The MZ Blog

‘How to Improve your Planning’ – a workshop

Last weekend, Manos Zapotecas founder Shelley flew down to Oaxaca to participate in a workshop for the MZ core artisans facilitated by our Oaxaca-based Style Coordinator, Sam. The workshop was titled, “How to Improve your Planning.” We will hear from Shelley and Sam, as well as two of the MZ designers and weavers, Josefina and Malena about their takeaways from the workshop.


MZ: What were the topics covered in today’s workshop?

Sam: There were two main topics we covered, first being how to create a plan. In this part we would identify areas in either personal realms or within one’s work. Then to create short and/or long-term goals within each category. In the second portion of the workshop we went over how to plan and work backwards by creating benchmarks and identifying tasks to complete in order to arrive at said goal in a timely manner.

What was primary goal you were looking to achieve in today’s meeting? Do you think this was accomplished?

Sam: My number one goal is that the Manos Zapoteca artisans will improve their organization and planning for their production of orders. I think this was well received and they were able to see the benefit it would have on their business. I’m looking forward to seeing what was covered in today’s workshop applied in our artisan’s work.


Was there a main issue or conflict that stood out?

Shelley: The main issue we are dealing with is when orders are late. We’re now starting to fine our artisans with the 10% shipping charge if their order is late. Though we’ve talked about this before, we covered it again, about the importance of working as a team. That it’s okay to ask for help. I think this will happen more and more. Sam made it clear today that they have the control to prevent late orders. Today I think that Sam empowered them to really start putting this into action.

Is there anything else you would like to share about the workshop?

Sam: Having the flowcharts I created for the team should help so that when something comes up they are better prepared. This way when something unexpected does come up it’s not as big of a deal. I think the visualization to foresee and do something in advance to prevent problems will be a big help.


Did you like today’s workshop? Why?

Josefina: I loved it. I learned new ways to apply better planning so that my workshop functions better.

What was most notable thing that you learned from today’s workshop?

Josefina: New ways to make sure that my orders are fulfilled on time.
Are there changes you will be making in your work because of this workshop?

Josefina: Of course, I will be making an important change in my work process. To be better disciplined in timeliness. With this I will have less stress and worry in the moment of having to get the order ready to send.

Is there anything else you would like to learn in a workshop with Manos Zapotecas in the future?

Malena: I’d like to learn what it is Manos likes or doesn’t like about certain designs. To get a better understanding of what the company would like ahead of time. A design workshop that is unspecific to season.


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