How do you track employee time on the shop floor? Here are some popular solutions available on Amazon or other retail outlets:
Yell across the shop floor when your job is done
Number 2 pencil, greasy sheet which is lost 33% of the time (you hope)
Punch-clock built in the late 1970’s but mostly still keeps time
Nothing beats a good guess
With these leading solutions in place, you should not even consider barcode time tracking solutions. Don’t even think the words “Standard Time®” or you could be fired. Don’t rock the boat… don’t change… everything will be fine… your shop will remain just as competitive as it was in 1988. Cuz, really… Standard Time shop floor software is just a passing fad. It’ll never catch on. See ya in the 90’s! 🙂
Which kind of barcode scanner should I buy? Which scanners work with Standard Time? How do you connect a barcode scanner to a computer? Can you use barcode scanners with a Windows tablet?
All these questions are answered in the short video below. Scroll down below the video for more…
Turns out, any barcode scanner works with Standard Time. Just plug it in and begin scanning. Actually, barcode scanners work exactly like keyboards. They connect to USB ports like keyboards and send text like keyboards. That enables them to connect to Standard Time like a keyboard and can start and stop a timer, plus scan inventory, materials and expenses. All this is many times faster than keyboards, and much more reliable.
You can print barcode labels with any word processor or spreadsheet. Just choose a barcode font like IDAutomation. Include an * asterisk before and after every label, and you’re ready to scan.
For about $150 you have a simple barcode scanning station for manufacturing shop floor use. Scan time and materials into Standard Time.
It is a known fact that cavemen do not use barcode time tracking software. They have good dredlock hair but no manufacturing metrics. They have superb cave drawings but no real KPI’s to speak of. Honestly, it’s just not their thing.
Cavemen pick lice from their coworkers hair; that is how they count and measure time.
“I picked 238 lice today”
“Ha! 372 lice, here!”
“Counting lice works. It’s the way we’ve always done it.”
You can’t really argue with that logic. It works, and that’s that. It is what it is. Barcoding work orders is not even a remote possibility with cavemen. They don’t think in terms of employee hours, work order status, and continual improvement. They don’t even have a WIP screen on their cave walls. And if they did, what would it say? “796 lice this week”? It would definitely not show all the jobs in progress on the shop floor, and predict ship dates. Nope. Lice picks is all. Okay, cool. Carry on…
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.
Most small to medium-sized shops do not have a simple tablet-based system to check work order status. Status is often communicated verbally, electronically by text and email, and in staff meetings. But rarely is it communicated the way Standard Time® does it. So how does ST do it?
(scroll down below the video)
Standard Time presents work order status like they do at the airport. All your flights at the airport are displayed on a big-screen. Each flight has its own line, and those lines are sorted alphabetically so you can quickly scan the list and find your flight.
What if there was such a system for your work orders?
Scan the list… find the work order you’re interested in… and instantly see its status. That’s exactly what Standard Time does for you.
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.
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.