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.

Task Management and Resource Allocation


In this video I’m going to take a look at a task management technique called resource allocation. In resource allocation you are looking into the future to see where you’re human and material resources are being used or allocated. In this case we’re going to specifically look at the number of resources required for a set of projects or tasks. Let’s take a look at Standard Time® on the screen.

Here in Standard Time® I’m using the resource allocation window in a sort-of modeless way out here on the outside. While I work on things in Standard Time the resource allocation window is waiting for some updates. I’m dragging some projects around, you can see the changes that occur in the resource allocation window to reflect those changes to the project; the bars are updating.

Just as a way of orientation – I happen to be looking at the resource requirements choice. There are other choices but the resource requirement allows me to see how many resources would be needed for a certain project or set of tasks. I happen to be looking at all projects for the in-house user work group. As those projects are slid around or moved around then you see the affect that it would have on resource allocation. I’m trying to find that sweet spot where the resource requirements meet my needs.

Let me show you how I configured this. I’ll close this window and reopen it so that you see. The first thing that you see in the Standard Time window is this Gantt chart and I configured that by going to the view menu and choosing columns. You can see Gantt here on the column on the right. If I click remove this is the natural state and you’ll see the columns you can put into view and Gantt is on the left. You’ll find it on the left, you’ll click add, then you’ll click move up and down and move it into position where ever you like it. That’s how I have it displayed here. Now you see the individual tasks; I can move them around, they update the resource allocation window. Which I can view by going to the View menu and choosing project resource allocation. Dragging those tasks around would then update that window.

From http://www.stdtime.com      

Tool Control For the Shop Floor


If you’ve been on our YouTube channel you’ll know that Standard Time®, which you see in the background, is a nice time and materials tracker, project manager. For shop floor, manufacturing, inventory control, those sorts of things. I’m going to demonstrate a completely different feature which is tool control. If you have specialized tools on the shop floor that you would like to keep track of, you need a tool tracker. That’s what we’re going to take a look at.

There are barcodes that you can use to scan a tool out and assign that to an operator. And then scan back in to bring the tool back into stock. Now you have some tool accountability. Operators scan them out, scan them back in, managers know who scanned them out, when they were scanned out, where they are and then when the tool returns then it’s placed back into stock. In addition to the time and materials, project management, inventory, those sorts of things we’re going to take a look at the tool controls features in Standard Time.

In Standard Time® we’re going to want to check some tools in and out. Let’s go ahead and press F4 to open the barcode window. You know this is where you would scan time and expenses for your project tasks and so on, work orders. But in this case, for this video, we’re going to work with tools and tool control.

Let’s scan a couple of tools to see their status. We’ve got this tool is in stock and available and that one also available. Let’s go ahead and check these out. I’m going to start by scanning a user name and then again I’ll scan a tool that is in stock. Let’s go ahead and check that tool out; that is now checked out by Buzz and the second tool is also checked out.

These tools are now in my care; I’m expected to bring them back in somewhat the same shape that I got them from. Let’s take a look at the admin side of this, see what an administrator would see for these tools. I’m going to go up to the tools menu and choose tool control. You see a lot of other items in this tools menu like projects, clients, users, categories, inventory, a lot of other kind of expenses and meetings and things like that. There’s a lot more you can do here. But let’s take a look at tool control.

This tool that I just checked out has a name, a code, a description, it was a model number, serial number, the location for it. The number of items I have on hand, the cost I have for that and this tool is now checked out by Buzz. It has some actual hours that go along with when I check in and out. We have a nice little history of when this tool was checked in and out and by whom. Down at the bottom you’ve got Preventative Maintenance. I want to do a PM every 480 hours. The last one was done by Frank. You have the next preventative maintenance and the last one and some notes that you would perform when performing a PM.

Scrolling back up here I can take a look at another one of these that I’ve just checked out. A name, a code that I could scan, I could also scan a serial number. You’ve got this checked out by Buzz, got some actual hours there and a little history of when this was checked in and out. That’s what the admin would see. All the tools listed here, the locations, the actual hours, who checked them in and out and a nice little history. Enter all your tools and then start checking them in and out.

