How to motivate production workers?

How to motivate production workers?

How to motivate production employees in a small manufacturing company

One of your goals as an owner of a small manufacturing business is to motivate employees to stay on the job. It is not an easy task,  but creating a high level of employee motivation in a production environment offers several advantages. It increases the quantity of goods being produced, minimizes down time and reduces the frequency of quality control issues. Motivated workers tend to display fewer disciplinary problems. They are more likely to stay with a company over the long term. This reduces the costs associated with recruiting and training new employees. 

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Motivate production workers by addressing their needs 

Abraham Maslow suggested that if you meet the physiological, safety, social, self-esteem and self-fulfillment needs of workers, they will produce more and be happier. Physiological needs include food and drink. Safety is one of the most basic needs and not only includes equipment but procedures that let employees know you care about their work environment. Other elements of work safety include:

  • stability of employment,
  • the level of salaries,
  • healthy and safe work environment,
  • predictability of managers decisions,
  • clear goals,
  • positive work environment.

In many industries the main factors motivating employees are economic, which translates into a good long-term employment contract, high hourly wage, respect for the supervisor. Although majority of workers state that financial factor is very important for them and you might hope that standard salaries and benefits would be enough to keep employees working diligently, this is often not the case. The importance of salary is closely connected with the level of income. The higher the income the less dominant financial motivation is. Once a certain level of income is achieved there are other needs which become more relevant such as social needs, self-esteem, self-accomplishment. Using such motivators will pay off, as the staff retention will decrease and employees start to recognize company goals as their own. And surely a good manager knows how to incorporate different motivational tools, add incentives and involve employees in the business to achieve a strong motivation to work harder. 

Motivate production workers by addressing their higher needs 

According to Maslow as we progress through the hierarchy of needs, esteem self-actualization stands out. The first one involves the desire to feel good about ourselves and feeling valued by others; that is, feeling that our achievements and contributions have been recognized by other people. The second refers to feeling fulfilled, or feeling that we are living up to our potential. Work in the manufacturing company involves, at least partially, cooperation with others and social interactions. The need of belonging and being part of a group is very important. Interaction between employees has shown to improve performance in the workplace. Social needs can be met by communicative managers, an attractive break room, and occasional employee outings like family picnics. Self-esteem can come from recognition in employee-of-the-month clubs and awards. Foster self-fulfillment by promoting worthy employees. Employees actually produce more when managers express appreciation and recognition of employees as individuals, and when employees work near each other.  

Motivate production workers with the aid of manufacturing software 

Majority of manufacturing companies wants to develop, so sooner or later they will face a decision of introducing some technological improvements ex. in a form of production management software. These changes inside the company can affect staff motivation and alter the way their basic needs are fulfilled. Many years of consulting experience shows that those changes can be smooth and beneficial, when the whole implementation process is cleverly guided.

Manufacturing software implementation and workers needs

The basic need of safety is very often in danger once the decision of implementing a new software was made. Both managers and workers’ are afraid of the situation in the future.  

Motivate production workers – positive experience

From the company’s point of view the most beneficial is a situation when experienced and knowledgeable workers stay in the manufacturing company as long as it is possible. This is the way to reduce costs of training new workers, mistakes made by inexperienced staff or delays resulting from vacancies and lack of staff. That’s why manufacturing companies try to attract new workers and make them stay for long, at the same time develop and introduce new technological solutions, but still keep workers motivated. 

Based on years of experience in consulting and different software implementation as well as optimization processes (since 2005) it is possible to say: when production employees are not motivated and fear implementation and new procedures it is not a good start. However it is usually a complicated system which is responsible for those fears and implementation mistakes.

The majority of people want to show that actually they do a great job. When they are committed to something they wish to prove themselves and do their best. The company owner’s approach to monitoring is very important: either he can present production control as a calculation exercise or pester them about proverbial 2 seconds delay or minute norm disproportion. It is clear that in the latter case the effect will be opposite to desired. Everybody wants to be respected at work, not just treated as slaves or used. It is connected with fulfilment of the basic needs (I do a great job, so I won’t be fired, I am safe), and higher, social needs (I am a part of a greater unit, my job makes sense, I take pride in my job, my boss sees my efforts, they trust me, I get a bonus, I am a specialist in my field).

Some of my clients asked me to change Excel sheets to easy to implement ERP systems. I was supposed to oversee the whole process as an independent consultant and make sure that implementation went smoothly. There were at least 3 such projects and each of them faced similar problems: the simple Excel tools I’d created proved to be far more useful than the new ones, which cost the company 30-50 thousand dollars. It seemed to be impossible to achieve the same functionality using expensive ERP systems.

