Using and Understanding the Scheduler Follow
The scheduler is an advanced production tool of Printer's Plan. The major benefits of Scheduler are:
- Reduce production errors
- Meet deadlines
- Improve Productivity
- Manage equipment capacity
This guide explains all the features of Scheduler. You can use all of them or just a combination of selected features. Understanding the best way to use it for your operations comes with some discovery and in this article, you can also find some suggested procedures.
Many procedures in Scheduler can be accomplished by scanning barcodes. If you would like to incorporate barcode functions into Scheduler, please read the article covering that feature: Using Barcode Support for routine tasks
To access Scheduler, Click the "Scheduler" tab.
Opening the "Schedule Job" window
After entering an Order, open the Schedule Job window to schedule the services and assign
operators to them.
You can access the Schedule Job window in one of the following three ways:
A. In the Job window:
This is located in the Job Section window, and then the Job window
B. In the Jobs section:
C. In the Scheduler section:
Using the "Schedule Job" Window
See below for scheduling jobs and other actions you can take in the Schedule Job window.
Seeing the Big Picture as you schedule
After scheduling a job or several jobs, refer to the “Summary-To-Do” lists in Scheduler to review
the scheduled workload for each day. These lists will help you know how to allocate your
resources for maximum efficiency and capacity. For example, to quickly check the amount of
time you have scheduled for your Operators, view the Operator list.
To review the daily totals for scheduled services, view Department/Service or Center/Service.
Scheduler--> Summary-to-do--> Category/Service.
Viewing To-Do Lists (Orders, Items, and Services)
In Scheduler you will find three types of List Views: Orders List, Items List, Services List. The
following pages describe these views.
Click “Orders” to expand the list; then, click a filter to list the Orders that satisfy the filter. These
filters are identical to the Orders filters in the Jobs section.
To view the Items of an Order and the services in each Item, expand the order by clicking the
plus (+) sign next to the order number. You can perform the service functions, such as assigning
dates and operators and checkmarking services as “Done”.
Additionally, Double-clicking an Order opens its Schedule Job window in fully functioning mode.
Click “Items” to expand the list; then, click a filter to list the Items that satisfy the filter.
All the views under Departments, Centers, Dates, Operators, Tags, and Priorities are at the
Service level. The following example shows all Finishing Services To-Do grouped by service due
Printing To-Do Lists for Operators and the Managers
To print To-Do lists for operators and managers for today, click Print to open the Print window
and make selections as shown below.
To print a list of all operators and their assigned tasks for today (useful for managers), make the
following selections in the Print window.
Updating Service Status
Service statuses can be updated in one of the following ways.
Suggested Procedure 1
(Use this procedure if you have assigned operators to services.)
Click the operator’s name under “Operators” to list all the services assigned to this operator.
When the operator completes a service, he/she marks it “Done” as shown below.
NOTE: To restrict the list to include only the services that are due today, right-click on the
operator’s name and select Add Filter… Then, in the Find window, select Item/Service
Date is equal to today’s date.
Suggested Procedure 2
(Use this procedure if you have assigned “due dates” to services.)
Click Today’s date under “Dates” to list all the services due today. Mark services “Done” as they
Suggested Procedure 3
(Use this procedure if you have not assigned operators or due dates to services.)
Click the corresponding Department under “Departments” or the Center under “Centers”
and mark services “Done” as they are completed. (See more information in “Departments” and
“Centers” later in this guide.)
Updating Item Status (Location)
Scheduler helps you track the location of each Item. You will know (with minimum user
involvement) where each job is in the production process and which Items are at certain
locations in production, such as “In Proof” and “In Finishing”.
Click “Items” and then “All” to display the Items of all the current Orders as in the figure below.
(If your list is not grouped by “Job Due Date” and you want to list them by Due Date, click the
header “Group By…” (Grouping of the Items list can be further customized in Scheduler Settings |
List Options and is explained later in this guide.)
Item locations are divided into three groups:
- Not in Production
- Items in Production
- End Production.
1) “Not in Production” Locations (Schedule, Hold, Wait, Proof)
A job in one of these locations is not in production yet or has been pulled out of
production. These location names are pre-defined and cannot be edited.
To place an Item in one of these locations, drag the Item to that location or right-click in
the “I” column of the Item to select the location.
NOTE: Depending on the option setting, a new Item will automatically appear either in
“Schedule” or “In Production”. You can set this option in Scheduler Settings | New Item
Options as shown below. (Scheduler Settings is covered in more detail later in this
Setting the new Item status to “Schedule” (box not checked) allows the production
manager to review the Item and assign dates and operators to its services before the job
goes into the In Production status.
2) "Items in production" locations
The “Items In Production” locations, except for “In Production”, match the Service
Departments created in the Services section. See below:
When you mark a service of an Item “Done”, the Item automatically moves to the location
that corresponds to the Department of the service next in line. See below:
NOTE: To benefit fully from this automatic moving of an Item from one location to the next,
in the Services section, organize the Service Departments in the order of production.
