Timesheet & Project Management Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide tips and ideas for improving time tracking and project managment for our customers and other interested people.

Order Status with Single Barcode Scan

 

From http://www.stdtime.com If you use barcodes or RFID to track products on the manufacturing floor, shop floor, warehouse, factory floor, shipping dock. This videos shows how to use one single scan to track order status. You’ve likely got multiple work stations or stages along the way, including some starting point, raw materials, parts, assembly, added or subtracted improvements to the product. And then moving on to QA box and ship. You only want to scan once at each one of those stations. And you don’t want any special admin setup like registering serial numbers with the software. You just want the barcode scanner to pick it up and use it. Especially if you have hundreds or thousands of these on the shop floor at any given time.
This video answers the question, “Where is the order right now? What stage is it in, what employee touched it last, what building or department it’s in?” This is not about time tracking, although most of the videos are and you certainly can get that. This is about using a single scan to track orders and know where an order is right now. So let’s jump into the software and see how it works.
Over in Standard Time® you can see a list of time stamped order status records. And you’ll notice those are mixed right in with the other time tracking records that you might get from scanning other operations with barcode scanners. But because they have zero duration they will not show up in the timesheet as these records would.
I’ll go ahead and press the F4 key to show you how to set this up. Up pops the barcode window where you would scan for time tracking and order status. Click the barcode prefixes button and here you can enter the prefixes you’ve set up for your barcode scanners. This is a requirement, you will have to consult your owners guide for how to program prefixes into your barcode scanner.
You’ll notice I’ve set up three of these; my gun 1, my gun 2, my gun 3, for three different scanners. You enter those characters here whatever you choose, any series of characters. And then you can give it a description and you’ve got some default values to document which employee was using it, you’ve got some optional fields for project task, category. Some text fields you can put ad hoc text or notes into. To also define where this scan took place. After you’re done with that give it a text field that you want to scan into, and that’s the reason I left this one blank. Text 1 is a perfectly good field to use.
When scanners use a prefix like this they will first emit this series of characters. And then they’ll emit the characters that you actually scanned. In this case order number and that portion would go into the text 1 field. Check this check box to give it a completed time log because we’re not tracking time here and give it zero duration. If you did give it a value for the duration it would show up in the timesheet.
You can create an expense with a template and an amount if you want to, we’ll just dispense with that. So now you can begin scanning and you would create records just like these in the time log.
I’m going to run this little report on the left side that allows me to find orders by user, project, client, you can give it a date range or you can type in an order number or a portion of an order number. I happen to know the last three digits so I’ll type that in. You see it at the filter at the bottom, click OK to open the report. Now you have a nice time stamped list of all the times this order was scanned. So you have the time stamp, the order number, some values that we’ve collected and the last employee to touch it. This top item here is the last time this order was scanned, these are in descending order so the older ones are at the bottom. A very nice report to run. I’m going to close this.
By way of review we’re going to press the F4 key, click barcode prefixes. Enter the prefix that you programmed into your scanner. Give it a field to scan into and then check this check box to create a status record instead of time tracking.
That’s really all you have to do to get order status with a single scan in Standard Time.

See more at: http://www.stdtime.com

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Barcoding in Manufacturing is Easy!

 

How barcoding works
click for the barcode infographic

 

 

From http://www.stdtime.com/barcode.htm. Manufacturing automation is easy with barcodes and RFID. Just put a barcode label on every product. Scan it during the manufacturing process. Collect time and materials consumed. And then report on your results.

Now that you can record manufacturing metrics, you can find ways to improve. Reduce human resource time. Reduce materials and waste. Fine-tune your process to be more efficient.

You will know how much time each employee worked on each product. You'll know how much time each product took to manufacture, package, and ship. You'll know how long each kind of job took, and each task. Plus, you can track time for any other information you care about on the shop floor. For instance, how much time is spent in each building? For each machine? Each tool? How about each assembly line, or product line? You decide what metrics you want to collect, and this will do it.

