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The Big Barcoding Page

This is the big barcoding page, where you can learn every aspect of tracking time with barcode scanners. Browse the topics below and click to view a video. After you click, make sure to scroll down below each video for more details.

 

How barcoding works
click for the barcode infographic

 

This page is mostly important to manufacturers, assembly plants, and shops with employees performing tasks on items moving through the business. Each items is scanned, and the time is tracked.

 

The Barcode Basics (part 1)

This is the starting point. Here, you'll learn the very basic scanning techniques to start a timer using a barcode scanner. Employee hours will show up in the timesheet, where you can report and analyze.

With these simple techniques, you are now collecting time for each employee, time for each project, and each category. That is information you can use to improve your business, and find out how long things really take.

How to get started: Go to amazon.com and buy a $20 scanner. Plug it into your USB port, open Standard Time®, press the F4 key, and scan your first barcode label. That's not hard!

 

 

 

The Barcode Basics (Part 2)

Take barcoding and time tracking just a little farther in this video. Scan projects, categories, and project tasks. See how each scan creates a new time log that is timestamped and tagged with the employee, and all the information they scanned.

Think about how this new information could affect your business. What could you do with it? Could you improve processes? Eliminate processes entirely? Consolidate?

By the time you finish this video, you will have some inspiration to try new things. If tracking time is this easy, you will commit to doing it every day, all day long.

 

 

 

Multiple Barcode Scanners on a Single PC

Got a larger manufacturing shop? Or a sea of operators that all need to scan tasks? Then you probably need to connect multiple barcode scanners to a single PC.

Multiple scanners on a single PC requires that you program a "prefix" into each scanner so the program knows which one is scanning at any given time. Multiple scans will come into a single PC, and the software using prefixes to tell which is which.

Just make sure that each operator has a direct line of sight to the computer so they know their scans are going into the computer and the timer has started.

 

 

 

Collecting More Information for Time Tracking

Sometimes you need to collect more time tracking information than just the user and project. For example, you may want to scan a machine name so you can find out how much time employees spent on that machine. Or how much time they spent using certain tools or other shared resources.

The method shown in this video opens your barcode scanning to a completely new level. You can collect any information you desire. And once you collect it, you can report and analyze it.

Examples: How much time was spent in building 12? How much time on the "green" machine? Or how much time on assembly line number 14? You'll find out pretty quickly!

 

 

 

Using Walmart Nextbook as a barcoding station

Need an inexpensive station for barcoding on the shop floor. Connect a wired scanner to a Walmart Nextbook and you're in business! In about 2 - 3 hours, you'll be collecting real time tracking info.

Sure, the Nextbook is not ruggedized, but you could protect and mount it in ways that make it work. And if you like the results, upgrade to other options at a later time.

 

 

 

"% Complete" gauges motivate employees

Learn how to display a Percent Complete gauge when tracking barcode time. A gauge like this motivates employees to finish up tasks and move on.

When employees see that tasks are nearing completion, they natually speed up and get things done. When they see the color red, they know something is critical. The psychological effects are enormous.

 

 

 

Using MS Word to Print Barcode Labels

The simplest way to print barcode labels is MS Word (or any other word processor). Just enter some text, select it, and choose the barcode font. Now print it out.

But what font should I use for barcode labels?

Click the link, and then scroll down below the video for a link to download the font. Once installed, you can use it in any program. MS Word is just one possibility.

You'll soon see that the barcode font can be used by the timesheet itself to print barcode labels.

 

 

 

Printing Barcode Labels for a Selected Project

If you already have a project and some tasks you want to scan, you should consider using a special reoport that prints barcode labels for them.

There is a report that lets you choose a project, and it will print all the barcode labels for the tasks under it. If the list is short, you can laminate that page and use it to start tracking time right away.

The report also prints the words STOP and CLEAR at the bottom as a convenience.

 

 

 

 Barcode Builder™: Print Labels and Create Tasks

Barcode Builder™ is the big leagues. This is where you print dozens or even hundreds of barcode labels, plus create project tasks for each one.

Actually, you don't need to be a big operation to use this. It's just a simpler way of printing lots of labels on Avery™ 5160 templates™. Those templates contain 30 sticky labels. You choose the starting number and the quantity. Out comes sheets of sticky labels with the barcodes printed on them.

Now that you have labels, you can stick them on anything and start scanning time.

 

 

 

 

Create Tasks using Existing Barcode Labels

If you already have barcode labels printed somewhere else, you can scan them to create project tasks.

