Scoutwest has manufacturing productivity experts on staff. We’re the folks that run @barcodetime on twitter, ScoutwestInc, and Mfg Projects on YouTube. Have you seen us? Seen the videos? Clicked the link? Then you’ve seen stdtime.com and Standard Time®.
What exactly do we do, you ask? (scroll down below the video for the answer)
What do we do at Scoutwest?
We develop manufacturing project management apps. That’s all! Just that!
There are a bunch of dashboards and apps surrounding Standard Time®. This is a grass-roots tool for collecting time on the shop floor and managing work orders and manufacturing projects. Grab a barcode scanner and give it a try. You will be surprised that nobody thought of this sooner.
What? Track time with a barcode scanner?
Sure, why not? It’s actually the easiest way to capture time on the shop floor without tethering users to a terminal, or to a paper timesheet. Once those scans start rolling in you will be amazed. Everything will change. You will instantly become inspired to change things and improve manufacturing efficiency.
Here’s a quick video showing how to use the graphical timesheet in Standard Time®. Sometimes you just want a quick way to drag and drop timesheet hours. Yes, this is the same system that lets you scan barcodes to track time, but you can also enter time manually or into a graphical timesheet.
Consider taking a look at this alternative way of entering employee hours. Not only are you using drag-and-drop for timesheet entry, but you are also viewing the relative positions of each entry. That’s sometimes far better than just numbers.
How do you collect time and materials on the shop floor?
A work order sheet, filled in by hand?
Verbal communication with shop floor supervisors?
Not collected or documented?
Why not consider using tablets and barcode scanners?
The video above is just a reminder to look into Standard Time®. We’ve been successful in automating job shops, bespoke, built to order shops with just a simple scanner and tablet. The cost is low, and the value is high. Many shops have completely changed processes based on what they’ve found from this simple collection process. Just scan a few labels, and you’re collecting a huge amount of actionable information.
How do you know the status of tasks in production? For example: you’ve sent a work order off to CNC cut and want to know when it will be complete. Actually… has it even been started yet? Is the operator on a another job? Or on break? Will he get to it today? If so, when? And when will it be ready for burnishing and welding?
That’s why you use barcodes for task status. Scroll down below the video for a little discussion on barcoding on the shop floor.
Back to our CNC example above…
The CNC operator scan work order and task names to communicate his work status. That information goes into a “Work In Progress” system like Standard Time®. You can now see what job and task he’s on at any time. In fact everybody on the shop floor can see it. Just look up on the WIP big-screen and it’s right there.
Have you tried Standard Time? It really is a wonder. And a pleasure to use.
Use barcodes on the shop floor. They are a great way to update your mfg processes. Just a few barcodes on work orders will give you a wealth of new information. For instance, you can learn the status of every work order in the shop. Where it is now, who worked on it last, and the estimated completion. You’ll get all that just by scanning barcodes.
How do your manufacturing managers know which orders are running on which assembly lines? Got software for that? Yeah? Then you’re good to go!
Software to track orders in manufacturing is called an MRP. What’s an MRP?
An MRP is a manufacturing resource planner. It is used to plan and schedule resources like assembly lines, equipment, materials, and even human resources. I.e. employees.
Standard Time® is an MRP. It tracks projects and orders on assembly lines. Or, if you don’t have assembly lines it tracks orders through your manufacturing facility. Find out where each order is, what status it is in right now, and how much work is left to go.
An important part of project management is to identify past due tasks so they can be dealt with. Past due tasks can be customer jobs you’ve agreed to deliver by a certain date or tasks that need to be finished before others can start. (scroll down for a video)
In any case, consider using the tool below to identify past due tasks. You can get a list of them and the total number of hours left to do.
The video below outlines some advantages of tracking time with barcode scanners in manufacturing. I won’t give away the secrets, so you’ll have to watch the video, but there are several good reasons why barcodes make sense on the shop floor.
The older ways of tracking time never really worked well. You got fake information that was so expensive to collect that it wasn’t worth it. But what if you could get real information with simple barcode scans. That might be interesting.