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:


KPIs for Work In Progress

Display your Key Performance Indicators for all employee’s to see. Put them up on a big screen, like you see at the airport when you’re checking your departure gate.

KPI’s belong on a big screen with big fonts. They should be visible from fifty feet away. That way everyone sees them and they become ingrained into the working mentality of the organization.

“We improve these numbers, or we go home!”

The way you do that is to first measure, then display, then change. Then repeat. That is how you compete. And that is why you need barcode time tracking and a means to display your results. You can download all that right now at It’s called Standard TimeĀ®.

But first, get a look at the video below. It’s good.


Scan Expenses on the Shop Floor

As it turns out, Standard TimeĀ® 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.