Thursday, July 9, 2009

Load Shifting

You might be wondering about the "Load Shifting" title and what exactly does it have to do with recording your engineering document time. Well, I'll tell you.

I was taking a smoke break this morning (yes, I'm one of those cretins) when a big rig pulled up in the parking lot. The driver turned his rig off and approached me. I struck up a little conversation with him asking why he shut down the engine and mentioned how uncommon it was. During our discussion the thought crossed my mind how he did not fit the trucker stereotype, he was young, well dressed, well groomed, and well spoken, and his rig was spotless.

A while later (another smoke break) the shop foreman joined me and commented about how much of a pain in the *ss the driver was. Every skid he loaded the driver would tell him "no, a little to the left" or ""no, that's not lined up quite right" or "that's not spaced right". You get the picture, pretty anal right?

Later, I realized what this driver was doing. Not only was he balancing his load, he was benchmarking. By knowing exactly how these skids were placed on his truck before his trek, when he arrived at his destination he was able to inspect his load and examine the load shifting that may have occurred. With the knowledge he would gain from this examination he could easily determine his performance among other things:

  • Was his load strapped properly? Check.
  • Did he take that curve at a reasonable speed? Check.
  • Were his straps sufficient for the job? Check.
  • If the load was damaged, could the cause be determined. Check.

OK, so here's how this applies to engineering documents and time keeping.
As a CAD manager, project manager or engineer, staff supervisor (the truck driver) your duties may encompass similar functions:
  • Assign the CAD personnel to task (balance the load)
  • Understand your staff's capabilities (have a benchmark)
  • Maintain standards compliance (keep the truck spotless)
  • Monitor the project status (inspect and examine the load)

CadTempo can be helpful to you in these situations by providing the means to determine your staff's strengths and weaknesses and assigning members to perform at what they do best.