We are fortunate in that we only have 2 shifts, and the 2nd shift does not
need continuous access.  We have found it wise to vary off shop floor work
station addresses during end-month & other critical time periods, because
often people, who are not heavy users of BPCS beyond using the inquiry
options, do not understand or they forget requests to STAY OFF BPCS until
we tell you that we are done with various things.

We have had INV900 and other key end-month tasks get hung because someone
on 2nd shift needed to look up some INV300 or SFC300 or something, get in
conflict with INV900 & not understand why work station locked, then go try
a different one, lock it also.  Meanwhile there is no one in the office to
ask, because we went away, planning to return in 3 hours when INV900
scheduled to end & when we return, we find it has been hung for 2 hours.

This sort of thing can happen to any number of BPCS operations.  Would you
want people to be doing SFC300 at the same time CST900 is running?

An early step of end-month check list is to vary off work stations not
involved in the end month, then a later step is to vary them back on again.

Do your 2nd & 3rd shift people take lunch break at the same time, or a
staggered time?  If they are not going to be as busy at a predictable time,
then perhaps you want to schedule the BPCS downtime to coincide with these
predictable times.  The downtime is going to be longer than their lunch
time, but you still minimize the disruption.

At another company where I used to work, we had these people actually start
things like backups, shortly before their wee hours lunch break.  I do not
reccommend that.  They were instructed to call the IT people at home if
anything went wrong, which was several nites a week.  The problem was that
things went wrong and they did not know it.

We do not always have people working weekends.
There is a standard rule that if people will be in on the weekend & will
need computer access that they check with the IT department to make sure
the system will be accessible, and if IT is planning any major downtime,
that everyone is notified in advance.  This way we have a minimum of
surprises where someone shows up on weekend to do major work & discovers
that the system is not available to them.

Al Macintyre (macwheel99@sigecom.net via Eudora)

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