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Job Names, avoiding confusion and overcomplexity10/23
We are in the midst of trying to find a better way of naming our jobs in a way that is sensible to everyone in the company.
We design, build, and install our own cabinetry. Some jobs are simple one-room jobs (a vanity), some are huge houses with 100+ cabinets, and some are high end condos and apartments each with it's own distinctives. Some have builders in charge, some directly deal with us.
Trying to find a job name scheme that works has been far more daunting than you'd think.
We're at the size where client names repeat (common names), street names repeat, etc. We have nearly 20 team members that intersect with this.
So how are you all doing this? What does the job name look like at your shop if it's only a small vanity, purchased by a client, no builder?
What about a large house with 10-12 different rooms?
What about that same house, adding another room very late in the process? What does that job name look like?
Matt, by your description it sounds as if our company size is the same as our current situation, and yes we needed to figure out a way to keep "Jobs" organized. I used the phrase "jobs" because at our size we have been bidding about 500 jobs/projects a year, and of course not all of them actually turn into a real job.
We came up with a system that works for us, and we feel was an easy way for 20 people to reference a specific job to ask questions, find answers etc.
Our system has 4 items involved with naming a job:
1) Job Number where the first 2 numbers identify what year the project was done
The first year we started this system (15 years ago) we started with the #1
The first job we bid would look like this - 01001 PRI Smith AB - 01 = year1 of the numbering program - 001 = job #1 for that year - PRI = private client - Smith= Clients last name - AB = Designers Intials
We change the first 2 numbers of our numbering system on Jan 1 of each year,
Like I mentioned we are currently in year 15 of this system so currently ours looks like this - 15224 THC Jones AB
15th year, job #224 for that specific year, Builder initials, end users name, designer initials.
One part that worked out great for us was that by doing it this way we know what year, and approximately what part of the year we did a project. So when the Jones call us 3 years later to finish their basement, we ask what year we did their original project,and we can find that job with all the specs etc.
Adam that is very helpful and reinforces to me some of the formats that have been suggested by others on our team.
I'm the one here that has been the most skeptical of that sort of numerical format, but since you say it's been working great, maybe you can help alleviate my concerns.
I'm the production manager here, so I'm constantly discussing these projects with literally every human in the company.
When you're discussing a job with someone, or assigning tasks on the shop floor, or talking to an installer....... what do you call the job? What job name are you writing on the cut lists and task sheets?
Do you still refer to it as "PRI_Smith" and "THC_Jones" in everyday conversation and such?
I would say that it is a combination when it come to referencing a job. Usually if someone from the shop floor comes up to the office with a question, they will use the job #. Most of our information is stored digitally. We draw & engineer all of our jobs in Cabinet Vision. We also have a homemade "job packet" that has customer info, job specs, change orders etc. When we create a new job in either CV or our job packet, it is saved with the full job number mentioned above. A quick search using any of the keywords in the job name will get you to the file pretty quickly.
I really enjoy seeing how different clients handle job numbers. With a client base in excess of 500 millwork companies I can assure you I have seen everything from the most complex numbering system to the most random approach.
BUT, I suggest you start out with this :
Try keeping folders like this and you can easily scan through client lists and projects
Format is fluid based on tracking necessity, but once you decide on what you'd like to track, it becomes easier...
If you do Residential and Commercial, you can start off with an R or C...
Then the first three letters of the person last name or companies name...
Then the date the contract was signed...
Lastly, if needed, another identifier for separate sub-projects that require separate job codes/contracts... End result it could look like...
Makes it easy to sort Residential and Commercial for reports.... Key is identifying the workflow you're trying to track...