Have a warehouse? No? How about material racks? In any case, it’s easy to track inventory usage with barcodes. Just scan your name and the SKU. That item is now deducted from stock. Geez, that was simple.
Watch the video below for inspiration.
It turns out Standard Time® will also reorder inventory when it drops below a certain level. You get an email, and in some cases new materials show up at your back door the next day. That’s just in time inventory with Standard Time.
Rolling a “percentage” rock up a hill? Yeah, it sort-of makes sense. It’s a metaphor for working to increase your percentages. Okay, I get that, but percentages of what? And, what am I doing to increase those percentages?
Scroll down for a little inspiring video.
First, the percentages are your manufacturing efficiencies. I.e. how efficient you are at producing products. And second, you are working to improve your manufacturing efficiencies. So how do you do that?
We suggest barcoding everything. Every work order. Every step in the process. Every consumable material. And every task employees perform. Now you can analyze that information for clues to inefficiencies.
Find those inefficiencies, and you improve your percentages. You’re rolling the percentage rock up the hill!
Shop floors can get messy but that is because work is being done. In the end, you still need to track work orders and employee time , even in a hostile environment. Consider barcodes, or even RFID for time tracking in such places.
RFID is completely solid-state, and immune to dust and chemicals. just swipe and go. Nothing bothers RFID… not dust, dirt, grease and grime, grinding dust, or oils. It’s really the best choice for hostile shop floors.
Here’s a little video to inspire and remind you to try Standard Time® with RFID or barcodes.
Everybody knows about employee time tracking. But what about tracking machine time? I.e. the hours machines are being operated. Hmm, that’s a different thought. (scroll down for the video for inspiration)
Actually, tracking machine time is not an original thought. Just like airplanes, there are hour meters attached to machines. Turn them on, and the meter ticks away. So that’s nothing new.
What’s new is that you can now associate employees, work orders, and tasks to those hours. You can use Standard Time® to know which employee used that machine. Which work order were run on that machine. Which tasks were performed. That’s manufacturing traceability. You can now trace work order activity down to the machines it was produced on. That’s some cool magic. That’s Standard Time®.
An important part of project management is to identify past due tasks so they can be dealt with. Past due tasks can be customer jobs you’ve agreed to deliver by a certain date or tasks that need to be finished before others can start. (scroll down for a video)
In any case, consider using the tool below to identify past due tasks. You can get a list of them and the total number of hours left to do.
Here’s a scenario that occurs every day in manufacturing job shops: A customer calls wanting to know the status of their job. You take the call but have only the slightest idea where their job is. Somebody scheduled it for production but you’re not sure when, and you’re not sure how far along it is. You don’t know the phase it’s in, so you can’t quite predict a completion date, which you know the customer is going to ask next.
Watch this little teaser video, then scroll down for more discussion.
What if you could look up on the big-screen on the shop floor wall and see the status. Or see it right on your PC. Wouldn’t that be cool?
But how would that work?
It works because employees on the shop floor are scanning tasks as they complete them. They scan the job and task, which tell you what stage the job is in at any given time. Dozens of jobs are in progress simultaneously, so this gives status to every one of them. What stage is it in? What percentage complete? How many hours have been completed so far? Which employee worked on it last? What department is it in? And what is the likely completion date?
This is “Work In Progress.” And it is available on a big TV screen on your shop floor. Now everybody knows the status of over job, from sales to project managers to supervisors to shop floor operators.
Ever wonder what you could get from scanning barcodes on the shop floor? What are the advantages? Would it help your business? Is it worthwhile?
The video below shows sixteen things you get by scanning four barcodes. Here are the four barcodes you would scan to get these things:
Employee name again, after the task is finished
The word STOP
Can I use any of the sixteen results of barcode scanning?
Those four barcodes will give you at least sixteen results. Can you use all sixteen? Maybe. Can you use one or two of the sixteen? Quite likely. Which ones? Watch the video a few times, and write them down. Now you’re on the right track.
So you’ve decided you can use a few of these. Good. But how much time and money will they save? Well, the next question you’ve got to ask yourself is this:
How much of your process is manual?
In other words, can you replace some of your manual processes with automated ones? For instance, could you replace manual handwritten communication with scans? Could you replace verbal communication with a shop floor status window? Could you replace manual payroll entry with exported time logs? Could you replace verbal work order tasks with barcoded tasks?
The list goes on.
If you’re like most manufacturing or engineering shops, you can likely replace a dozen manual processes with automated ones. So… grab a notepad and start writing. Write down the manual things you do now. Then write down the automated results from this video. Now connect the dots. Watch the video ten times if you have to. But make sure you identify all your manual operations.