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.

Organizing Manufacturing Projects

In this video I will introduce you to Standard Time®, a Manufacturing Resource Planner. We’ll look at five ways to organize projects for your manufacturing operation. In other words, how to group and report on projects of differing types. The groupings I’ll show are: 1.Portfolios 2.Folders 3.Clients 4.Status 5. And assembly lines

These are all optional. Use any or all to visualize and report on your manufacturing projects.

Want to take a look? Here goes!

Let’s begin by choosing Tools, Projects in Standard Time®. This is the place where administrators would set up projects and set the properties for them. Right off the bat you see folders where projects can be dropped into; create your own hierarchy of folders, that would be the first level of classification. You also, on the right-hand side in the properties, see client, portfolio and status.

As I click on the different projects you can see those fields changing. You could use clients for external or internal clients, that you’re doing work for or departments. If you don’t have any of those three you might consider using client for a completely different purpose for classifying projects. Portfolios of course would be for different kinds of projects that you do, you could group them together by kind. And then you can also set the status, which is another form of classification for projects.

So those are four quick ways you can classify projects. You also have assembly lines which you see over on the left-hand side. How can you use these classifications or groupings of projects within Standard Time? The first way would be to use this tree on the left-hand side to filter the views on the right. You see tabs along the top, I’m looking at the project tasks tab, which shows all of the projects and tasks within Standard Time. I can use that tree on the left-hand side to filter this view. I could, for instance, open the clients section, click on a client. Now I’m looking at just the projects, which are these wide blue bands, or this particular client. Or go down to project portfolios, click on a portfolio, and I now see all the projects for that portfolio. Or go over to folders, click on a folder and I see the projects for that folder.

If you have assembly line set up you could click on assembly line and see all the projects that are running on that assembly line. So lots of different ways to categorize, visualize, group your projects. Another way might be to go to the view menu choose project, resource allocation, you see a few buttons at the top of this drop down that you can use to find all the project resource allocation for a certain folder. Or for a portfolio or for an assembly line. Or see all of the projects.

Another way would be to the view menu, choose project revenue, you have those same buttons that you can look at all the revenue for a folder, portfolio and so on. You have these groupings available within reports as well. If I open time log reports I can see reports by client or by portfolio. You could create custom reports that used folders, status or assembly lines as well. Lots of different ways to use those classifications to visualize, group and report on your manufacturing projects.

Manufacturing Resource Requirements Software

Every manufacturing project, work order, or job has resource requirements.And every successful manufacturing manager monitors them -- one way or another. That’s what makes Standard Time® a good choice for project scheduling. •Drag projects on your production schedule, and watch resource requirements update instantly • Find over-allocated and under-allocated conditions • Manage headcount Haven’t tried Standard Time in your manufacturing shop? Download today! www.stdtime.com/manufacturing

Manage Manufacturing Projects

Manage your manufacturing projects With Gantt charts, task links, resource allocation And Standard Time®

Work in Progress on Shop Floor

View work orders on a big screen Right on the shop floor With Standard Time®

Project Revenue From Work Orders

Work orders come through your manufacturing shop every week. And you schedule them for production with Standard Time® software. Nice! But did you know there’s a handy bar chart for future revenue? That’s right! Pull up a chart to see expected revenue for jobs you: • Won • Or lost • Or are still in progress Think of it as a sales funnel for manufacturing work orders. Check out Standard Time here: www.stdtime.com/manufacturing

Total hours for past due tasks

Want a quick tip for your manufacturing projects? Follow the steps in this video to see all your past due tasks and the total number of hours to go. There’s a quick way to do this in Standard Time®. That’s a time tracking and project management app built for manufacturing. Here’s how to see all your past due tasks.

I want to see the total number of hours for all the tasks I have to do that are past due right now. To do that I’m gonna go over to the Project Tasks tab. I’ve already displayed the Duration, Actual Work and Remaining. The Remaining is the most interesting column because that shows me the total number of hours yet to do on tasks.

I displayed these by going to the View menu, choosing Columns, you see them listed here on the left. I added them to the right and then put them into position. The next step is to go over to the Task Completion section and click on Past Due Tasks. That shows me all of the tasks that are past due at this time but I still need to see a total. I’m going to right click, choose Show Totals; it turns out I have 2700 hours remaining on past due tasks. I’ve only completed 66 hours, which is 2% of those. So, this is the work I have ahead of me right now.

