Scheduling systems and the art of listening

Reaching new heights requires collaboration.

It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you pause and listen to the needs of others. For me, listening is the key factor in delivering the best possible solution for a customer and understanding what they’re actually asking me for, rather than just giving them what I think they want or what I think is best for them.

Having been in their shoes, I know what it’s like to be responsible for specifying business requirements for a scheduling tool. While I didn’t necessarily know the “how-to” or the technical “stuff,” I found it extremely easy to end-up being blind-sided by various offers for potential solutions that didn’t look anything like we needed or what I thought I’d asked for.  It felt like the vendor was always selling me one of two options – “Here’s what we’re good at selling, you can fit with that,” or ” We can do anything, so let’s dive into the details later.”

Example scheduling tool

I always remember an experience I had as a junior planner during an advanced planning system implementation early in my career. After months of work and countless dollars spent, it became absolutely clear that the vendor we had chosen was not on the same page as us. They weren’t there when we needed them, the improvements we asked for didn’t materialize, and we ended-up walking away from them in the end, primarily due to a breakdown of trust.

Motivation for me hit rock-bottom right then, but I soon realized it was also a priceless lesson that I learned. I was determined that if I got to a place where I were taking these kinds of decisions myself, I would make the time to learn from the experience of my key-users, understand clearly what the goals were and choose the right partner to help me get the best result.  I would want to know what could be done, how, when and how much it would really cost and they would always give me honesty.

We did pick the right partner second time around. Years later, I still remember the excitement of issuing my first successful schedule!  That’s the feeling I want my customers to have, and I love that I get to make that happen with Profit Point today. I can always hear the excitement in my customer’s voice when we’re able to make it work in a way that’s going to add real value to their business.

Now, I still don’t claim to know all the technical “stuff,” but I know some very smart people who do.  The vast knowledge of the Profit Point team means that we can answer tough questions with real solutions that make a difference in real-world scenarios.

We would love to help you with your next implementation or optimization project! Learn more about Profit Point’s production planning and scheduling solutions here.

About Jackie Graver

Jackie has 30 years of hands-on planning and scheduling experience, working in world-class companies across Textiles, Oil & Gas & Chemicals industries.

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