My clients became more and more stressed and frustrated, because the companies which sold them new products weren’t keen on improved functionality or increased productivity. The production was an alien concept for them, the same as information flow between the managers and shop floor. The sales reps did their job, “flogged” the product, which was in most cases some kind of a complicated inventory and accounting system then forgot about the whole thing. That’s why the tools were rather a limitation for my customers in daily production scheduling. They learnt to avoid using them, coming back to the old methods which proved successful, namely the tools I designed.

A breakthrough – the idea of  simple manufacturing software

When another company after about year and a half noticed that even though the ERP system had been introduced they still carry on using “my” Excel sheets and Google Docs (although not everything worked perfectly because of the amount of data to process) I had a light bulb moment: why don’t we create a simple kind of software based on the same idea as Google Docs and Excel sheets?

I had known Paweł Kotarski (Prodio’s co-founder and CTO) for many years,  so I jumped at the chance to pitch this idea to him: a simple, user friendly software, without any accounting modules,  designed to register work and schedule production in a small manufacturing company.

prodio początki

At first we encountered a lot of criticism and everybody who heard of our idea, tried to discourage us from doing it. Critics said that the software without integration with inventory (warehouse) and accounting modules does not make any sense, because companies would still want to buy ERP systems. Moreover the project was viewed negatively because of the low pricing: we shouldn’t introduce such cheap solutions (from 97$ per month) where the clients can implement the whole system by themselves online without the need of having a consultant present at the manufacturing company.

However we were stubborn and carried on presenting our vision. At the beginning there weren’t many people interested in a new product, so we offered to implement Prodio free of charge in my old clients’ companies. It was a hit – this was exactly what they had been looking for.

Motivate production workers using Deming cycle

William Edwards Deming is considered a quality management pioneer, because he was one of the first people who in the 1950s, suggested a modern approach to quality of products. He claimed that managers are to be blamed for 94% of all quality problems due to lack of suitable standards and poor style of management. This approach is typical for ISO 9001 but it also works in production software management. Production should be optimized in the way which minimizes the number of mistakes, improves quality, stops wastefulness and the number of complaints. When workers have clear information how to work, when the order is due, etc. it is possible to avoid costly mistakes and stress. The communication is smooth, as well as the workflow. 

It is possible to influence motivation using a production management system, by fulfilment of social needs (being part of the group is one of them). A good example of such a situation is when the boss initiates the learning process by introducing new software, training, varying tasks, etc. Differentiation makes workers maintain a higher level of productivity than the monotony of repetition. It results in lowering of the number of complaints and employees focus on finding ways to achieve goals.This allows for fresh ideas in processes and procedures, but also provides a chance for management to show workers that they value the input of production workers. It is a pleasure to work in the environment when there is a clear schedule of work and the boss motivates instead of changing their mind every two minutes about orders, tasks, priorities. The unnecessary stress is limited.

The knowledge and company know-how isn’t in the heads of key employees but in the system. Thanks to that even new workers can perform their tasks without repeating the same mistakes. The fear of being fired is unfounded, because the risk of making a mistake is minimized. 

Successful change of the work system that has been in the company for some time requires knowledge and experience in a few areas – work psychology, human resources management and typical production management areas (eg. 5S, JIT, Kaizen).

To sum up: well implemented manufacturing software can positively motivate production workers, if we follow these rules: 

– 1. Make no harm

– 2. Make day-to-day life easier for workers

– 3. Find a balance

– 4. Stick to the plan

It’s good for production. It’s good for the employees. And it’s good for morale. 

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5S method and how it is used to organize production in a small manufacturing company

5S method and how it is used to organize production in a small manufacturing company

5S method and how it is used to organize production in a small manufacturing company

What is 5S?

5S is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury. It lays at the basis of lean manufacturing, includes cleanliness and organization; it is also about maximizing efficiency and profit. 5S is a framework that emphasizes the use of a specific mindset and tools to create efficiency and value. It involves observing, analyzing, collaborating, and searching for waste and also involves the practice of removing waste.

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What are the elements of 5S?

5S, sometimes referred to as 5s or Five S, refers to five Japanese terms used to describe the steps of the 5S system of visual management. Each term starts with an “S”. In Japanese, the five S’s are Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke. In English, the five S’s are translated as Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. These steps involve going through everything in a space, deciding what’s necessary and what isn’t, putting things in order, cleaning, and setting up procedures for performing these tasks on a regular basis. The above list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization, which builds understanding among employees of how they should do the work.

