Manufacturers need to know how long things take. How else can you improve? So, have you ever considered using a barcode scanner connected to a timesheet?
What? A barcode scanner connected to a timesheet? Is that even posible? Video below
Actually, it is. Consider the idea that shop personel don't interface well with computers. The environment is dirty. Workers may be wearing gloves or protective gear, and cannot type little keys on a keyboard. So why not use a barcode scanner for their time tracking input?
"I can't type with these gloves!"
"How about a barcode scanner instead?"
Follow these steps to record your time:
- Scan a label containing an employee name
- Scan a project name
- Scan a task name (or skip step 2, and go directly to the task)
- The timer starts
- Optionally scan a serial number to apply the work to a single unit
These simple steps will record the following information:
- How much time the employee spent on manufacturing jobs
- How much time all workers spent on a single product
- How much time was spent on a single serial number
- Time spent on each kind of work, regardless of product or worker
Now that you know this, use the information to realign actuals with corporate priorities. Spending too much time on secondary projects? Too much time on products that don't pay? Fix that by realigning worker priorities. All from a few scans.
Getting your exact manufacturing time
You can't do much with your manufacturing priorities without the exact time things take. Except guess. Barcoding is the perfect way to track time on the assembly floor. It's quick and painless, and you get the exact information you need to set priorities.
"We need exact manufacturing time before making any decisions."
"Barcode every unit that goes down the line."
Now that you have the exact time every unit takes to produce, you can find the averages, and the min and max. If a unit falls outside the norm, you can find out why. You can also decide if the average time spent on each unit meets financial and business objectives. Takes too long to make a profit? Axe it. Secondary projects sucking all the time? Move people to the primary cash cow.
"You won't believe what I just learned..."
"Secondary projects are sucking up most of our time!"
Verify your changes
Now that you've moved things around, take some new barcode readings. Scan every unit for a month. Now compare the new readings with the old ones. See improvement? Good for you! That's what this is all about. You now have a reliable instrument you can use to improve. You can also use barcoding for spot checks and random audits. Are you still maintaining the same numbers? No? What changed? Sometimes policy changes happen without your knowledge or approval. They just happen because somebody wants to make things easier for themselves. Other times, it's just a mistake. In any case, this instrument will allow you to verify that you're still on track.
"Sweet! We're back on track!"
ST is hot in manufacturing. Here’s why:
Manufacturing efficiency is all about time and cost. So we give you the tools to make that happen.
1. Barcode scanning, to learn how long your processes take
2. Project tracking, to learn which jobs, tasks, and products consume the most time
3. Project budgets, to see when you’re about to blow through estimates
Click to try barcode scanning and project management tools in your manufacturing shop.
Get it here.