Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 12: Efficient Pastoral Production
Tool 12.5
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Use the following steps to map out your yearly program. Use a large white board style calendar if you can purchase one, you can erase any operations which you would like to change. These calendars are ideal for mounting on the wall of the office for all to see. You can use it to schedule leave of staff, or times when contract staff are required, and help to identify any issues that may impede efficient operations of the business before they arise. If you use computers in your business, there are many tools which incorporate calendars that may be used with the same effect as a wall planner.

Another benefit of a management calendar is that it allows those in the business to see what deadlines others have, and how these deadlines fit in with key operations throughout the year. Similarly, if your business is operated by one or two people, having the operational times that are busy on the calendar helps with further planning.

  • Write down the dates which are the same year on year, such as shearing, joining, crutching, lambing, sale dates, etc.,/
  • Use the opportunity if you know sale dates to work backwards from, and check that you have a lead time that fits in with marketing of your livestock.
  • Write down any administrative dates which you need to be mindful of – as these are often inflexible, e.g. taxation office deadlines, etc.
  • Write on the calendar any family commitments that you know about as soon as you are advised of them – these are important to factor in to your work program
  • If you have enterprises other than sheep, write the key operations on the calendar, perhaps in a different colour
  • Check for any significant overlaps in timing, and labour requirements – discuss as a team how you may work around these choke points – it may be as simple as moving a few operational dates back or forward a little, to ease the pressure on all concerned.