How to use MSP Add-in to Sync Time

Always wanted to know how to sync to Microsoft Project? This video tells how. Scroll down.

It involves the use of an add-in you install into MSP. The add-in synchronizes project tasks with Standard Time® It then synchronizes timesheet hours from ST to MSP. That makes a nice round-trip sync between MSP and ST.

What is Standard Time? It’s an employee timesheet app that includes project management, expense tracking, and PTO. Integration with Microsoft Project is not required. ST has it’s own native projects and tasks. But if you already have your own MSP files or you are connecting to Project Web Access, you can bring those project tasks into ST for display in the timesheet.

Let us know what you think of the video by commenting on YouTube.

Define PMO Office, Project Management Office

PMO = Project Management Office. That’s all we know.

Well… not exactly. :)

We also know which project management tool is best for the PMO. That’s Standard Time®. And we know how to manage projects and tasks. In fact, here’s a video that shows

Ten tools for the PMO office

And in case you were wondering… we also know that it’s not pronounced “PMO Office.” The extra “Office” at the end is redundant because the acronym “PMO” has the word Office in it. So if you said “PMO Office” you would really be saying “Project Management Office Office.” That’s dumb.

Watch the video, and then watch the “ten tools” video above. Comment on each one to let us know what you think.  Talk to you soon!

Create Project Tasks from Barcode Labels

Do you use project tasks in Standard Time® to track your manufacturing hours? Good, lot’s of people do. And do you scan those tasks to start a timer? Excellent, you’re in good company. Are you starting to wonder if there is a way to automate the process of creating project tasks from barcode labels?

Bingo!

Now you’re onto something. That’s the exact topic of this video. How to create project tasks directly from barcode labels that you’ve printed somewhere else.

Here’s the thing: you’ve got barcode labels you want to scan for manufacturing purposes. Those labels were pre-printed somewhere else. (You didn’t print them.) But you want project tasks in ST so you can track time to them. Your only solution is to manually type in each task. That’s okay, because you’re getting a lot of automation from the from the scanning once the tasks are created. But still, you’re wondering… could these tasks be automatically created?

They sure can!

Just scan barcode labels and the tasks are automatically created. Once created, you can scan the labels again (at different workstations) to start timers during manufacturing.

Watch the video and let us know your thoughts.

Barcode Labels Report

Here’s a quick “report” that prints barcode labels for a selected project and all its tasks. Comment on the video below, and let us know what you think!

We use the word report in quotes because its not really a report. Instead, it’s the barcode labels for any given project. That’s not really a report, right?

But you may find this useful if you’re tracking time in manufacturing or assembly. Start by scanning your employee name. Then scan the project name followed by the task. A timer will start to record your employee jobs.

Scan the word STOP to stop the timer. Now you have time logs with start and stop times. Lots of them! You’ll see scans come into the system in real-time. Now you can use them for all your wonderful reasons. Here are some to consider:

  1. Learn how much time each employee works
  2. Learn how long projects actually take to produce (rather than guessing)
  3. Get actual time for each task of a project
  4. Find out how long each product takes to manufacture and ship
  5. Compare manufacturing time to admin time (what percentage is each)

Print Barcode Labels From MS Word

Learn how to print barcode labels from MS Word. Did you know your MS Word can print barcode labels? Yep, and really easy. This tutorial shows how.

Of course, we hope you’ll realize the potential for tracking employee time with barcode scanners, and this is just one of the little steps you’ll take. Consider these steps for tracking time with barcode labels:

  1. Print employee names on barcode labels
  2. Print projects and tasks, also on barcode labels
  3. Create those employees and projects in ST
  4. Press F4 to open the barcode window
  5. Scan a username
  6. Scan a project name
  7. Scan a task
  8. The timer starts!
  9. Go about your work
  10. Scan your username again (after a few hours of work)
  11. Scan the word *STOP*
  12. The timer stops!
  13. Now you have a lot of cool information you never had before.
  14. Check it out!

RFID Time Tracking for Mfg

Start and stop a timer with any RFID reader for manufacturing and assembly. This video will give you an idea of what kinds of RFID tags are available. They come in all shapes and sizes so you should be able to find one that fits your process and budget.  Scroll down below the video for more.

