Tool Control For the Shop Floor

Standard Time® is not just for time tracking and project management. It’s also for tool control and accountability on the shop floor. Watch this video below for steps to scan barcodes to check tools out. Scroll way down…

Three scans will check a tool out, and assign it to an operator.

  1. Scan username (to tell which user is checking the tool out)
  2. Scan tool name (to tell which tool is being checked out)
  3. Scan CHECKOUT (to perform the operation)

Those three scans assign a tool to an operator on the shop floor. Now the tool is under their care, and is assumed to be returned in the same state it was taken. This is the basics of tool accountability for manufacturing and factory floor use.

Here’s how to check a tool back in:

  1. Scan username
  2. Scan tool name (this shows the date/time you originally checked the tool out)
  3. Scan CHECKIN

After checking a tool back in, the actual hours between CHECKOUT and CHECKIN are added to the total. Now you know the total number of hours the tool was in use (approx). You can use this for PM purposes.

 

Barcode Expenses and Inventory

This video illustrates the process of creating expense records whenever inventory items are scanned on the shop floor. (scroll down for video)

So what, you ask…

So, that mean you have a record of every item you ever scanned. Actually, every item that every employee has ever scanned.

Think about that…

That means you are not only managing inventory effectively, but you are also collecting huge amounts of data you can use to your advantage. You are deducting inventory items from stock, which means you can reorder and replenish at appropriate times. Of course that’s good. But having a record of every scan is huge. Absolutely huge. Think of what you could do with that.

You might not know exactly what it costs you to build bepoke and custom products. Now you do.

You might not know what materials employees are using. Now you do.

You might not know the percentage of labor verses materials that go into manufactured good. Now you do.

Hmm… scanning inventory is not such a bad idea!

Now watch this video and find our website. Quick!

Work Orders and Data Collection

Most bespoke and custom manufacturing shops start with work orders. Every job has one, or it has some unique title that designates and identifies it on the shop floor. This video describes how you can collect data for those work orders or unique identifiers.

scroll down for the video

A simple barcode scanner is all you need to collect interesting data.

But what can you collect? Here are some possibilities, but the list is endless, and depends upon what you want to collect. Just about anything is possible.

  1. Time stamps for when jobs start and stop
  2. Employees who work on jobs
  3. The actual work order number for each time segment
  4. The client the job is for
  5. A department where the work was performed
  6. A percentage of completion
  7. Inventory and expense usage
  8. Bill of material usage

Here is an infographic that shows 16 things you can collect with 4 barcodes:

http://www.stdtime.com/infographic-things-you-get-scanning-barcodes.htm

 

Scan Expenses on the Shop Floor

As it turns out, Standard Time® is not just for project and time tracking. You can scan expenses on the manufacturing floor, which deduct items from inventory. (see video below) Here’s how it works:

First, set up an expense template that represents something you use a lot. That template has all the predefined fields for cost categorization. It also has a link to an inventory item that is deducted when the expense template is scanned on the factory floor.

Now scan that expense template name. Two things happen:

  1. A new expense item is added to the list in Standard Time
  2. The inventory item (for that expense) is deducted

You now can easily track expenses incurred and inventory along with time.

 

Billing Clients for Work Orders

How are you billing clients for the work orders that pass over your manufacturing floor? In most low-performing companies, it’s a loose informal process. They sort-of know how much time was devoted to each work order, and billing occurs on the sparse information at hand. Maybe that’s a good guess, or maybe the operators on the floor are writing down (most) of their time, or maybe it’s just a flat fee agreed upon earlier. (Check out this YouTube video below.)

That’s the low-performers. How about you?

That’s not you. You are using Standard Time® and pulling actual time records off the shop floor using barcodes. You’re getting exact time and materials. Each time segment is timestamped four times, and contains the employee, job, and task. Each inventory item is also scanned and deducted from inventory, and included on the client invoice. Your invoices are about as precise as they can be. That means you are collecting all the revenue due you.

Serious… it all starts with a simple barcode scanner. Once you start scanning work orders on the shop floor everything changes. Your whole outlook on client billing changes. Your processes change. Your inventory and ordering changes. The progression from low-performer to high is natural and simple.

Get a barcode scanner and change how you bill clients from the shop floor.

This video will get you started.

