Timesheet & Project Management Blog

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

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