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Question

Payroll Planning is a Boulder, Colorado, company that provides accounting services for small businesses. Small

businesses either drop off their payroll records weekly, biweekly, or monthly or forward them electronically via the Internet. Payroll Planning then processes the records and issues the checks. The firm's main competitor is the nationally known company PayChex, Inc. The following table shows the processing times and types for jobs sent by Payroll Planning clients on Friday, May 1.

Client

Processing Type

Time (in minutes)

Allen Leather

Weekly

33

Art World

Biweekly

63

Beta Computing

Monthly

95

Colon Clinic

Monthly

87

Darrow Plumbing

Weekly

72

Denver Broncos

Weekly

15

Eden Roc Hotel

Monthly

26

Fink's Garage

Weekly

28

Golden Gloves

Weekly

47

Gunter's Guns

Weekly

32

Hug & Jordan

Weekly

24

Izenman Ads

Monthly

55

Jerry's Ice Cream

Weekly

31

Keystone Repairs

Weekly

33

Lifeblood, Inc.

Weekly

25

Lisa's Bakery

Weekly

48

Living Well

Biweekly

42

Mortician Supply Co.

Weekly

43

New Life Vitamins

Weekly

64

Owens & Marshal

Monthly

42

Philly Cheesedogs

Weekly

24

Quik Lube

Weekly

14

Rockin' Robin

Weekly

74

Sam's Sporting Goods

Monthly

110

Tennis n'More

Weekly

18

Tetris, Inc.

Weekly

13

Twins Emporium

Weekly

22

Valvoline Electric

Weekly

23

White's Dry Cleaner

Biweekly

64

Wilson & Jones

Monthly

88

Wings of S. F.

Weekly

8

Woodworth Auto

Monthly

76

Z.A.G. Inc.

Weekly

36

Zuesman Gym

Weekly

42

When companies drop off or electronically transmit their records on time, Payroll Planning typically manages to get the checks printed on time. However, Payroll Planning has occasionally run into scheduling difficulties. The company feels that examining what has happened in the past will provide some insight into how to deal with similar situations in the future.

Payroll Planning sets due dates according to the type of customer. For monthly customers, the due date is 9:00 a.m.; for biweekly customers, the due date is noon; and for weekly customers, the due date is 3:00 p.m. All of the processing will begin on the third shift (at midnight) on the day that the records are due.

Payroll Planning has been using an "earliest due date" scheduling rule because this accords the highest priority to the monthly clients and the lowest priority to the weekly. If clients come in only once per month, there is less room for error (lateness) than if they use a weekly payroll. While Payroll Planning has been following this logic for the past decade, it wants to determine whether this is the best scheduling rule.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Explore alternative scheduling possibilities for Payroll Planning.

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