 

All you have to do is pass a reader over an RFID tag to start a timer in ST. Then pass the reader over it again to stop the timer. ST will collect time stamps you can use for reporting.

You’ll know how long every product took to manufacture, how long employees spent on products… and when the product started and ended its life-cycle through the shop.

RFID readers connect to the USB port of any computer. They are simple to use. Just plug them in and begin passing RFID tags over them. ST will create time logs for every scan.

 

 

Print barcode labels and track time for each one

Print sequential barcode labels using the Barcode Builder™ app that comes with Standard Time®. See the video below.

Standard Time supports barcode scanners to track time for manufacturing, assembly, and jobs. Just scan a barcode label to start the timer, and scan again to stop. But what barcode labels are you scanning? How do you print them out? Where do they come from?

That is the subject of this video. Barcode Builder creates new project tasks in the Standard Time database, plus it prints sequential labels with those same names. So when you scan a barcode label, you are starting a timer for that task in ST.

Barcode Builder is free. Just ask us, and we’ll tell you how to download it. Watch the video to learn how to use it.

Barcode Builder asks for a project to create tasks under. It also asks for the starting number of a task and the quantity. Click Print, and you get that number of labels printed on Avery® labels. Make sure to use Avery Template 5160® that has 30 labels per sheet.

Give this a try and let us know what you think.

Define Project Management

Project management is such a broad term that it can include a lot of activities. And everyone has a unique perspective or opinion of its meaning. But it’s basically everything related to doing a project. Please comment on the video below.

Define Project Management: The activities and methods used to successfully complete a project or job, usually constrained by time, cost, or scope.

The constraints listed above are the biggies! We all have an idea what the activities are. But often the constraints are not given the priorities they should. Consequently, projects go over their budgets, both from a time and cost perspective. This usually happens when the scope becomes a moving target you can never catch up to. The customer wants more and more, but forgets that it costs more and more, and that it takes time to reach that elusive goal.

Consider these two videos to learn more about project management and the constraints you’ll face:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toohN6bxImU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyDyHNz2da8

 

Define Effective Billing Rate

Your effective billing rate is how much you make per hour, even when you’re not working. Average all your revenue over all your hours, and you have the amount you’re effectively getting. Watch the video below and comment on it.

Define Effective Billing Rate: The billing rate you are actually getting when all working hours are included in the calculation of revenue divided by hours.

Here’s the deal… consultants usually can’t bill for every hour they work. They perform in-house tasks. They attend company meetings. They have admin overhead. Those are usually not billable activities, so you don’t get paid for them. You only get paid for the billable activities. So divide your total revenue by your total (billable and non-billable) hours and you have your effective billing rate.

Yikes!

Here’s an example: Say you worked 40 hours and charged $100 per hour. All the hours were billable. Your total revenue for the week is $4,000 and your effective billing rate is $100 per hour. Nice!

But what if only 30 of those hours were billable? The other 10 were admin. Your total revenue is now $3,000. $3,000 divided by 40 (total hours) is only $75 per hour.

Your effective billing rate includes admin and other non-billable time.

Fixed Bid Contract, Fixed Price Contract

Fixed-price contracts can be beneficial to both consultants and clients. Both parties know exactly what they’re getting. Scroll down for the video.

Define Fixed-bid contract: An employment deal where the price is agreed up before the work begins, and cannot change.

Most fixed-bid or fixed-price contracts are paid on milestones. Clients usually agree to pay in three installments: 1/3 up front, 1/3 at beta, and 1/3 at completion. But milestones can be anywhere in the middle for any reason. The contract total will always be the fixed agreed-upon price.

Why are fixed-price contracts good for clients?

The most obvious reason is that fixed-price contracts can never run away into huge cost overruns. The supplier will never get more than agreed.

Why are fixed-price contracts good for consultants and suppliers?

The supplier has fewer incentives to accept a deal like this, but there are some upsides. One is that the deal cannot be canceled partway, leaving the consulting party without revenue. Another is that the deliverables are tightly fixed, and scope creep is less likely to occur.

Have you tried the invoice milestones on Standard Time®. Good news, you can do it today. Just download a plug in your milestones. Then run a client invoice for each payment milestone.