5S method – steps to follow

There are five phases of the 5S method:

5S 

  • 1S. Sort involves going through all the tools, furniture, materials, equipment, etc. in a work area to determine what needs to be present and what can be removed. We aim at separating necessary from unnecessary. It allows us to identify excess materials, tools, manuals, data, information, which aren’t important and determine the value of each item. A workspace might be better off without unnecessary items or items used infrequently. These things can get in the way or take up space. Very often  the red tag method is used. Red tags are usually cardboard tags or stickers that can be attached to the items in question. Employees fill out information about the item such as: item description, location, date, name of the user applying the tag, then place them in the designated red tag area. After a set amount of time it’s time to make a decision whether to remove it from the workspace.
  • 2S. Set in order – means putting all necessary items in the optimal place for fulfilling their function in the workplace. The goal of this step is to make the workflow smooth and pleasant. Once the extra clutter is gone, it’s easier to see what’s what. During this phase, everyone should determine what arrangements are most logical. That will require thinking through tasks, the frequency of those tasks, the paths people take through the space, etc.

5S

Implementation at work stations mean arranging everything in such a way that all tooling / equipment is in close proximity, in an easy to reach spot and in a logical order adapted to the work performed. All components should be according to their uses, with the frequently used components being nearest to the workplace. Likewise tools should be  easy to find and pick up.

5S method

The visual factor is very important at this stage. When there are fixed locations assigned for items by means of clear labels, marks or hints, colorful lines, shadow boards, maps, floor marking tapes, pegboards, etc. it is easier to return things to the correct location or spot missing a mistake.

5S

During 2S layout and organization of an area is important as well as clearly  marked motion and transportation areas to ensure smooth workflow. In this stage it is clearly visible that 5S is a systematic form of visual management utilizing everything from floor tape to operations manuals. 

  • 3S. Sweep/shine – focuses on cleaning up the work area, which means sweeping, mopping, dusting, wiping down surfaces, putting tools and materials away, etc. In addition to basic cleaning, 3S also involves performing regular maintenance on equipment and machinery. Planning for maintenance ahead of time means businesses can catch problems and prevent breakdowns. That means less wasted time and no loss of profits related to work stoppages. Sweeping means “visual cleanliness”, spotting failures, abnormalities, technical problems. In 5S, everyone takes responsibility for cleaning up their workspace, ideally on a daily basis. Doing so makes people take ownership of the space, which in the long run means people will be more invested in their work and in the company. Moreover, inspecting the workplace, tools and machinery on a regular basis improves the production process efficiency and safety, reduces waste, prevents errors and defects as well as keep the workplace safe and easy to work in.

5S methodology

  •  4S. Standardize – the number one goal is to establish procedures and schedules to ensure the repetition of the first three ‘S’ practices. Once the first three steps of 5S are completed, things should look pretty good. All the extra stuff is gone, everything is organized, spaces are cleaned, and equipment is in good working order. In 4S are introduced standardized visual cues such as signs, labels, posters, floor marking tape, and tool organizers that play an important role in 5S. They can provide directions and keep items in place, in many cases without words. There are also the various checklists of tasks to ensure everyone knows their responsibilities of performing the sorting, organizing and cleaning. Photos and visual controls are used to help keep everything as it should be.Regular audits and status reviews should be carried out at this stage.  
  • 5S. Sustainrefers to the process of keeping 5S running smoothly, but also of keeping everyone in the organization involved. Sometimes it translates as “do without being told” and requires great self-discipline of the workers.Ideally, 5S becomes a part of an organization’s culture, but everyone needs to participate: managers, employees out on the manufacturing floor, in the warehouse, or in the office. To help sustain 5S practices, all new employees should receive training about 5S procedures in their field of work. To ensure that the 5S approach is followed.it is a good idea to organize training sessions to regularly review  improvements or make necessary changes.

5S tips

5S involves assessing everything present in a space, removing what’s unnecessary, organizing things logically, performing housekeeping tasks, and keeping this cycle going. Organize, clean, repeat. A key part of 5S is that it makes spaces cleaner and therefore easier to navigate. That means people can more easily get their work done. Visual communication tools such as labels, floor markings, cabinet and shelf markings, and shadow boards can make navigating spaces even simpler. Plus, these tools can help keep the workspace organized. A workplace that uses visual management in this way is often referred to as a visual workplace.

5S is a long term and continuous method of organisation. In the long run it decreases the number of accidents at work,  improves the quality of products and services and the number of mistakes constantly decreases.It means less complaints and more customer satisfaction, as well as potential subcontractors, suppliers,  auditors, etc. The morale of staff improves: there is logic to the way they work, order and transparency. As a consequence the costs decrease, because all resources are used more efficiently. The company achieves stability which improves the image and helps to stay competitive on the market.

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How does JIT system work?

How does JIT system work?

How does JIT system work?

