Why Expediting Is Harder than It Sounds

Frustration is almost always the result of unmet expectations.

It’s no wonder, then, that customers get frustrated with Kaser’s inability to expedite projects. In their minds, it takes no time at all to throw a single part up on a cart and spray it. While they may understand the need to schedule large orders in advance, they fully expect me to squeeze their small jobs in for the shortest possible turnaround.

I don’t blame customers for thinking this way. None of us know what we don’t know.

So in an effort to create more realistic expectations, here are a few of the hurdles I encounter when trying to expedite projects.

Carts are in short supply.

Customers know that we hang parts on carts before spraying. But they may not realize how much space those carts take and how densely packed they tend to be. On a normal day at Kaser, every single cart will be full of parts – parts that were meticulously hung by hand over a period of hours. The minute a cart is freed up, it is re-hung with the next project as fast as humanly possible to avoid throwing off the whole week’s schedule. There is never a spare cart lying around for emergency use.  

Every action causes a chain reaction.

Kaser doesn’t have an automated line, but work flows through the shop as though we did. Think of the shop floor as a large, busy conveyor belt: if a cart isn’t prepped and hung in time, the wash bay sits idle; and if the wash bay sits idle, so will the powder booth, and the oven, and the packaging station, and so on. I spend hours every day tweaking the schedule to ensure that each and every team member stays busy. If they don’t, we fall behind. Surprises, emergencies, and last-minute additions throw off the whole day, which affects the rest of the week. 

Everyone else’s project is also an emergency.

There isn’t a single customer for whom time is not a factor. Everyone wants their work done as fast as possible. Most of my customers are under pressure from their customers, and all of our backs are against the wall. I empathize with the fact that you’re in a hurry, but you’re not the only one, and I can’t pick and choose which emergencies to ignore.

Of course, I will always do what I can to meet a customer’s expectations. I want to be of service. I want to expedite everything. It pains me to say no. But trust that when I do, it’s not for lack of trying.




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