What is time and action calendar?

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In an industry, where managing an order is no less than managing a whole project in itself, every order brings in a list of tasks that are needed to be done in that order, from receiving the order till the order completion. Some of these tasks might need to be carried out one after the other, and some simultaneously, based on the order needs. With such complexity associated with managing each order, we need to have a definite plan for every order, clearly defined responsibilities and the time and resource requirements for each task.


Time and action (TNA) calendar is a tool used generally by merchandisers, where they list down the order’s key tasks or processes, and their respective planned date of action against each of them. The merchandiser can formulate a daily list of tasks for the order based on the time and action calendar, the daily schedule for the order can then be defined and order can be executed based on that. Rime and action calendar also gives a tracking aid for the order to identify if the order execution is on track or delayed.
A time and action calendar also helps the merchant to establish a Lead Time for the order, i.e. the time taken by an order, from the point of order receiving to the final shipment to the buyer.

Preparing a time and action Calendar:

Step 1: For preparing a time and action calendar, develop a spreadsheet format like given below. Please note this is not a standard format, and you can add or deduct columns as needed in the order:
Format for time and action calendar

Step 2: Add order details in the format.
Step 3: In Processes column, list the key processes as per the order requirement.
Step 4: Conduct backward and forward planning as required, to determine the planned respective task completion and order completion dates. This will depend on upon the available capacity and time required for each of the individual tasks. Based on the planning, assign planned start and end dates to each task.
Step 5: List the person or department responsible for the particular task completion in the format.
Step 6: The actual Start and End dates will be filled as the order progresses in the factory.
Step 7: Share the final time and action calendar produced, to all the departments and persons included in the responsibility column.

Updating the time and action calendar on a daily basis is crucial for appropriate order tracking.
Another time and action calendar can also be created, if needed, to summarize multiple styles or orders running simultaneously in the factory, to establish an overall picture. In this format, one can list the planned and actual dates for the respective orders that’ll help the merchant keep a track of multiple orders promptly.

Example of a time and action calendar:

Example of a time and action calendar

Implement time and action tool in your merchandising operations to ensure timely order delivery by ensuring proper order tracking and monitoring. So next time, you won’t find your merchandisers frazzled, when they are asked about order status by a buyer, and more so when they are expected to handle multiple orders simultaneously.

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  1. Hasan says

    Nice presentation. Would u pls tell something about MRP-II (Material Resource planning-ii)

  2. Frank Lomax says

    A very nice Process Management Tool for any Product Development or Planning Person to use.

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