Project tasks are used to compare estimates to actuals. Give each task an estimate for how long you think it will take. Actual hours will come in from employee scans. Now you know the percent complete, and can compare your original estimates with the actual hours in the timesheet.

 

 

 

How to Print Barcode Labels for Time Tracking

There are many ways to print barcode labels for time tracking. This page shows several ways, with video tutorials for each one.

You could print labels with MS Word. Or, you could use a special report to print them. Another possibility is with Barcode Builder. Browse the list and pick one that works for you.

 

 

 

Barcoding Time and Materials for Manufacturing

Need to track more than just time? How about materials? This video demonstrates scanning materials on the factory floor, and creating expense records to represent them. Now you're tracking time and materials with a barcode scanner.

You'll see materials consumed in "real time" as employees use them. Subtract them from your inventory and you'll know when to order more.

 

 

 

How to get order status with a single scan

Scan one barcode label at each workstation or department, and you instantly have order status. When your customer calls, you know exactly where their order is. You know which employee touched it last. You know which department it is sitting in. You know what has been done to it so far. And you have a pretty good idea how much work is left to complete the order. You can answer customer calls quicker and more accurately.

 

 

Barcoding and RFID in Manufacturing

This page share several new ideas for tracking time in manufacturing. Barcode scanning is just one of them. It turns out, you can use RFID and mag card readers as well.

RFID is a good choice for employee badges. You just pass your RFID tag near a proximity reader and a timer starts. Pass it by again, and the timer stops. That's about as simple as you can get.

Mag card readers are just as simple to track employee time. Just like RFID, you swipe once to start and swipe again to stop.

 

 

 

 

 16 Things you get by scanning just 4 barcodes

 

 

 

 

 

Manual Processes Replaced By Barcodes

 

 

How to Print Barcode Labels for Mfg and Assembly

There are several ways to print barcode labels for manufacturing, assembly line, and employee jobs.

The videos below describe these ways.

Browse through the options below and click a video that best describes how you want to print barcode labels. Bonus points for watching all the videos to absorb more information on printing and scanning options.

Once you print your labels, you can scan them to start a timer. Begin by scanning a username. The system acknowledges the scan. Then scan a task or project. The timer should start. Look in the time log in ST for a list of your scan records. Now you're collecting some serious intel!

 

 

1. Simplest method: Print barcode labels with MS Word

 

Print Barcode Labels with MS Word

Just download a barcode font that can be used in MS Word. Type the usernames you'll scan. Then type the projects and tasks. Each item will likely need asterisk characters (*) at the beginning and the end. Now select this text and choose the barcode font you downloaded earlier. You instantly see barcode labels. Now print the document. The results will be a sheet you can hand out to your operators and employees that they can scan from.

Of course, this a manual operation, but it is simple and easy to start with. Scroll down for automated methods.

Click here for the video to print barcode labels in MS Word

 

 

 

 

2. Already got tasks? Print barcode labels using a report

 

Print barcode labels for selected project

 

If you already have projects and tasks in ST, you can print them using a special report. You can enter tasks manually using the Project Wizard in ST, or create tasks using a program called Barcode Builder. In either case, this video is for cases where those tasks are already in place, and you just need a nice page you can hand to employees who will scan them.

Click here for a video to print project tasks using a special report

 

 

 

 

3. Most advanced: Print sequential barcode labels on sticky labels

 

Print sequential labels on Avery® Template 5160®

 

You may need to print sequential barcode labels on Avery® stickers. This method uses Avery® Template 5160® stickers that come 30 to a sheet. You specify the print parameters, and click Print. You'll create both the ST tasks and barcode labels at the same time.

Click to print sequential labels on Avery® Template 5160® stickers

 

 

 

 

Wait! I've already got pre-printed barcode labels!

Don't need to print anything? Already got pre-printed labels? You should have said something in the first place!

Don't sweat it, we got you covered.

Turns out, you can either manually create  project tasks to represent those barcode labels, or automate the process. You will simply scan barcode labels to automate the process of creating project tasks. Our Barcode Builder program does that for you. And actually, so does the Project Wizard in ST. Just choose File, Project Wizard in ST and scan existing barcodes into each line of the task list.

 

Print Barcode Labels with MS Word

Click here to automate the creation of project tasks

 

 

 

 

Also see:

The BIG Barcoding Page

 

Manufacturing techniques using Barcode, RFID, and Mag card readers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    More videos to explore

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  • Quick Questions (2 - 4 min)

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  • Old-Timey (60 sec)

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  • Animated (30 sec)

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  • Interviews (2 - 3 min)

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  • Cartoons (60 sec)

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