Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right in Service Scheduling

By Dan Bursik
VP, Best Practices

When your parents or teachers first told you that “two wrongs don’t make a right” who knew that they were giving you critical Labor Management insight into forecasting and scheduling accuracy? But it is true: effective work planning and scheduling is about getting it right at exactly the right time of day, not just about the total number of hours you need to use.

While there can be some activities that are flexible enough to occur any time of day, service scheduling is all about positioning the right people, at the right place, at the right time, doing the right things to insure that customer needs are fulfilled. Overs and unders do not cancel out. The customer who receives exceptional service does nothing to convince a customer who gets stuck with an excessive delay that they were both well served, on the whole. Each customer walks away with their own perception of your customer service.

Think through the implications for assessing your scheduling effectiveness and the accuracy of the underlying forecast upon which your demand is built. It is easy to make the mistake of evaluating earned versus actual hours on just a weekly or daily level. Quality of service demands that we get it right at the 15-minute interval level. If your schedules aren’t doing that well, it is time to consider process improvements to seize the opportunities to do better.

While no approach will be perfect, two adages will always apply:

1. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

2. Every customer walks away with their own perception of your customer service.

This post is also available in: Spanish