Let’s go back over here to Standard Time. Press F4 and we can see this was checked out by Buzz. I’m going to scan my user name and check this back in. It’s now in stock and available and this one is now checked in and available. So I’ve brought the tools back, put them back in the tool bin and they are now available for check out. Back up to tools, tools control and this is where you can administer all your tools. Nice little check in and out feature in Standard Time that goes along with your time and expenses for your project tracking.

For more information: http://www.stdtime.com      

Barcode Expenses and Inventory


In this video let’s take a look at scanning inventory items and then creating expense records from them. Now you may be used to scanning time and materials. In this case we’re going to scan the actual inventory item and then create an expense record from that. That will allow you to use those records in your time and expense reports. That’s go ahead, take a look and see how it works.

Over in Standard Time we’re going to choose tools, inventory to take a look at the relationship between inventory and expense records. You may have seen other videos where we scan inventory items and bill of materials to deduct them from inventory. In this case we’re going to create a new expense record when I scan inventory items.

Let’s choose tools, inventory. I’m going to take a look at this wood panel inventory item. I’ve got a name, a description, an option here that lets me create a new expense anytime this is scanned. This is a very simple scenario, you’ve got a list of inventory items, you want expense records created every time you scan them. Now you’re tracking time and materials and you can include these records in your time and expense reports.

A more advanced scenario would be where you would scan an expense template. That would be in addition to these inventory items. And when you scan that expense template, it would deduct from inventory. So we’re going to take a look at the quantity in stock on each of these items and they will be deducted when we scan. When they drop below the quantity to reorder then we could run a script to reorder/replenish them. That’s close this.

I wanted to take a look at Microsoft Word quickly to show you two labels that I printed out. One is “wood panel” inventory item the other is “display racks” which is an expense template. So that’s the more advanced scenario. Let’s minimize this and press F4 to open up the barcode window. I’m going to scan “wood panel.” When I do it tells me that the wood panel has been deducted from inventory and expense has been added. Let’s close this.

Click on the expenses tab and we see a new record that has been entered here. $249.91, it’s got a description of wood panel. I didn’t scan any other projects or tasks so we’ve got just a raw record that can be used with your time and expense records. That is a simple scenario for how you would scan inventory items and create expense records from them.

A more advanced scenario is where you go over to the time sheet; click on this gray dropdown and go to the expense sheet. Open up a project and look at expense templates. Expense templates let you fill out a lot more fields and when you enter quantities for those they create expense records from those templates. You can also scan them and when you do it will deduct from inventory. So the metal rack that we saw over in inventory will be deducted when I scan “display racks.” Let’s close this.

Press F4. This time I’ll scan my name first then scan display racks. We’ve got a little status telling me that I did that successfully. I’ll close this, go over to expenses. We’ve got a new record here, when I open that it’s a $179 plus some tax $193.55. Got a description of display racks, that was the name I scanned for expense template. In this case I’ve got a few other fields that are filled out from that expense template. You can fill out the entire template and that will transfer over to the expense record. You can use these records for your time and expense reports.

Two different scenarios where you can go into inventory, scan them and create new expenses from them.

See more at: www.stdtime.com 

Work Orders and Data Collection


If you’re in manufacturing, chances are your processes run on work orders.

Have you considered using a planning and data collection tool built just for manufacturing?

Standard Time® is perfect!

-          Check employee availability

-          Create custom or standard tasks for each work order

-          Collect data with barcode scanners

-          Track key performance indicators

-          Show it all on a big screen on the shop floor

Download a trial today!



Also see: Press Releases



Scan Expenses on the Shop Floor


You may already be tracking jobs on the shop floor with Standard Time®

But did you know you can also scan materials and expenses?

-          Are you using materials for products? Scan them.

-          Using inventory. Scan it too.

-          Bill of materials? Yep, scan them!

Everything you scan is recorded and ready for Key Performance Indicators, which you can bring into Excel with an Add-on.

Let’s start today!




KPI's for Work In Progress

Do you have special KPI's you want to display on the Work In Progress screen? Now you can do it, with Standard Time.

KIP's can be calculdated with special scripts, and the results displayed on the WIP screen. Consider these possibilities:

  1. Special database queries
  2. Mathematical calculations
  3. Historical statistics

Give it a try. Write a script, and display it in the Work In Progress screen on your shop floor.


