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.

Replenish Inventory By Work Order

From http://www.stdtime.com This video describes the process of automatically creating work orders to replenish or rebuild inventory items when their stock drops below certain levels. Let’s assume that we have inventory items that we use in production and we build those inventory items inhouse. We want a work order to tell us to build them and we want those work orders to be automatically created when the stock levels drop.

We’re going start with a template here that has a set of tasks. You can see them linked together here in the Gantt Chart, that would represent the steps necessary to build these inventory items. So, let’s see how we would use this template to create a new work order.

I’m going to go to the Tools menu, choose Inventory and Bill of Materials. For this example, I’m going to use Metal rack, you can see this is actually a bill of materials with subitems. There are 1,000 in stock and I’ve told it to kick off a new work order when we reach 999. One more of these and we’re going to create a new work order based on this template.

We could actually replenish or reorder using a script; maybe automatically purchase things over the Internet but in this case we’re just kick off a new work order based on this template. Let’s close out of this and see how that works. I’m going to go into the F4 window and scan Metal rack to deduct one from inventory. I’ve done that you can see Metal rack was subtracted from inventory and in this case an expense was also added to document that. If I go over to the Expenses tab you can see that record here that occurred that this date and time. And when I go over to the Inventory folder under Projects, I see that there is a new project, or work order, named Metal rack-1001. It has those tasks or steps needed to rebuild or replenish stock.

The nice thing is I got an email telling me that this occurred and to look for a new project by the name Metal rack-1001. Now employees can go off, build those items and then replenish inventory. Again, if we go back over to Tools, Inventory Bill of materials, click on the Metal rack, we can see the quantity in stock has dropped to 999. They’re going to go off and build 450 of these and they’re going to replenish the stock based on that.

This new project was automatically created to rebuild or replenish inventory.

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Barcode Scanners for Manufacturing

From http://www.stdtime.com/barcode.htm. I have been asked several times what type of barcode scanner can be used with Standard Time® when scanning time and materials on the shop floor for manufacturing and other purposes. I’m going to demonstrate an entry level barcode scanner that can be bought off of Amazon for anywhere from $20-$40. This is what you get when you go out there and type in barcode scanner and click on the first one.

What we’ve got here is a simple little scanner with a cradle. I’ve got it connected to an inexpensive tablet, which you can also buy on Amazon, through a USB hub. You really don’t need the keyboard and mouse although you can see the mouse here.

Presumably the employees would walk up to this and scan their user name to start. You can see BC accepts that, ignore the cartoon character; that’s a background screen on BC which you can replace. They would then scan the work order that they are working on. I’m passing it under the barcode scanner.

You might consider bolting these down or making them so that they can’t be handled. Because any time that you handle inexpensive equipment like this, you’re going to break it. And these are not going to last long. They are entry level items.

Next thing they might scan would be a task. That is enough to start the timer; you can see that BC has accepted that and the timer has started. That has put a new time entry into Standard Time; the employee is then off working on their job. They can then come back and stop that timer.

The thing I wanted to demonstrate is this entry level barcode scanner. Really not a bad little unit; I have used several of these and they do last quite a long time. They are not ruggedized for manufacturing so they will get you started. But you’ll want to upgrade to better units in the future. Hopefully this helps and gives you an idea of what type of scanner to buy. Really any scanner will work with Standard Time.

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Project and Resource Mgmt with Subviews

From http://www.stdtime.com You may have noticed that each of the views within Standard Time® has the ability to customize or arrange the columns that you see listed here. We’re looking at the Project Tasks view, you see certain columns. I click over on the Time Log and there are different columns. Again, on the Expenses you see completely different columns there. And when you go to the View menu, choose Columns; click add or remove, move up and down and arrange those columns the way you like them.

It also turns out that if you right click on the column header you can insert or hid columns and create new arrangements of columns using the “Add New Column View.” Now these are called subviews, I’ve created three of them here; Cost, Gantt, and the Start Finish Due.

When I choose one of these and click “switch to view” you can see that all the columns change. This is a quick way for me to arrange the columns the way I like them then quickly switch to a different view. These views can contain completely different columns that are suitable for certain purposes and when you want a different purpose you can simply switch over to another view or subview.

Same thing holds true as we switch over to other views like the Time Log. If I right click on a column header, you’ll notice I’ve created a couple here, I can choose one. You’ll notice that the columns change. Go over to Expenses, right click on a column, and I’ve created a completely different set of column arrangements. Simply choose them, switch to view and all the columns change.

This is true of the invoicing, work orders, time-off, project tasks, all the different views have the ability to right click on these columns and create new column arrangements by choosing Add New Column. Once you’ve done that you can go to the View Menu, choose Columns, as we saw before. Arrange them the way you like and that subview will contain those columns.