 

Track Time and Inventory

Everyone knows that Standard Time® is a time tracking app. But did you also know that it tracks inventory and bill of materials?

It does!                (see the video below)

And it does it with barcode scanners. You’re probably familiar with the barcode time tracking capabilities. You scan usernames, projects, and tasks. A timer starts, and you track manufacturing hours. Easy. But you can do the same thing with barcode labels and inventory items.

Create a label for the inventory SKU. Scan that label, and the inventory item is automatically deducted from stock. You can also scan the manufacturer’s SKU or the vendor SKU. Any of those will work the same. And when the quantity in stock is reduced below a preset value, the parts can automatically be reordered using scripts.

Scanning BOM’s are similar. In that case, the BOM lists all the inventory items for an assembly. When you scan the BOM label (or SKU) all the inventory items on that BOM are reduced from stock. And again, any inventory item that falls below the “reorder quantity” is automatically reordered using a script.

You may be wondering about reorder scripts. Those are special user-programmable scripts that send emails or contact websites for reordering inventory. You must program these reorder scripts yourself, which often involves the IT department.

Automate your Manufacturing Shop

Even the simplest manufacturing shops can be automated with a few simple additions. Those additions start with these items:

  1. Barcode labels on everything
  2. Barcode scanners
  3. Tablets on the shop floor
  4. Standard Time® time tracking software

If you slap barcode labels on everything, then you can scan them everywhere. Scan raw materials to subtract from inventory. Scan bill of materials when kitting parts. Scan products as they begin the build process. Scan them again as they pass each stage of improvement. And finally, scan them as they are boxed and shipped. Now you have just collected a huge amount of information without expending any extra human effort.

Congratulations! You have just automated your manufacturing shop!

Here’s what you can now expect:

  1. Know when and where your work orders were started
  2. Know who worked on them last
  3. Know how much time has been spent so far
  4. Know how long entire jobs take
  5. Know where the bottlenecks occur
  6. Know what waste to cut

Seriously? I get all that from a few barcodes? Yup!

 

Task Status from the Mfg Floor

The boss wants to know where the project is that was started last week.

What job? I don’t remember a job!

Ummm, look up, dude. It’s on the big screen!               (watch the video below)

The big “airport” screen shows the status of all jobs on the manufacturing floor. Just scan a job with a barcode scanner, and it instantly shows up on the big screen. You’ll see the job name, the last time something happened on it, and who worked on it last. You’ll see project status, percent complete, and hours worked so far. You’ll even see how many hours are left before completion.

Turns out, the big airport-style screen can be helpful to a lot of people in the manufacturing organization. It’s really big for the guys on the shop floor, true. But also just as big for supervisors and managers. And, even sales folks who need job status they can communicate to their customers. They can just look up on the big screen, get the current status, and tell clients with the job is expected to finish.

  • No more yelling across the shop floor.
  • No more hand-written notes
  • No more blown delivery dates

It’s all on the big screen now!

 

Barcode Inventory and Bill of Materials

Automatically reorder inventory using a barcode scanner. Watch the video below, and then try these steps on your shop floor:

  1. Place a barcode label on your BOM (bill of materials)
  2. Scan the BOM when you start work
  3. Each item in the BOM will be deducted from inventory
  4. Optionally scan a task to start tracking time to the job
  5. Complete the work
  6. Scan STOP to stop the timer

Step #2 and #3 (which are really the same step) may kick off automate scripts to reorder inventory that has fallen below a predefined threshold. Those inventory items may appear at your receiving dock as a result of that reorder. Scan them to add them back into inventory.

Is it really that simple?

Yep!

 

Tablets on the Mfg Floor

Update your manufacturing shop using barcodes. Track jobs, work orders, inventory, tasks, employees, etc. The list goes on. Take look at the video below for details.

A simple tablet can help track all the items you care about on the shop floor. Just tap and scan. Now you are collecting time for every product, every employee, and every kind of work. You’re also making sure inventory doesn’t fall below critical levels.

Even a simple $99 Walmart Nextbook can be used for barcoding. Just mount it securely so it cannot be handled and broken. Hook a wireless barcode scanner to it. Now employees can scan in when they start manufacturing tasks.

After watching this video, here is another link to a YouTube video for the Nextbook:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=huMWWEZv-QE