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.
“Look into the crystal ball and I’ll tell your future”
Well, Standard Time® doesn’t exactly work that way, but close. Look into a manpower dashboard, and it tells your future… the future weeks of employee project commitments that is. In other words, whether your employees will drown in over-commitments or relax with little or nothing to do.
Ideally, somewhere in the middle would be nice.
But that’s what you get with the stand-alone resource allocation dashboards. They sit out on managers screens, updating periodically, and telling the future of project assignments and manpower requirements. They don’t get a lot of glory, but they perform a nice little service you’ll come to rely on, and perhaps a little more reliable than your average carnival palm reader. 🙂
Here’s a quick video to introduce you. Hope you like it!
How do you get fat-finger entries in your timesheets? By not using barcode scanners!
And fake entries. And useless information that consumes valuable human effort to obtain. That all comes from traditional keyboard and mouse, on traditional workstations with timesheet software. Or even on paper timesheets.
In fact, those paper timesheets are the worst. Employees fill them out on Friday, but can’t remember what they worked on yesterday. Why would you use them? Because your employees can figure them out pretty easily. Okay, that makes sense. But there are other ways to collect time on the shop floor.
It turns out, there’s a much faster way to collect employee time on the shop floor. With barcode scanners. Watch this video, then give it a try yourself.
Manufacturing engineers need to know the number of items produced on their assembly lines. They also will know the time spent by employees to produce those items.
So… how do you get that? (watch this video, then scroll down for more)
You get that information with barcodes.
You put a barcode scanner in the hands of every employee, put a tablet on the bench, and have them scan the quantity of items produced when they “clock in” on jobs. Now you have both the time they worked and the number of items produced on the shop floor.
You can now compute:
The time it took to produce each item
The total items produced on a shift
The total items produced for a client
The total items produced per month, or for all time
You also know:
Which employee statistically produces the most
Which jobs are most efficient
Which assembly lines or production techniques are the most efficient
Which steps produce the most product in the shortest amount of time
Try this on the production line: scan your quantities for a month. Make one small change in the technique. Scan for another month and compare. Which production technique is most effective? Keep repeating this, each time looking at the average time per item. When that number goes down, you know you have landed upon an improvement worth keeping.
That is how you shave off 1% manufacturing time. And that is how 1% becomes 10% over time.
Standard Time® is how it is done on the shop floor.
“I can’t use a computer with a welder in my hands!” Does this sound familiar? Here’s a solution: Use barcodes to track time instead of asking your employees to enter time.
Scanning barcodes is a hundred times more accurate than typing hours into a computer or even entering them into paper timesheets.
Watch this short teaser, then scroll down and follow this line of reasoning.
Employees who attempt to enter hours on either paper or computer timesheets can make a lot of mistakes. First off, you can’t remember what you did earlier in the day, let alone earlier in the week. It sounds nice to collect hours on timesheets, but it just isn’t accurate. You’re getting fake data and you don’t even realize it.
Why not use barcode time tracking instead?
Scan barcodes when you start and stop jobs. The actual time will automatically be entered into employee timesheets. Every sliver of project time adds up. Employees don’t need to know how to use computers. There’s no mouse or keyboard. You simply scan to start, and scan to stop. What could be simpler than that? Now you’re getting real employee time, not fake time.