Consider putting this in your warehouse to track materials and products. Scan each box as it comes and goes. You now have a simple warehouse tracking system, and you know how much time items spend in storage.

Have you heard of Manufacturing Execution Systems? This is the basics of that, but without the high cost of implementation. It collects the raw time and materials, and can be used to automate such things as inventory, resource dispatch, and order processing. You don't spend a zillion dollars on an MES, but you get the basic results.

Learn more at: http://www.stdtime.com/barcode.htm

See more at: http://www.stdtime.com

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Coordinate Microsoft Project Tasks with Timesheet

 

Learn how to sync tasks to MS Project so your project schedule can receive input from actual resources doing the work. If employees have input into your project schedule, it stands a better chance of matching reality and not becoming stale and irrelevant. Employees sometimes know their own tasks better than project managers.

The actual resources working on your project may suggest new tasks, and may correct task estimates. That input changes everything. Your project schedule now reflects reality. It contains the actual tasks employees are working on, and better estimates for completion.

Time, materials, and tasks can all be synchronized from Standard Time® to MS Project. Give Standard Time to every employee, and let them enter the tasks they are working on. Let them update task estimates. And let them submit actual hours into their timesheets. All that information feeds into Microsoft Project.

See more at: http://www.stdtime.com/msproject.htm

Collecting Barcode Info for Manufacturing

Watch this video for a technique of collecting manufacturing time on the shop floor. This technique involves collecting special information, above the basics of employee and project. Create your own user-defined scan requirements. Employees must scan these special items before the timer will start.

In other words, you may be scanning employee and project names, and the timer starts immediately. Have you considered adding any special items to that scan sequence? You can. Collect any special information you like.

 

 

This is an advanced barcoding topic that describes scanning special information during the manufacturing process. The basic barcoding scanning sequence only collects employee, project, and category (or task). Time logs resulting from these scans are shown in the timesheet. But it is possible to scan more information related to your employee jobs on the shop floor. That information is placed in those time logs.

Watch this video to learn how to add new requirements to your scanning sequence. In other words, go beyond the normal employee, project, and task. Prompt operators for additional information that you can use for reporting and graphs.

For example: prompt operators to scan the building number they are working in. Or scan the machine name. Now you can find out how much time you spend on each machine in each building.

Anything is possible. You collect whatever information that is relevant to your operation, and then report on that later. You'll see scans come into the system in real-time, so you know exactly what is happening on the shop floor all the time.

 

The BIG Barcoding Page

 

Barcoding Time and Materials for Manufacturing

 

Learn how to scan both time and materials for manufacturing, shop floor, and employee jobs. This allows you to document the materials and supplies you use on each job with a barcode scanner. Just scan the materials and supplies you use on each job, and you will see a list of expenses that represent these items. Reports will include both time and expenses for a job. Now you have an accurate report of all the supplies, parts, materials, and items used on jobs. You are no longer guessing at your time and materials. You are getting the actual numbers from employees on the shop floor doing the actual jobs.

Don't guess... scan it and know.

Track Materials & Costs in MS Project

 

How to sync and update materials in MS Project. After a sync with MSP, you will see materials and costs in your timesheet. Update them in Standard Time®, and your changes will be sent back up to MS Project.

End users can update materials, and send those changes back to MSP where the project manager sees them. This let's the actual employees doing the work have input into project schedules and materials that project managers have set up for them.

Without this end-user input, project schedules go stale, and no longer represent the actual conditions on the ground. Attempting to update materials and costs verbally almost never works. Employees forget to communicate their updates. But this synchronization technique never fails to update MSP.

Barcoding with Walmart Nextbook for Manufacturing

Watch this video for an inexpensive way to get started with barcoding. For about $200 you can put a Walmart Nextbook on the shop floor. Connect a barcode scanner to it and you have a self-contained barcode station.

