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smaller, and there is much more flexibility in the schedule when parts are delayed or sickness plagues the workforce. Plus, small clients often grow, with the most ethical of them remembering who “brought them to the dance” as they say. Medium-sized clients are the perfect balance - there are just not enough of them out there for a medium to larger business to keep busy. The answer is obvious: a healthy mix of all three client sizes. But, how does one schedule such a mess?

The Scheduling Mix

BALANCING THE BUSY BUSINESS SCHEDULE

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Scheduling becomes even more complicated when implementing a diversification strategy by mixing in various sized tasks for various sized clients (juggling different sized balls). Diversifying the company by simultaneously performing for small, medium, and large clients can reduce risk significantly.

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AT HOME IN BERKs december 2013

Fill Your Calendar with Holes

Small, Medium, or Large?

First, place into the jar (the schedule) all of the large rocks (large client tasks). As you peer through the side of the jar (the weekly or monthly schedule) you will see plenty of holes and dead space.

Smaller clients have the opposite pros and cons. Checks flow regularly, though

Once all the pebbles are in the jar, add in the sand (smaller client tasks) using the same approach. The smaller the client task, the less time and company resources it will take to complete; so, the easier it is to find a hole in the schedule.

By Christian D. Malesic, MBA, IOM

cheduling is a juggling act. As long as all of the balls are in the air, the act is going smoothly. Oft times, however, when one ball is dropped, the juggler may drop a few more balls while attempting to pick up and add back into the routine the first one that fell.

A mind’s eye visual can bring the scheduling process into full clarity. Imagine a large glass jar into which you must place baseball-sized rocks, marblesized pebbles, and sand. If you put the pebbles in first, the large rocks will sit on top and the sand will overflow the brim. It is a puzzle analogous to client task scheduling; wherein the rocks represent large clients, pebbles the medium clients, and sand the smaller clients. The solution, both to the jar puzzle and to client task scheduling, is the creation of holes.

Large clients have “all eggs in one basket” benefits and associated problems. All of your employees are working and life is good when things are going well with the client. However, when a significant supplier delivery is a few days late or some other “ask” cannot be met, the whole relationship may come to a screeching halt. Even more importantly, if the client does not pay fast enough, your company’s cash flow and finances similarly stop on the dime.

Next, finesse in the pebbles (medium client tasks) by adding a few into the mix. Then, gently shake the jar (massage the schedule) to allow the pebbles to sift into the available holes. Allow the mediumsized client tasks to fill in the holes created by the ebbs and flows of the large client tasks.

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