NOTE: The colors assigned to Service Departments are also assigned to the corresponding
Item locations. This color-coding helps the user easily identify the Item locations (see the
“In Production” location: When a job is in this location, it is in production but not at a
specific location, such as Graphics, yet. This may mean that the job has been scheduled but
has to go through one last review before it goes to the first production location. Use it in
the way that fits your operation best. You may want to ignore this location completely.
As mentioned earlier in this section, you can select an option so that a newly created Item
automatically goes to the “In Production” location, bypassing the “Schedule” location. This
option is usually selected under one or more of the following conditions:
- CSRs schedule jobs from the Job window as soon as they create the Items,
- You are not using the “scheduling services” and “assigning operators” features, or
- You want Items to appear in production as soon as they are created.
3) "End Production" Location
When all the services of an Item are check marked, the Item automatically moves to the
“Done” location. The icon for this location is a yellow checkmark. See below:
NOTE: Even if you have not checkmarked all or any of the services, just dragging the Item to
the “Done” location checkmarks all the services
Viewing items at a specific location
To view Items that are currently at a specific location, click the location. The following figure
shows the Items currently at the Finishing location. Click the plus (+) sign next to the Item to
view the services of the Item (see Item 2407-2 in the figure).
Viewing Item Location and Service Status in the Job Window
You and your staff can view the location of an Item and statuses of its services from the Job
window in the Jobs section.
Ability to view service and Item statuses is a feature that can be enabled/disabled as follows:
- Click Order to display the Order menu.
- Select Show/Hide…
- Check the Status of Items and Services option. (Uncheck to disable the feature.)
See the figure below
Updating Order Status
Order statuses in Scheduler and their icon colors are identical to the Orders in the Jobs section:
“In Progress”, “On Hold”, “Ready to Ship”, and “Ready to Post”.
When all the services of an Order are checked as “Done”, the Order status will automatically
change to “Ready to Ship”.
To manually change the status of Order(s), select the Order(s) and right-click in the Order
To automatically update the status of Order(s), select the Order(s), and right-click in the Job
More Scheduler functions
The Departments in Scheduler are the same as the Service Departments created in the
When you click a Department, the right pane displays the services that belong to that Service
Department and are assigned to current Orders.
EXAMPLE: In the figure below, on the left pane, the Finishing department is selected. On the
right, all the Finishing services assigned to current Orders are listed.
Other actions that can be accomplished in the “Departments” view:
- When you click the plus (+) sign next to an Item, the Item expands and the other services in
the Item are displayed for your view.
- Double-clicking a service opens the Schedule window of its Order where you can view the
Centers provide an alternative way to grouping Services in production as compared to service
Departments. They are user-defined in Scheduler and then assigned to services.
For example, in the Services section, you may have set up all your digital printers in one
department, such as Digital Department. Therefore, in Scheduler, when you click the “Digital”
department under “Departments”, you see all the digital printers that are assigned to current
Items. However, you may also want to view some specific printers in separate lists. Creating
Centers allows you to accomplish this.
Setting up Service Centers
You can define up to 24 Service Centers. To modify the existing Centers and to add new
In Scheduler, click Scheduler Settings and select Service Centers.
The Service Centers window appears
Assigning centers to services
After you set up the Service Centers, assign Centers to services using one of the following two
- In the Services section, open a service.
- Click More Properties… to open the More Service Properties window.
- Click the arrow in the Center field and select the center
Method 2 (This is the most efficient way if you want to assign one center to multiple services.)
- In Scheduler, expand Centers.
- Click the center indicated with a question mark (?). All the services without center
assignments are listed.
- Select (highlight) the services to which you want to assign one specific center. If you
have the same service, such as “Auto 2 Folds”, listed more than once, you need to
highlight it only once. (See the figure below)
- Drag the selected services to that center.
Checking if All Services Have Center Assignments
When you click the center indicated with the question mark, the services listed are the ones
assigned to current Orders only. Therefore, not all services without center assignments may be
included in this list. After completing the steps in Method 2, do the following to assign centers
to services that were not listed:
- In the Services section, list the services of one Service Category.
- Scroll to the right until you see the column named “Center”. The question marks (?)
indicate the services without center assignments.
- Follow the steps in Method 1 to if you want to assign centers to these services
You can assign pre-defined tags to services and Items as communication tools.
Service and Item tags are defined in Scheduler Settings | Item Tags/Service Tags. You can also
assign colors to tags for easy identification.
Assigning a Tag to a Service or an Item
Viewing Tag Lists
Clicking a tag under “Tags” displays all the services to which that specific tag is assigned.
NOTE: The “Tags” lists include only the Service Tags. Item Tag lists are not available.
