How to get near 100% delivery of jobs in the shop

How to get near 100% delivery on jobs from your shop I get a lot of
questions from jewelers about the shop.

Of course making the shop profitable is my mantra but other
questions I get aRe:

  • How many jobs should a jeweler do in a day?
  • How can I get my jeweler to do more work?
  • How can I get my jewelers to get the darn jobs done on time?

It’s the old story of the tortoise and the hare. The truth is there
are some bench jewelers who pride themselves on speed and love seeing
an empty workbox.

On the other hand there are those bench people who look at a large
box of work and say “oh well, I’ll do as good as I can do, that’s all
you can ask from a jeweler.”

Here’s are two questions for you:

“If a job is promised for Friday the 18th what time does the
Customer expect it will be ready for pickup?”

Customer: “10:00 when the store opens on the morning of the 18th.”

“If a job is promised for Friday the 18th what time does the Jeweler
think it should be completed?”

Jeweler: “End of the day on the 18th, the day it was promised, 6pm,
right before I go home.”

There lies the problem.

So there are some things to do.

Many owners might date the job after the customer leaves to the 16th
(2 days earlier) to fool the jeweler. That does work sometimes. Then
there are other times when the jeweler just never gets any jobs done
on time. Constant battles.

Many store owners don’t want to confront the bench jeweler because:

“I don’t want to tick him/her off. Its easier to replace a sales
person than a bench jeweler.”

Here’s some ideas for you.

Some are from my store long ago and what I’ve picked up from others:

  1. We put all jobs in our point of sale program.

When I had the store we used Jewelry Shopkeeper which runs a shop
very well. The Edge program also tracks jobs in the shop. Each
morning we ran a report of all jobs that were with the jewelers (by
name) that were due for pickup within 3 days. The printed report was
cut up by jewelers names and given to them. They had 30 minutes to
put check marks next to the names and whether the job would be ready
the day before it was due and if not we’d give it to another jeweler
or call the customer and put them off.

Then placed a red dot on the top of the envelope letting everyone
know this job takes priority. Then ran the same report for any other
jobs in the order box that had findings/parts/stones/mountings on
order by vendor so we could be sure these items would be in on time.
We’d call the vendor and order from another if need be.

Same report was run but with different dates for waxes to be viewed
by the customer (we did a lot of hand carved rings).

But you know jewelers need a little visual incentive. So we bought
round stickers that were about the size of a quarter to place on top
of the envelopes. The dots were color coded and also had the day of
the week abbreviated. Monday’s dot was blue and had Mon on it:

Think about it. A jeweler has a million jobs in her box, she looks
over at 2pm and sees 4 jobs with a blue MON on it. She knows “I gotta
get these 4 jobs done FOR SURE!”

That’s an attainable goal. In addition you can breeze into the shop,
look over her shoulder and see 4 blue dots on envelopes. “Hey, how
are we coming on these 4 blue dot jobs?”

“They’ll be done”

You might tell me: “The jobs have dates on them, can’t they read?”

Sure, but all million envelopes? How about a goal of “the 4 blue

You can buy these ready made at Grainger & Co:

In the search box type daymark

and hit enter. Scroll down for the round ones.

In addition we had a date board up front that announced to the staff
and customers when jobs could be ready. The shop foreman looked over
the jobs and knew when the next availability was there. We stopped
doing the typical “5 days” just because that’s what’s on a calendar.
We promised by a “when it could be done” not when we wanted it done.

The date board was done on an erasable writing board, this could be
done in Microsoft Word as well and each day inserted into a picture

Of course from our price book we ALWAYS had room to do a rush job.
We offered a customer “Express Service” if they needed the job way
before the board date. Express price is 50% more than regular price.
When offered we found 40% of customers would take the express service
for most “normal repairs”

We also paid the jewelers on commission so they as well got 50% more
money to do the job. You could give your jeweler an extra spiff
($5.00 or more) to do a rush job. It’s like Jello: there’s always
room for a simple rush job".

Other suggestions I’ve seen:

  1. Give each jeweler a rubber banded bunch of job envelopes that
    must be completed for tomorrow by 6.

  2. One jeweler/foreman had a desk pad calendar that he nailed to the
    wall. Each job that came in came to him, he estimated the amount of
    time it would take.

Then look at the calendar looking for time. lets say this repair
will take 1.5 hours. he write the date, name and hours on Tuesday the
18th, write 18th on the envelope for the jeweler and customer’s
receipt. Next job went to the 18th. If it would take 4 hours that was
written on the the same date block. If that totaled 5.5 hours for
that day a line went across the date because he figured 5.5 hours a
day was it for workable/billable hours.

Next job came in, no matter what, was promised for the 19th. If a
wax was being viewed and the customer approved it was promised for a
day where there was a 3 hour slot to file up, set and polish the
ring. That’s it!

  1. Store owner just getting demanding

One store had a shop foreman who couldn’t get the respect of the
jewelers. He had been a sales person and was weak in sales so they
put him with the shop, over seeing 4 jewelers. But he couldn’t get
them to do their work on time. When he went on vacation the store
owner (more bold) would waltz into the shop

“ok guys, we’re all staying late tonight. Call your wives. Enough of
being late, these jobs have to be done today to catch up. Suck it up
guys, lets go”.

He’d stay with them that night if they needed to get the work out on
time Every day he gave them what had to be done and if they had to
stay late, that’s what they did.

I personally like “systems” better. Of course my whole staff of
jewelers were on 100% commission from our price book. So if they
continued to do the easy jobs and let the tough jobs fall to the back
of the workbox, there was a simple fix.

I pulled out ALL OF THEIR JOBS and only left the ones they didn’t
want to do.

If they wanted to make money these jobs had to be completed.

Some times you just have to be the strong arm of the law. Look folks
yes its tough finding jeweler but with business being off for some
its not that easy for a jeweler just go get another job. It’s a
win/win situation. We all work for the customer. This “late stuff”
wouldn’t be acceptable in a car repair shop and it isn’t here.

We had two signs in our shop. These were in the back, out of sight
to the customers:


Shop Policy:

. A job will be done correctly the first time.

. It will not have a problem while being worked on prior to the
customer coming into the store to pick it up.

. It will not have to be redone, replace broken stones or melted
parts as this costs the company money.

. The job will be perfect and in the Finished Box at least the
evening before its due so the customer can pick it up with confidence
whenever she pleases.

. The customer will be so delighted with the workmanship that she
will rave and tell all of her friends.


Is like buying oats!

If you want nice,
clean oats, you must
pay a fair price;
however if you can be satisfied with oats
that have already
been through the horse —

That comes
a little cheaper!!

David Geller