Time management skills in manufacturing

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One of the great benefits of that come from using enterprise resource planning software is the improvements in overall efficiency. Orders get completed faster, inventory is better managed, and accounting has a more accurate handle on finances and payroll. Still, progress can be made to address efficiency even further with Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. For example, time is always a critical component in both product design and manufacturing. Being able to monitor and track of the schedule with timekeeping software is very useful. However, it is a good idea to consider how to better allocate this precious resource.

Leaning in
On the most practical level, some lean manufacturing concepts can be used to provide for better time management, according to CIO.com. Lean practices tend to run in contradiction to some of the principles of ERP, namely how inventory is stocked. However, some of the aspects require at least a second look. For example, developing standardized work practices is essential. This includes incorporating specific measures to report on an order whenever a customer call comes in, giving clear instructions on the making a specific part and creating routes for how inventory is moved from the warehouse to the assembly line. By creating these processes, a company is then able to accurately track how much time it takes to complete an order from the initial call to placing it on a truck for delivery. Timekeeping software can be a useful tool in this by recording each milestone and looking for areas of improvement.

In addition to standardizing work processes, one lean concept that helps save time is flow. Orders can come in at any point, and certain customers may want their order expedited so that it's in their hands as soon as possible. Stopping the production line can be a complete waste as other orders get held up, causing delays everywhere. Instead, companies should incorporate blocks in the schedule when orders will be processed, to ensure that materials keep moving and saves time in the long term.

Stepping out
Even with lean concepts, project managers should figure out ways to save time internally without having to incorporate new work processes, as design company Autodesk suggests. For example, a business should be able to assess the production status of specific batches and lots at the end of each day, checking to see if it aligns with specific deadlines and current resources. A master production schedule is critical simply because it helps establish the rules workers are expected to follow to complete the job. Reading over this schedule can help identify potential bottlenecks in the process.

Backing this master schedule should be individual workflows for each employee. These processes can help manage time all throughout the factory by keeping people on task and focused on what they're supposed to be doing. In the event a worker is absent, these plans should be adjusted to properly assign responsibilities and make sure that the company stays on schedule. A combination of ERP and timekeeping software can help companies manage their time wisely.

Learn more about the benefits of automated time collection by downloading the free white paper entitled "Justifying the Switch to Automated Time Collection" from DMS today.