flow. I think most framers use some variation of this, but you organized it well. We applied a variation of the work flow and implemented using visuals images of the order, materials and artwork and uploaded to the internet into folders on Google Drive. These folders are the equivalent of the "clipboards". We make notes on the printed work order and put them in trays to parallel the movement of the work orders in Google. The main advantage is having the visibility on the computer for management. The order, the material components and the artwork are visually available! In addition, the responsibilities can be split up for purchasing, receiving inspection, production and customer service as the work orders status changes.

So, I want to say thank you for the clarity of ideas in your videos. This enabled us to apply the concepts with an organized web/computer management approach. See you at WCAF show.

Ernesto
 

MATTHEW HALE

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
The order log book sounds like a better way to organize the material procurement. Q? Do you write the clients name on the matboard? How do you tag the moulding?
client's name and order # on all incoming materials.
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
Absolutely, this is what the Grumble is about!
If I were using FrameReady…

1) Capture the art / frame design using a dedicated wireless camera or iPad (never a personal phone) directly into the work order record. No need to rename image files because the image is associated with pertinent data upon import and no need to further move an image file. It’s possible for a WO to relate to a virtual unlimited number of image or media files. No need to upload images to any third party which require accounts, passwords, or apps. No need to capture or upload an image of the work order. Doing so might expose sensitive customer data & signatures to a potential third party security risk.

2) Job boards for tracking WO status are very simple to design and use because tried and true implementations already exist, for centuries actually. You have designed a version known as KanBan made popular at Toyota in the 1950s but it’s not ideal nor optimum for your particular purpose in my opinion. If you study my earlier post of column headers and the 3 code letters of status and then create a spreadsheet with 5 actual work orders, I think you may be surprised of the potential along with the simplicity. Be sure to use at least one WO of the 5 which has more than one line item. Good WO tracking will need to track individual line items as well.

If you're game, you might build this in FileMaker as it is that simple.
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
If I were using FrameReady…

1) Capture the art / frame design using a dedicated wireless camera or iPad (never a personal phone) directly into the work order record. No need to rename image files because the image is associated with pertinent data upon import and no need to further move an image file. It’s possible for a WO to relate to a virtual unlimited number of image or media files. No need to upload images to any third party which require accounts, passwords, or apps. No need to capture or upload an image of the work order. Doing so might expose sensitive customer data & signatures to a potential third party security risk.

Having the art/design/component/layout image associated with the work order is good. However, we do not have the luxury of having Frameready on every computer as needed by the workers in production, purchasing and management. We have one POS system running FrameReady. If the image was assigned the to work order file, this could only be viewed on the POS computer, which is a our front design counter. How do you propose providing visibility to everyone else without having access to the POS pc? In our implementation, everyone with a username/password has access to the specific Google Drive account. The image show the work order document, and everything about the order. This is where we need visibility for the framer in the shop, for the person who is orders materials, for the person at the counter, and for who ever is managing the whole process.

2) Job boards for tracking WO status are very simple to design and use because tried and true implementations already exist, for centuries actually. You have designed a version known as KanBan made popular at Toyota in the 1950s but it’s not ideal nor optimum for your particular purpose in my opinion. If you study my earlier post of column headers and the 3 code letters of status and then create a spreadsheet with 5 actual work orders, I think you may be surprised of the potential along with the simplicity. Be sure to use at least one WO of the 5 which has more than one line item. Good WO tracking will need to track individual line items as well.

We dont do KanBan - that model was designed for repetitive manufacturing. We do custom framing. There are many ways to skin a cat - you can use clipboards, or folders, or trays, or spreadsheets; however, none of these methods works unless you have visibility and communication. Everyone who has a responsibility in the work order flow needs to communicate exceptions and success. Do you expect your framer to update the spreadsheet? How about the peeps in purchasing - can you be sure they will update the spreadsheet? I think it is easier from someone to drop an order into a tray, or to move a work order from one folder to another. This is very visible.

I appreciate your feedback. Bring it on.

Ernesto


If you're game, you might build this in FileMaker as it is that simple.
 

Stephen Ray

Grumbler in Training
If one is not aware how FrameReady can be shared and accessed, taken from the FrameReady Online Help…

The FileMaker platform allows you to safely share your FileMaker information with Windows, Mac and iPad users.
FrameReady information is stored in FileMaker files. Those files, in order to be shared, must be stored on a Host computer. The Host computer shares the FrameReady solution on the network. Other devices access FrameReady as Clients or Guests.
When a shared file is open, the Host and Guests have access to the same information.
FMP saves the information where the file resides. It saves changes that the Host and Guests made to the file, including changes to records, layouts and scripts

Further from FrameReady…

Having a digital image of a moulding profile or a piece of consignment art can be invaluable as a reference. Images can be stored in many different files in FrameReady.
You can import images of:
retail products,
customer’s artwork
pre, during, and post production images of the framing techniques,
moulding profiles. (This is especially helpful for mobile framers and galleries).
Images can be imported from any digital file or catalog.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jim, I studied your video and applied some of the work flow. I think most framers use some variation of this, but you organized it well. We applied a variation of the work flow and implemented using visuals images of the order, materials and artwork and uploaded to the internet into folders on Google Drive. These folders are the equivalent of the "clipboards"...
So, it looks like you have adapted my thirty-year-old system for 21st century application. Kudos to you for the innovation!

So, I want to say thank you for the clarity of ideas in your videos. This enabled us to apply the concepts with an organized web/computer management approach. See you at WCAF show.
Thanks for your kind words. See you in Las Vegas in about a week.
 

echavez123

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
If one is not aware how FrameReady can be shared and accessed, taken from the FrameReady Online Help…

The FileMaker platform allows you to safely share your FileMaker information with Windows, Mac and iPad users.
FrameReady information is stored in FileMaker files. Those files, in order to be shared, must be stored on a Host computer. The Host computer shares the FrameReady solution on the network. Other devices access FrameReady as Clients or Guests.
When a shared file is open, the Host and Guests have access to the same information.
FMP saves the information where the file resides. It saves changes that the Host and Guests made to the file, including changes to records, layouts and scripts


Further from FrameReady…

Having a digital image of a moulding profile or a piece of consignment art can be invaluable as a reference. Images can be stored in many different files in FrameReady.
You can import images of:
retail products,
customer’s artwork
pre, during, and post production images of the framing techniques,
moulding profiles. (This is especially helpful for mobile framers and galleries).
Images can be imported from any digital file or catalog.
FrameReady offers lots of great features, but to implement the equivalent concept of work order tracking requires additional costs and programming time. For example, having FileMaker Go requires a network license. Having peer to peer accessing requires networking license for each client. And, when FileMaker 18 is released, peer to peer networking will no longer be supported. In addition, data would have be extracted into your spreadsheet to maintain work order status. It is cumbersome to determine wo status within FrameReady. For example, how would you get a list of orders that need purchasing of materials? Or, how would you get a list of orders that are in production? Answer: If you are using the Purchasing module, you could look at the list of orders on the PO and you would have to check the material list to see what has been received. This works. However, you have to keep popping back to the WO to see the customer, the due date etc. I favor the visual orders and status. It just works for me. I am not convinced that FrameReady has a better solution.

It is nice to learn more about FrameReady's features, and maybe we will utilize some of them. However, in our setup, there is absolutely zero cost, and it is quick. It takes me about 1 minute to layout the artwork, order, mats, frame and take a photo with my iphone. It takes another minute to upload it to the New Order folder. From there, the manager, purchasing person, framer, designer all can see the orders immediately.

Although I am a programmer, I am also an artist. I prefer visual - it is just easier
 
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