See more: www.stdtime.com/manufacturing

Project Revenue From Gantt Chart

A common function of Manufacturing Resource Planners, or ERP’s, is to compute estimated project revenue. Standard Time® is no exception, which we’ll see in a minute. For this video, we’ll assume that most of the projects or work orders going through your manufacturing shop have lifecycles. In other words, they start, and they end. And they have some estimated revenue.
Turns out, that’s the exact information needed to chart revenue for coming months.

Let’s examine the Project Revenue bar chart in Standard Time. This is a nice little chart you get for free, just by using project tasks in your manufacturing projects.

Alright, let’s switch over now, and get a look.

Here in Standard Time® we see a nice little bar chart that shows project revenue on a month to month basis. You can look at it for all projects or a specific project or by folder, portfolio or other criteria like whether you’ve won or lost a certain projects. You can look at it for a certain client and then chose a time period for the bars.

Real nice but where does the information come from? Let’s take a look and find out. Close this, go over to the Tools menu choose Projects. We’ll click on a project and then scroll down, you’ll see a start and finish date and then an estimated cost. The bars are getting the information spread across the duration of the project and the value of the project. You can either enter these values manually or find that they update automatically from your project tasks.

As you add tasks, edit tasks, drag and drop on the Gantt chart; those values will be fed up to the project level and then ultimately into the Tools, Project Records which you see here. Now when you go to the View menu choose Project Revenue, you’ll see the revenue for each month, the projects in your operation.

Things You Collect with Barcode Scanners

I’m going to show you about a dozen interesting things you can scan on the shop floor for your manufacturing work orders and projects. Here’s the point of the video: When you move your manufacturing data collection from keyboard-and-mouse to barcodes you immediately gain efficiency and accuracy. You’ll see those areas here.

Take look. You will like this!

You probably already know you can scan time and materials for work orders and projects on the shop floor for your manufacturing jobs. But it turns out there are a lot other things you can scan. So this will be a quick survey, not a complete tutorial on scanning. Just a survey of things you can scan.

Let’s start by going to the Tools Menu choose Users and Organization and here you will see a list of your users or employees in an organizational chart. You’ll scan these names when you’re collecting time and materials. You can also go to the Tools menu and choose Projects. Here you will see a list of your work orders. You can scan a name or a project code to begin collecting time for a project. And narrow it down by scanning a task name. That will allow you to collect actual hours for tasks, compare those against estimates and get a percent complete.

Go to the File menu choose Project Wizard to create a new set of project tasks under a work order. If you want a simpler system you could always go to the Tools menu and choose Categories. Enter categories and use those instead of project tasks.

Going back to Projects, it turns out that on the shop floor you can have operators and workers scan the project status. So that you have the status for a job that’s out on the shop floor. You can do the same thing for project tasks, you can mark them as complete by scanning special bar codes that would set the status of these projects and tasks.

Moving on from collecting time it turns out you can go over to the timesheet, click this little gray drop down. Go into the Expense Sheet and create what are called expense templates. You can scan these descriptions, they will then create a new expense record in the expenses tab. They can optionally deduct from inventory or deduct an entire bill of materials from inventory. So that when you scan that name it does two things; you’ll see the expense records over here in the Expenses tab.

Moving on from there if you go to the Tools menu and choose Inventory you’ll see a list of all your inventory items which you can import. You can then scan that name or a SKW, a code or other SKWs that would deduct that inventory item from stock. It can also be used the other way around to create a new expense record. You can either use expense templates or directly scan the inventory item and create a new expense record that indicates you’ve scanned that item.

Going over to the Tools menu choosing Bill and Materials, you can scan an entire bill of materials. Which is really just a collection of inventory items. And when you do it would deduct this quantity from each of the inventory items in stock. You can also scan tools; if you create tools here you can scan this name, or a code, or a model number a serial number. That would allow you to check tools in and out and collect actual hours for the tools in your tool bin or in the shop.

There is a work orders area where you can scan work orders, you can scan a special code to indicate that those work orders have been built. That is a special area that is a little different than going to the Tools menu and choosing Projects and creating your work orders right here. So you get to choose either way you want to do that.