Track Time For Manufacturing


Everyone knows, time is one of the most precious resources in manufacturing and engineering. You can’t get enough of it.

But what if you could get an extra one percent each day? Or five or ten percent?

Why not try the Standard Time® job tracking app, built just for engineering and manufacturing? And built to save time.

-          Locate and smash bottlenecks

-          Produce more with less

-          Reduce manufacturing costs

Download today!  www.stdtime.com/manufacturing.htm


Key Performance Indicators in Mfg


Engineering and manufacturing organizations use “Key Performance Indicators” or KPI’s to measure success.

They are calculations of productivity and effectiveness.

The time tracking app, Standard Time® can provide the raw materials for manufacturing KPI’s.

With Standard Time, you get things like:

  • Equipment up-time
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness
  • Employee utilization
  • Work order traceability

Standard Time is a time tracking and productivity wonder.

Try a 30-day trial in your manufacturing or engineering shop today!

Download from: www.stdtime.com/manufacturing.htm

Work In Progress Android App (WIP)


I’m going to show you an application you can install onto your Android phone or tablet called Work In Progress. You probably seen over on the desktop version of Standard Time® the Work in Progress screen. So I’m going to go to the view menu, choose work in progress and up pops this screen that shows you the status of jobs, hours that you have worked, percent complete, employee status and whether the timer is runner for that job. You can put this on a big 75” monitor, hang it out on the shop floor so that every employee can see it. But it turns out there is also an application down on the Android that you can use on your phone or tablet.

We’re looking at a tablet here. I’ve got a little $50 RCA Voyager tablet. It’s basically looking at the same information. We’ve got the work in progress screen, very similar to what you saw before. You have a list of jobs, last activity, number of hours; and these columns are configurable just like on the desktop. Go back and we can look at employee status. You see the list of employees, the last time they worked on something, the job they worked on, shown there in the notes.

You have synchronization so you can pull down all the data from Standard Time, same data that you saw over there. Then you have settings. So let’s go ahead and look at the settings. There’s four sections here, general, notifications, data and sync and work in progress.

I’m going to tap on general for now; you basically got copy right, legal, contact information, nothing big there.

In notifications, this will pop up notifications for certain things that you’ve selected, you can look at employee timers not running for a certain amount of hours. Employee timers that exceed a certain number of hours and then project percentages that exceed a certain percentage. You can make choices there. Then this will pop up those notifications right there on your android phone or tablet.

Let’s look at data and sync. You have sync frequency; for how often you want to pull down data. The last synchronization, the number of time logs you want to pull down so that you can see more context. Of course you have your user name password and then the URL you’re synchronizing with. Whether that’s with web addition or windows addition, you can put the URL in there.

Let’s go into work in progress, you can see what designates a job; whether that is projects, tasks, work orders and some text fields. You can also configure the columns liked we’ve talked about before where you set which columns you want to display.

Basically you can go into these screens and see the status of jobs and see the columns you’ve selected. Down at the bottom here you also have some choices if you want to look at the employee status, very similar looking at the status from that home page. Then you’ve got your time logs, these are the raw time logs that you may want to take a look at; these are all synchronized, pulled down from Standard Time. You’ve got in this case 180 days’ worth, you can pull down as many as you like. That’s a synchronization choice.

Let’s go back and out and pull down here and looks like we have one notification, got some employees whose timers are not running right now. Let’s tap on that, it’s going to pull up a short list. It shows these are the people that don’t have the timer running right now. You can ask them what’s going on, maybe they are on break, maybe they are on lunch. You’ve got things like that that you can look into.

There’s you’re home page. That’s the Work in Progress application. I encourage not only to use it on the desktop but also on a tablet or right on your phone; get notifications and do regular synchronizations during business hours and be able to get the information right on your phone. Hope you like it!

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

Billing Rates From Barcodes


Here’s a fun fact:

Every time employees scan project barcodes in Standard Time® billing rates are automatically assigned.

Billing rates for Buzz may be completely different than Britney’s.

Now when you bill clients for custom work orders, every segment of time has the correct rates. You instantly see:

  • Who worked on each job
  • Billable amounts
  • The total invoice amount

Try Standard Time for scanning bespoke and custom jobs.

Get it at stdtime.com/manufacturing.htm


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