The video below describes a sequence of events that automatically creates manufacturing work orders when inventory is low. (scroll down below video for more)
Let’s assume you pull items from inventory for manufacturing. (You manufacture something that includes other pre-built assemblies) You have to maintain stock of the pre-built items so they are always available for use in other product. Problem is, it’s hard to remember to restock inventory when it’s low. You may pull a few off the rack and never remember to replenish them. The last thing you want is to go back and find the rack empty! Now you’ve got to build those items before you can fulfill your orders.
Wouldn’t it be nice if you got an email when inventory stock fell? And even nicer if a new work order was created, telling you to build and replenish inventory? Such an automated system would let you keep inventory levels high enough to fulfill orders when they came in.
This video describes exactly how to do this.
The sequence goes something like this:
BOM is scanned and deducted from inventory
Stock quantity drops below a threshold
New work order is automatically created
Email notification is sent
Employees build and replenish inventory from the work order
Work order is completed and deactivated
Most of these steps are accomplished with barcode scanners on the shop floor. Employees may not realize the automation occurring in the background, but admins and project managers will appreciated it.
The video below is a cute way to illustrate cutting manufacturing time. Fact is, you gotta do it one way or another. You can’t keep going the way you are, with manual processes and verbal work order communication. You have to automate. (scroll for the video)
Barcodes are a great way to automate work order processing.
Just scan your username, work order, and task. A timer starts that contains the employee and job, plus a lot of other information related to clients, machines, assembly lines, and locations. You’re collecting about a dozen other little things that can be reported on.
What do you do with all that information? Find ways to change. Improve. Adjust. Every improvement you make has the potential to save you money. That’s how barcodes cut manufacturing time.
When you’re managing projects, information display is everything. Here’s a quick tip to enhance your experience. (See video below.)
The video below shows how to arrange columns for best results during management. It talks about creating subviews of columns that apply to a particular need. These collections of columns help you see the exact information you need for any need, and let you quickly switch from one subview to another. In other words switch from one set of information to a completely different set with just a few clicks. Scroll below the video for more…
Let’s say you have one subview of columns for costs, another for graphical task display, and still another for task dates. Instead of cramming all that onto one view, why not chop it up into subviews. Then you can quickly switch between views to see relevant information.
Each subview is an arrangement of columns.
You arrange columns to make sense to you. And you create as many subviews as you need for all your project management needs.
Standard Time® is mostly a manufacturing project planning tool. It has some pretty rich displays and dashboards. These subviews are just part of the big picture. There are many other things like this to explore.
Here’s an advanced video for you technical project management types. Consider renaming your custom database fields with “pretty names” for use in SQL scripts and reporting.
True, this video is not for everyone. It’s just for those hardcode reporting and scripting techies. This video shows how to rename database fields you are using in your reports and SQL scripts. The “big ugly” database column names you get by default for your custom fields can be renamed to make things easier for IT folks creating reports and writing scripts. Here’s how to rename them
Manufacturing reports include everything from employee activity to detailed KPI’s. How do you customize these reports in Standard Time® for your purposes? With custom fields. These fields may contain the results of barcode scans, automated input, or manual entry. However the data arrives, they are included on reports using this method.
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.
Ever wonder what things you can scan during the manufacturing process? Here’s a quickie video for you. It’s not a tutorial on barcode scanning, just a survey of things you can scan. Scroll down below the video for a list.
Things you can scan on the shop floor:
Task status and completion flag
Unique items for your business
Got another thing you want to scan in your mfg shop? Have you tried the “Required Scans” option? That let’s you craft a custom scan to collect unique values for your manufacturing KPI’s and status. Scripts are another possibility to extend the built-in scanning capabilities of Standard Time. Just scan a script name and let it perform and database, email or web interaction you need. You will need IT support for script writing. They can be complex, but they are also very flexible and wide in their scope. You can do just about anything in scripts.
Have you ever wanted to pull your time and expense data into Excel for analysis? Now you can, with the XLST Excel Add-in. (scroll down for a video)
XLST is a new Excel add-in that pulls timesheet and project management data from your Standard Time® timesheet, and puts the results into Excel spreadsheets. It uses Excel formulas to extract timesheet data, and places the results into a single cell. In fact, the XLST functions act exactly like any other Excel function. They take “parameters” from other cells and use that data to get results.
What kinds of results can you get?
You can query the Standard Time database for all the actual work entered by employees. Or, you could query for all the expenses. Or all time off taken by employees. Or the hours available for time off.
Here is a partial list, which might spark your imagination:
Just click in an empty cell and then click the function icon near the formula line. Then choose XLST as the category. You’ll see all the functions listed above. Each one takes different parameters. Many parameters are optional, so you can quickly get results right away.
You must start by downloading Standard Time from the stdtime.com website, and then connecting it to SQL Server. XLST requires SQL Server or SQL Express. Once ST is connected to SQL, then you can download and install XLST.