Going back to the F4 barcode window you are able to click information that is completely unique to your organization. Just by clicking the required scans button in the lower left-hand corner. When you do you can create these scans here. And here is just two examples; one might be to collect the number of items you’ve produced or a scan indicating whether task passed or failed. Obviously you’ll create your own scans here and when you do the information will go into time logs which are displayed here and on your reports.

Another thing you can scan is in Tools, Scrips you can create a special scrips that would allow you to preform special operations like send emails, send status, updated database, order parts, a lot of different things that allow your workers to communicate status back to administrators in the manufacturing process.

A lot of things that you can scan here in Standard Time®. This has been a quick overview that should hopefully inspire you to try some of these things for yourself.

Advantages of Barcode Scanning

I’m going to discuss some reasons why barcode scanning on the shop floor for manufacturing is a pretty good idea.

One of the reasons, first of all, is that you may have non-computer users. Let’s say machinist, assembly line workers, forklift; people who don’t naturally sit at computer monitors or in a cubicle or not familiar with sitting in front of the keyboard and mouse and operating software. Giving them a barcode scanner and telling them to scan when they start their jobs and tasks allows you to collect that information without them having to be real true computer users. Where they would sit in a cubicle. That’s a really a big advantage; you’re able to gather information without forcing those people to learn all new ways of gathering it.

The next-you’re not going to be getting fake information. When you force a person like that to sit in front of a computer or to even to fill out a paper timesheet; a lot of times you get fake information. They’ll fill out their timesheet on a Friday afternoon, they completely forget what they worked on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, even the morning of Friday they are unsure what they worked on. They’ll fill out what they think might be it and the fact is about half that information is fake. The exact times, the exact hours, the exact jobs all escape our memories as time goes on, as days go by. You lose that information and the data becomes fake and false. But they give their best effort.

That is not true with a barcode scanner. A barcode scanner collects at the moment the work is performed. That means it’s not faked. You can’t fake a scanner. You will occasionally get some wrong scans but the fact is you’re getting real live up to date information with a barcode scanner.

The next thing you’ll get is more information. If people fill out paper timesheets; sometimes they just don’t remember as we’ve said before. And they don’t have the information readily available at the top of their head, they simply put down a few things and that’s it. The barcode scanner collects it all-every job, going on lunch break, cleaning the shop, doing maintenance work, GNA type jobs, meetings and then of course the actual project or client work that you’re doing. So you’re collecting more information, more kinds of information, you’re able to use that.

That information becomes very valuable, first of all, for collecting or comparing actuals with your estimates. People are always surprised at how long things actually take. That’s probably because we’re used to these verbal communications, status reports or paper timesheets where you fake the information. But if you collect it for real people are shocked at how long things actually take. How much time they spent doing these tasks or even doing non-project work. Comparing actuals with estimates is a huge advantage when it comes to barcode scanning because you’re getting real information and you’re able to do real comparisons.

You can use that information for resource availability. You can look out into the future and say OK I’ve assigned these employees these groups or work groups to projects, I’ve assigned assembly lines or assembly bays or assembly areas to these projects. And now what is my resource availability? Are these people available for new jobs? Is that assembly line open for new jobs, are my resources available? These are some of the things you get by collecting actuals, knowing how long things take, be able to create good estimates and then assign those estimates to actual resources. Like people, machines or assembly lines and then be able to use that for future reference. Sort of in the lines of production slotting; you’re slotting jobs to physical and human resources. Like assembly lines, you’re slotting these lines for use at these particular times for these particular jobs. You’re able to then look at the resource availability for those assembly lines but also the manpower requirements for each job. And knowing whether you’ve over allocated or underutilized these resources in the future coming weeks and months.

Some things to think about collecting barcode scans on the shop floor using those as comparisons for actuals versus estimates. And then the slotting of resources, the resource commitment, the manpower requirements that you need. Take a look at Standard Time®, those are the kinds of things we do and you’ll find that to be a wonderful resource and a great tool for manufacturing and the shop floor.

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

Work In Progress on the Shop Floor

The manufacturing shop floor is buzzing with business. So how do you know the status of your jobs? • Has a certain job started yet? • Who worked on it last? • Is it almost finished? That’s exactly what you get from the Work In Progress screen in Standard Time®. Imagine a big screen on the shop floor with the latest job status, like those arrivals and departure screens at the airport.


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