How To Make Time And Action Calendar?
Management Tips

How To Make Time And Action Calendar?

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When managing a project, the most crucial tool is the time and action calendar, which is also known as the TNA calendar. In the apparel industry, every garment that manufacturers produce is a new project to them.

During the process of creating a garment or apparel, many experts are involved in showcasing the best possible result to the customer to meet their expectations. Each order in the apparel industry is unique and requires a different time period and expertise. Hence, a well-detailed plan is necessary to complete any project successfully. 

Introduction to the time and action calendar

The primary purpose of the time and action calendar is to execute every task within a defined timeframe. Generally, the time and action calendar is prepared by merchants in an excel spreadsheet. It lists all essential processors in column A and the planned action date for every task in column B. 

Once the time and action calendar is prepared and finalized, the list of everyday tasks can be maintained here without hassle. Thus, the team can get to work by following the schedule. According to the time and action schedule, the charges are executed and tracked daily, minimizing gaps. 

Why is it essential to have a time and action calendar?

It is necessary to have a time and action calendar as it helps in the following tasks:

  • Creating a successful production plan for a manufacturing unit
  • Fulfilling export orders on schedule
  • Increasing production effectiveness
  • Ensuring that export orders are correctly carried out
  • Knowing the status of orders as they process at various levels
  • Improving inventory control in manufacturing
  • Tracking any delay in the operations of any department, which in turn helps to know the progress of each product
  • Working on two or more projects at the same time can be confusing for merchandisers, but a well-structured timeline and action plan for each job can reduce the confusion of multiple jobs in progress.
  • Minimizing the risk of delay in various stages
  • Improving productivity in the unit and thereby increasing the company's profits

Steps to prepare the time and action calendar

Preparing a time and action calendar is the merchant's responsibility. Generally, time and action is prepared in two formats. One is done for detailed scheduling of orders where all responsibilities are defined. Simultaneously, the other one is designed for on-the-go follow-ups for multiple orders. In the apparel industry, it is unnecessary to follow these formats simultaneously. 

The format and steps to prepare the time and action calendar are given below.

Time and action calendar - Format 1

The steps involved to prepare the time and action calendar using format 1 are as follows:

  • Design a table as suggested above in the excel spreadsheet on the laptop or computer. It can either be copied or headers can be added as per your requirement. 
  • Add all the product details, such as style description, buyer, style, merchant, order quantity, and lead time. 
  • In the key processes column, add a list of all the processes according to the style requirement. The user can go through the style detailing to identify all essential processes. 
  • To decide the deadline for the task, forward and backward the plan. The user can talk to department heads regarding the workforce available to complete the project.
  • Once the days are finalized, add dates against all tasks. 
  • Adding the name of the person who is handling the task is extremely important.  
  • During the time and action calendar preparation, leave the actual date of the start and end columns empty. 
  • Keep a copy of this with yourself and distribute other copies among people listed under the responsibility column. 

Maintaining the time and action calendar

The apparel industry has grown exponentially in the past few years. According to experts, designing the time and action calendar is easy; however, maintaining it is a great responsibility. The calendar needs to be maintained daily; else, you might fall behind on the deadlines. Here is the step-by-step guide to maintaining and managing the time and action calendar: 

  • When distributing the calender among the responsible person, take their signatures. It means that they have agreed to the entire plan along with all terms and conditions applied. 
  • Print a hard copy of every calendar and keep it on the bench for easy access. 
  • While planning the tasks for the day, refer to time and action calendars. Do not forget to add daily updates by marking "done" and "not done" in the hard copies. 
  • If anything seems delayed or not on-point, notify the concerned department or people immediately. Ask the reason for the delay. In case the delays are manageable, ask them to speed up. If the delays are not manageable, the best thing to do is to move to the next step and plan out a new strategy to complete the task in a timely manner. 
  • Update the new plan in the time and action calendar without any delays and inform everyone about the changes. 
  • Keep updating the spreadsheet by the end of the day. If it is impossible to maintain on an everyday basis, do it in a way that best suits you. 

Time and action calendar - Format 2 

The scheduling is done in only one sheet in the second format. It helps to glance at the entire project status. The sheet is divided into columns and rows, which feature all key headers for easy and quick understanding. This format is easier to use than the previous one and requires less time to update. 

Final words

The apparel industry is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world. With people becoming more interested in what they wear and how they look, the apparel industry is setting new trends at regular intervals. To keep up with the rapidly changing environment, the time and action calendar can be a great way to keep the merchandiser focused and determined.

This calendar helps to keep an eye on all activities and any delays. Additionally, it gives manufacturers a clear idea of an approximate task completion date, thus improving client satisfaction. If you’re looking to grow in the long run, maintaining a time and action calendar can be a habit to instill from the beginning. It is simple, concise, and helpful. 

Fashinza is a tech platform that helps automate the entire manufacturing process, including production, inventory management and direct access to suppliers. It helps to streamline these processes, which ultimately allows manufacturers and suppliers to save both time and resources.


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