 

If you need an inexpensive barcode station for manufacturing or shop floor for employee jobs, consider using a Walmart Nextbook. The Nextbook is a simple tablet that connects to your network wirelessly over Wi-Fi. That means your barcode scans are sent to a server the moment they occur. You'll see information immediately, in real-time.

You will collect timestamps for each employee, for each job, for each kind of work, each product, each box, and each stage of the manufacturing and assembly operation. You will know exactly how long employees are on the job, and how long each job takes. You'll know exactly how much time goes into each product.

Stop guessing. Find out exactly how long things actually take. Then use that information to shave off a small layer of inefficiency. Layer after layer gets you to an efficiency you may have never seen before.

Connect a wireless barcode scanner to a Walmart Nextbook for an inexpensive barcode station. You can get started for $200.

Get More Value From Your Timesheet

Here are some tips to get more from your timesheet. It's not just for employee hours and client billing. There is so much more you can collect.

 

See the video below.

 

 

Tasks can double the value you're getting from your timesheet because of the information they collect. Things like "actual work," costs, and percent complete are free. There's nothing you need to do to get this information. That means you get task warnings when percentages are exceeded. And, you get email notifications when project hours and costs are exceeded. All this comes from your timesheet. Watch this video to learn how to get more from your timesheet, and learn what information timesheets collect.

Project managers like this information because it is not a guess. It is the actual work and actual costs their projects are incurring. You don't have to wonder which projects are profitable and which are under-performing. You don't have to guess how much projects are costing. That information is collected automatically from the timesheet.

Executives like this information because they know that their strategic efforts are paying off. Costs are under control. Projects will be delivered on time. Customers are happy.

Employees like this because they don't have to manage anything. There's nothing to babysit. Just enter hours and go on with the job. The project management is automatic.

Sync Microsoft Project Costs with Timesheet

 

From http://www.stdtime.com Learn how to bring Microsoft Project costs down to your timesheet in Standard Time. There are other videos that describe sending actuals up to MS Project, but this video focuses on costs only. MS Project has three types of resources. Work, Material, and Cost. Work resources and normally human resources that charge a certain amount per hour. But they could be machines that are rented for an hourly rate.

Material resources are objects used on the job. Examples might be nails, bricks, computer cables, pens and pencils. Material resources have a cost per object. The video describes a bucket of nails with a cost for each bucket.

Cost resource just have a purchase cost. You are buying something for the project, and that becomes an expense that must be added to the cost of the project. The video describes buying a hammer for roofing.

All these resource costs come down into Standard Time during synchronization. You’ll see them in the project task view, and optionally in the employee timesheet. Only administrators will see these costs. Normal employees, who normally only enter time into timesheets will not.

Each resource will be shown in ST as an assignment. In other words, you’ll see hammers, nails, and roofing assigned to tasks in ST. That helps understand the use of non-human resources on a project.

Even if you’re not using Standard Time, this video will still help inform you about resources and how they are used on projects to calculate costs.

The video helps answer the questions: How do resources work in MS Project, What types of resources are in MS Project, What are non-human resources in MS Project. How do material resources work in MS Project. What are “Cost” resources in MS Project?

See more at: http://www.stdtime.com

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Strategies for serial numbers when barcoding

 

From http://www.stdtime.com This video answers the question of what to do with product serial numbers when barcoding in Standard Time. You have serial numbers on the products you are manufacturing. They are pre-printed, and permanently stuck onto each unit. Now what do you need to do to start barcoding them? What needs to be set up in Standard Time to use them?

The answer depends on how long you’ll need the barcode labels for time tracking. If you’ll use them for a long time, you should create a project in ST. But if you’ll only use them for hours or days, then consider creating tasks instead.

After you have created projects and tasks to represent the serial numbers, you can begin scanning in ST. Just press the F4 key to open the barcode scanning window. Scan your label and ST will recognize it.

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