That is how I got these subviews the way I like them. I selected one, went to the View Menu, chose Columns and simply added a new column. And arranged it by moving up or down, click close, there’s the new column. Now if I switch to a different subview and then back to the original that I just changed you’ll see that column is still there.

You’re able to arrange the columns the way you like, save them as subviews and then quickly switch from view to view to accomplish your purposes.

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

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MFG productivity experts, shop floor software

From http://www.stdtime.com/barcode.htm Barcode Time Tracking. Manufacturing productivity experts.

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Drag and Drop Calendar Project Management

From http://www.stdtime.com You may have seen Standard Time® videos where you can drag and drop task bars in the Gantt Chart to update your schedules. And you may have also noticed, or seen videos, where you go to the View menu, choose Project Resource Allocation and again drag and drop those task bars to update your resource allocation. Resource allocation is really just a fancy word for tasks that are scheduled for resources like employees, machines or assembly lines. Moving tasks around would update the resource allocation for selected resources. Did you also know that you can also go to the View menu, choose Calendar and drag and drop the same tasks that you see in the calendar? As I drag and drop those you notice that the Gantt Chart updates and the Resource Allocation bar chart also updates. Another way for you to reorganize or reschedule tasks so that your resources are not over allocated or under allocated. Again, you can drag and drop them here in the Gantt Chart or right in the calendar. Either way will update the resource allocation bar chart that you see here.

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Rename Custom Database Columns

From http://www.stdtime.com It is possible in Standard Time® to create custom fields for user definable input and display those columns in views like this. This video will show how to rename the underlying database column name so that it could be used in calculations in scripts and reports. Now this is an advanced video that only applies to those people who have created custom columns.

I’m going to go to the View menu to get started; choose Columns then click Custom Fields. Here you can see a few custom fields that I’ve created and down below you see the column name in the database. Now that’s a pretty ugly name, long name, that you get by default when you click the Add Field button. I want to rename that so it has a more human readable name that I can use in scripts and calculations. To do that I’ll start by clicking the Column Name button. This warning is telling me that all the other Standard Time clients must be closed before proceeding. That is because they will get an error when the database column name changes. I’ll go ahead and click yes; this gives me a suggestion, I can go ahead and change that if I want, click OK.

It was renamed successfully; it is again telling me that all the other clients must be closed and reopened or they might get an error. Now you see the new name down below. If I click on the other one you see the ugly name that was there by default and back to this one you have a nice beautiful name that can be used in SQL scripts or reporting. Hope that helps!

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

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Custom Fields In Reports

From http://www.stdtime.com This video describes how to put custom fields onto reports. To begin you can see I have the Project Tasks tab selected and I have a couple columns here that are custom fields. You may not realize that but I’ve actually added these as custom values. I’ve entered some values and some other values are computed. If you go to the View menu and choose Columns and then click Custom Fields you can see these extra fields that I’ve added.

What I want to do is put these onto a report. These are the two fields I’ll put on the report and the first thing I’ll draw your attention to is this long, ugly number down at the bottom of this dialog box. That is the data base column that would be added to the report. You may have renamed this column but this is the default format that they come in. Write these numbers down so that you can drag and drop them onto a report. Let’s go ahead and close this.

I’m going to run a Project Tasks report, click OK. The first thing you should do is go to the File menu and choose “Save As.” Don’t change this report because you may want to go back to it as your default. Always choose File “save as” and create a completely different report. Then we’re going to go into the Design View; I’ve got a couple columns here that I’ll get rid of and we’ll put in our custom fields. This first one was the margin, so let’s rename the header and then we had CostPlus.

The next thing we’ll do is click on this tab that says Fields. And you see some of the database tables that are included in this report. Yours may look different depending on which tables are available. I’m going to open up the Project Tasks table, scroll down and we’re going to find all of the fields that I can drag and drop onto the report.

The first one, you remember, was this one. Let’s drag that onto there, these are the ones I asked you to write down. I’ll take this and right align it so that it looks real nice as a number. Go back in here and do the next thing with this one.

We’ve dragged both of those onto the report and resized them and changed the alignment so they look nicer. So we’ve Margin and CostPlus and these are the custom fields that are in the database. We’re working in the Design View; we’ll go back up to the Preview tab and click that. Then scroll down here to that project that we saw earlier. Those are the custom values that we saw earlier on the Project Tasks tab.

They show up here in the report because I dragged them from the fields over onto the detail section of the report. Of course you can drop that into any section that you would like but we happen to be working on the detail section so I dragged them there and that is how they show up. You’ll want to choose File, Save As but in my case I’m going to close the report and not save and here are the values again on the Project Tasks tab. Hope this tutorial helped!

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

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