Start Timer with Mag Card Readers

Manufacturers: Use a mag card reader to start and stop a timer. Consider swiping cards to start and stop a timer for manufacturing purposes. Swipe once to start the timer, and swipe again to stop. The video below describes how.

This technique allows you to associate any employee badge or card to a Standard Time® username. Swipe once to start a timer for the associated user. A selected project and task will start. The timer will run until you swipe again.

Manufacturing and assembly shops can collect information like total product build times, total employee hours, packaging time, and shipping. Find out how much time you spend on each kind of work, and improve each one by a small percentage.

Download Standard Time here, and give this a try with your own magnetic card reader.

Track Time with Multiple Barcode Scanners on a Single PC

Manufacturing shops can now set up multiple barcode scanners on a single computer to track assembly time, boxing, and shipping. Watch the video below to learn how.

Here’s the deal… you don’t want to dedicate a single computer to every barcode scanner. In other words, one computer for one scanner. You have too many shop floor operators to do that. It’s a waste of resources, and every PC needs care and maintenance. You want to connect as many barcode scanners as you can to each PC on the shop floor. As long as workers can see the screen, you’re good to go.

Turns out, barcode prefixes are the answer. Assign a unique prefix to each barcode scanner on the manufacturing floor. Then you can connect as many as you like. Standard Time® will recognize the prefix and start timers for each scanner.

Not only can you connect multiple scanners, you can set default values that take effect every time you scan. Want to associate a dedicated gun to one single employee only? Easy, just set the default username. Now the employee no longer needs to scan their username to start the timer.

Other default values let you associate a gun to a certain project or task. Every time you scan with that gun, your project and task is already chosen for you. No need to scan them. The timer will start immediately, without the need to tell it which project you’re on.

All these little improvements to barcode scanning make your manufacturing process just a little more efficient. Give it a try!

Define Consultant, Freelancer, Contractor

What is a consultant? Zach knows. (scroll down for video)

Zach is a consultant, and the head of consultants. So he knows what a consultant is. Zach says, consultants used to be people you brought in for one or two days, maybe a week tops, that would explain a certain issue to you. Once explained, the consultant would leave. You consulted with consultants, and that was it. They were experts, and they explained things. You asked them specific questions, which they knew the answers to. Once you got the answer, you went off and did what they said.

That was before the internet and YouTube.

Now consultants are much like full-time employees. They often sit in the same offices and attend the same meetings. If you don’t ask, you may never know that your coworker is a 1099 freelancer. They still have expertise in a certain area, and apply that expertise like regular employees.

The big advantage to employers is their temporary stay. A months is usually enough. No pesky benefits package, no nurturing, no investment. Just raw performance for a price you can live with.

The thing is, consultants have to learn how to make good money. If they don’t, those short-term contracts turn into vicious cycles of feast and famine. You have to know how to up-sell and extend your stay. Plus, charge enough to tide you over during the down times. Without that, you’ll be out of business in no time.

Plus, consultants have to become very familiar with things like effective billing rates, utilization percentages, and billable hours. Working for a consulting firm removes you from that tedious treachery. You just work like an employee, and everything is okay. But the freelancer definitely has to watch his numbers, or he’ll end of working for two dollars an hour.

Download Standard Time® and let us know if it can help your consulting biz.  🙂

Define Time Management

What is time management? Easy question and Zach answers it! Your time needs to be managed so you know how much time is spent on each project, how to bill clients, how many hours spent on each task, etc.

Zach is the time tracking and project management geek who answers questions for you. Ask anything about timesheets, time management, or project management. You’ll get an answer.

In this case, time management is watching your project tasks and admin so your project doesn’t bonk. It’s paying attention and keeping your head in the game. It’s making sure your project doesn’t crash.

Electrical Contractors Track Client Hours

Reward yourself, Sparky! Get an app that tells you your average job length, your effective billing rate, plus invoices clients. Plus has project proposals. Plus has timesheets for every employee.

Don’t let this shock you, but if you’re running an electrical contracting business, you need this information. This is how you trim costs and keep rates competitive. It’s not by watching all the other contractors in the biz; it’s by watching your own biz. How much are jobs costing you? How much are you bringing in? What effective billing rate are you making? What percentage are your electricians utilized, verses being paid?

Watch the video below, and decide if this is something your electrical contracting company can use. Then download the timesheet here.

Sales and Marketing Management Consulting

The only real way to make sure you’re staying true to sales and marketing priorities is to track the time you spend with clients. Without a time tracker you’re only guessing. Here’s what happens: (scroll down for video)

You take the time to identify sales and marketing priorities. Good. You identify top clients. Excellent. And you set strategic products and services that benefit your organization. Wonderfully done. Great sales and marketing plan!

Now how are you tracking actual results against those priorities and strategies?

That’s where most sales and marketing professionals stop.

Truth is, they just don’t want the hassle of extra admin time to track their hours. So they really never know if their staying true to the plan, or wandering into secondary areas they explicitly hoped to stay out of. Track your client hours, and you’ll have the information to compare against your strategic plans.

Track Time for Computer and Networks

My job is to maintain a computer network. Sometimes I get so frustrated with people breaking everything! But I love it and the network runs smoothly because I’m a rock star!

If it weren’t for me, and guys like me, there would be no network, except in research labs. We’re the guys that connect your servers to the web, connect your workstations to the servers, and install all your crazy apps. We make it happen.

And keep it all running.

We track our hours with Standard Time®. That’s where your client invoices come from. Those line items were tracked on an iPhone, sync’d with the cloud, verified on a desktop, and printed from the Web. I hooked all that up in an hour, and started tracking my time for you. ST has to be one of the best and easiest to use. Ask me about it some time. Maybe you can use it too.

Web Developers Sling Code

My day yesterday:

  • 128 lines of CSS
  • 292 lines of PHP
  • 8 new files
  • 3 directories
  • and a little 302 redirect work in .htaccess

How do you remember all that? You can’t, because you can’t even remember what you ate last night for dinner.

That’s what a web developer’s time tracking app is for. Not only are you collecting enough information to bill your clients, you’re also collecting the various kinds of work you do. You’re documenting your work, which effectively creates a status report. Now your boss knows what you’re doing all night with your office light burning, and zillion red and blue LED’s glowing against dark office hallways. Pulling an all-nighter is the perfect reason for a good time tracking app. At least you’ll remember some of it the next afternoon when you wake up.

How SEO Experts Track Time

SEO marketers, here’s a great way to track client billable hours. Use Standard Time®.

This little time tracking app will track client projects and write invoices. Try these steps:

  1. Set up a client, with their address and contact info
  2. Set up web seo projects you are doing for that client (as many unique projects as you want)
  3. Optionally add tasks you’ll complete while doing the projects
  4. Click or tap to start a timer
  5. Do the job
  6. Click or tap to stop the timer
  7. Collect up all your billable hours
  8. Invoice the client using date ranges or milestone billing

Do this for a few months and you’ll know exactly how much time you spend on each client. For some clients, you’ll be surprised. For others, you’ll just verify what you already believed.