Capacity plan for manual data entry

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    Data Operations BB

    I am in a transaction operations area.  Not manufacturing.  Does anyone have any resources or ideas on how to create a capacity plan for data entry and customer service?   Our systems are very limited and we don’t even track how many we do or how long they take.  Think of a team of clerks doing data entry and answering e mails & phone calls.  How do I know if they can do more or I have the right amount of resources to meet service levels?  I want to avoid work offered fits time worked.


    Ms. PIBB

    are you able to use your IT /HR department to provide you some historical data to start?
    You potentially can use what has been completed by day historically along with the labor hours/costs to develop a current base line for transactional work.  The “soft skills” work, like phone calls and e-mails, are a different matter and would depend on how it was charaterized as task work (i.e. administrative v. Outbound/Inbound, e-mail). It can be done, but I have found it to be time consuming, manual, and not well received…people don’t like to be asked to track time….they are ALWAYS busy, but not sure on what.
    Unfortunately, I believe that many service industries are still in the dark ages as far as capturing and reporting.


    Kathy Atkinson

    I own similar processes. To get a better understanding of what my team were doing and how long it took i did a Time in motion study for a month. From this i could indentify what processes they were carrying out and how long it was taking them. I got them to complete time sheets for me. 
    I also implemented the usage of a database – simple stuff – for each of the processes – every time they commenced with the process click on the start – indicate what the nature of the process is and click when finished – the database will then give you all the information you require.



    You say you’re not in a manufacturing process.  However, you really are.  You are transforming an input into an output through your team of clerks.  Think of it in terms of manufacturing.  Your time/motion studies for Manufacturing are exactly the same as in this process.  The work content is different but the process is the same.  How much time does it really take to process the data?  What is your First Time Quality?  What is the flow?  Are there non-value added steps?  What is the Total Cycle Time?  Work Cycle Time?  Value-Added Cycle Time?  You can do Value-Added Flow Analysis, Value Stream Mapping, Time/Motion studies and probably dozens of others.  Always keep in mind the Lean Principles and the House of Lean.  Answering the emails and phone calls is harder to quantify in terms of value-added but should be considered.
    Good luck!



    You need to have a time study of their existing activities per output then compute for the hours per unit.
    Afterwards come up with a formula hours per unit x no. of days worked x utilization (availability-downtime/availability)
    x yield (correct output/input)
    That’s the formula for transactional capacity

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