Sheet Metal & Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association


New Contractor Operations Manual: Scheduling and Planning

Oct 15, 2020

manual-scheduling-and-planning-cover 231x300Scheduling and planning are fundamental skills in contracting and construction, and contractors must improve existing approaches or adopt new ones. What were once considered new methods of production are increasingly commonplace and proving their value. New approaches are here to stay and the rate of change in our future will continue to increase. Outside investments in construction technology increase exponentially year over year.

Direct labor cost continues to be the largest risk – and the largest opportunity – to a contractor’s bottom line. Predicted labor shortages 10 years ago are now everyday management challenges. Effectively recruiting, retaining, and utilizing the best talent has never been more important. Effective scheduling and planning capabilities are critical to these efforts.

Contractors should take advantage of these processes to seize opportunities when times are good and protect themselves to weather the storms that hit our industry routinely when times are tight.

Process-Scheduling and Planning Manual-2020 325x336This manual summarizes proven scheduling and planning processes from the perspective of Dozens of contractors across hundreds of projects. The guide introduces practices, concepts and principles that are field-tested and proven to deliver superior results.

Contents of the new manual include:

  1. Executive Summary

  2. Technology and Skills Requirements

  3. Master Scheduling

  4. ‘Pull’ Production Scheduling

  5. Look Ahead Scheduling

  6. Weekly Work Planning

  7. Daily Work Planning

  8. Labor Scheduling

  9. Shop Labor Scheduling

  10. Conclusion

Addendum: COVID-19 and Pandemics



Connect the dots between SMACNA’s new Scheduling and Planning Best Practices Operations Manual and your own business operations.


Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Time: 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET

Host: Brian Lightner, Associate Director, Maxim Consulting Group

Register online

This webinar will provide an overview of the newest SMACNA Contractor Operations document Scheduling and Planning Best Practices which summarizes proven scheduling and planning processes grounded in established production management principles that will allow you to take your business operations to the next level and set you apart from the competition.

More important, these processes are will be described using direct experience gained through implementing and facilitating with dozens of contractors across hundreds of projects. New approaches are here to stay and the rate of change will continue to accelerate.  

Brian LightnerAbout the host: Brian Lightner is responsible for evaluation and implementation processes with Maxim’s clients. He has worked with construction firms of various sizes, including the first ISO 9000 certified General Contractor in the U.S., to lead process improvement initiatives. Mr. Lightner’s areas of expertise include project planning, scheduling, and execution; field productivity assessments; project recovery; and process improvement, integration, and standardization.