You can assign priority numbers to services to indicate the order in which services due on a
certain day should be completed. Assigning priority numbers helps manage the production
Viewing Prioritized Services: To see all the services to which a specific priority number is assigned, click that number under “Priorities”
NOTE: The “Priorities” lists include only the service Priorities. These lists are not available for
Scheduler List Menu
Click the top List Menu bar above the right pane to display the Scheduler List Menu.
Descriptions of the Functions on the List Menu
Schedule Job: Opens the “Schedule Job” window.
Preview Job Specs: Opens the “Job” window for preview. Editing is not allowed in this job view.
Edit Job Dates: Opens the “When” window for editing.
Update Status of Selected Jobs...: (available only for Orders views)Updates the statuses of the highlighted
Orders. The window shown appears when this selection is made. Click Yes to update the status(es).
Update Status of Selected Items...: (available only for Items views)Updates the statuses of the highlighted
Items. The window shown appears when this selection is made. Click Yes to update the status(es).
Refresh: When you make a modification to an Item in the Jobs section, such as adding a service, or
when someone updates Scheduler data from another computer, you need to refresh your screen to view the updated data on your computer. Use the “Refresh” command or press the [F5] key for this function.
Search: Opens the following window which allows you to search the list for a specific item.
Expand All: Expands all the selected Items (Orders if you are in an Order list view) to display their services.
Collapse All: Collapses all the selected Items (Orders) to hide their services (their Items).
Add to favorites: Allows you to save a custom list as a favorite report. Below is an example of this.
Jim, the salesperson, occasionally wants to see the locations of the jobs of his customers. To create such a list, he does the following:
- Open the “Items” folder and right-click “All”. A menu appears.
- Select “Add Filter…” The Find window appears
- Make the selections as below
- A list of the Items of his customers’ Orders appears.
- To save this list as a favorite, right-click the list and select “Add to Favorites…” A window appears.
- Name the list, such as “Jim’s jobs” and click OK
In the future, any time Jim wants to see his customers’ jobs and their locations, he clicks
the Favorites button at the top of the Scheduler section and selects “Jim’s jobs”.
Favorites…:Opens the Favorites window shown in the figure above. Making this selection is the same as clicking the Favorites button.
Select All: Selects (highlights) all the items on the list.
View Filter…:Opens a window that shows the criteria Printer’s Plan used to create the displayed list.
View Totals…:Opens the Totals window. In services views, this window shows the total quantity/time for the selected services.
Example: To see the total time and number of clicks for your Black & White copier on a certain
- Select “Digital” under “Departments”.
- Highlight the Black & White copier services assigned to that date.
- Open the right-click menu and select “View Totals…”
Set Column Sizes…: In any view of Scheduler, you can change any column width or hide a column by clicking the right end of the column header and dragging it to the right or the left as shown below.
If you want to keep the adjusted column widths for this view, click “Set Column Sizes…” on the
right-click menu. The “Default Column Sizes” window appears.
Select “Use custom widths as shown” to save the changes you made to the column widths.
Later, if you want to return to the default widths, select “Use default widths” from the same
Use the “Fit all columns in window” selection when you want to see all the columns but your
computer screen is not wide enough and you need to scroll sideways to see the other columns.
Notes: The options in the “Default Column Sizes” window are computer-specific and also
list-specific. If you want to see the same column widths also in other list views, you must
go to each list view and repeat the procedure.
These options apply to only the changes made to the column widths. Changes made to
the order of the columns will not be saved.
List Menu Bar at the Bottom
NOTE: The “Refresh”, “Search…”, “View Filter…”, “View Totals…”, and “Set Column Sizes…”
commands are also available as buttons on the lower right corner of every view of
Setting Scheduler Options and Defaults
Click Scheduler Settings to set the options and defaults in Scheduler.
These options are computer-specific.
The options in 1 through 3 apply to list views of Orders, Items, and Services respectively.
The explanations of the “Other Options” in 4 follow the figure below.
#4 – Other Options
“Hold Ctrl key down to mark a Service as Done/To-Do”
Sometimes to checkmark a service as “Done”, you may accidentally click the box next to another
service. Holding the [Ctrl] key down while clicking the box requires more attention to the task,
thus eliminating the error mentioned.
“If Item is on Hold, Wait or Proof, ask me to update the Item Status”
If this option is checked: When an Item is in one of the Hold, Wait, and Proof statuses, any
modification in one of its services, such as a change of service due date, will cause a window to
pop up asking if you want to keep or change the Item status as shown in the figure below.
New Item Options
“After pasting an Item” options
If these options are checked, the assignments (dates, operators, and tags respectively) will
be cleared when an Item is copied and pasted from a History job. Otherwise, the same
assignments will carry forward to the new Item.
“After creating a new Item” option
This option is explained in the “Tracking Items” section.