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Just-in-time (JIT) method

There are many different methods of optimization, which are part of lean management. Read on to learn about one of them.

What is the Just-in-Time Method?

The Just in Time (JIT) style of inventory management – also sometimes referred to as the Toyota Production System (TPS) – is a strategy of managing inventory and/or production that links the ordering of raw materials to production scheduling. 

Kiichirō Toyoda is considered to be the “father” of this concept, which was firstly implemented in Toyota from the 1950s to 1962. JIT method has roots in Japanese culture  – geographic location of the country is determined by about 4 000 islands constituting the archipelago, so naturally Japanese prefered management style based on creating goods directly related to the orders being placed, instead of making extra goods to meet the needs of any potential orders that may be placed. The JIT method ultimately helps companies cut down on waste from making too many products (or supplying too many goods). Therefore, they don’t use up raw materials that may or may not actually be necessary to fulfill the orders they have. In turn, it cuts down on the costs they have for inventory, freeing up cash flow.

System JIT revolutionized approach to sales and production. zrewolucjonizował podejście do wytwarzania produktów przeznaczonych na sprzedaż. Most companies create and hold inventory in excess, meaning they create goods in anticipation of other orders. The Just in Time method involves creating, storing, and keeping track of only enough orders to supply the actual demand for the company‘s products.

JIT model is based on the idea that clients should get: 

  • Suitable product / service
  • Specified quantity
  • in Agreed time frame

JIT implementation tips 

It is highly recommended to run a series of different analyses before implementing the JIT model, which will help you to go through the whole process smoothly. To fully benefit from the JIT method the company should:

  • Invest in analytical technologies, which will enable successful demand and supply forecasting;
  • Make short production runs, which means that it has to quickly move from one product to another. Furthermore, the company should reduce costs by minimizing warehouse needs.
  • Improve the flow of information (it should be smooth and without any communication breakdowns; the cooperation between suppliers, producers and end clients is key to achieve success);
  • Eliminate potential disruptions in the supply chain. If a raw materials supplier has a breakdown and cannot deliver the goods in a timely manner, this could conceivably stall the entire production process. A sudden unexpected order for goods may delay the delivery of finished products to end clients. (The company should choose a right supplier and the pricing cannot by one of the most important criteria giving field to reliability and efficiency);
  • Eliminate unnecessary processes ex. in the machine changeover procedure and improve the speed of maintenance tasks.  

Not every supplier or manufacturer has the luxury of ordering only the materials they need to complete a specific order. A company must consider potential variables in the manufacturing process – such as inclement weather delaying receipt of inventory materials, labor strikes or supply shortages – before deciding if this inventory method is right for their organization. JIT cannot be implemented unless a company has high production, steady production, high quality output and stable suppliers. Otherwise there is always a danger of using up all supplies and complaints from the customers, because of delays, as timing was determined by prior orders and supply history.

The JIT method is advantageous to companies because of the reduction of waste it offers. The system highlights problem areas by measuring lead and cycle times across the production process, which helps identify upper limits for work-in-process inventory, in order to avoid overcapacity. The JIT production method cuts inventory costs because manufacturers do not have to pay storage costs. Manufacturers are also not left with unwanted inventory if an order is canceled or not fulfilled. 

One of the essential steps in the JIT implementation process is introduction of the pull system. In contrast with the push approach, which is a synonym of passing on different goods from one workstation to the next until the final product leaves the production hall, JIT inventory method is considered a “pull” approach in manufacturing. When sales activities warrant more production, inventory is “pulled” and more manufacturing supplies are ordered. Separate workstations are treated as independent in company “clients”. In the “pull” system they are responsible for signaling demand for products and instigating the whole production process. It results in a smooth flow of production and reduced inventory costs. This method relies on signals given at different points in the production process that tell the manufacturer when to make the next part.

What are the advantages of the JIT method?

One major advantage of the just-in-time inventory management system is that funds that were tied up in inventory costs can be used elsewhere. Likewise, areas devoted to storing inventory are now free to be used in production or for other needs within the company. Other advantages include:

  • Less waste and lower inventory costs, which result in increased profits for the organization;
  • Better information flow, supply tracking, goods distribution;
  • Employees skills are better utilized (multitasking, multi skilling);
  • Production planning is synchronized with demand –  when there is no demand for goods, they aren’t produced. It creates savings and better cash flow; inventory is reduced even by 30%;
  • Utilizing the raw materials in a timely way so as to fill orders on a timely basis (the risk of goods being damaged or out of date is minimized);
  • Suppliers get the raw materials to the company in a timely way, which results in an improved relationship. Potential conflicts are cleared straight away;
  • A company efficiently using raw materials, leaving little to no raw materials left over after production;
  • Possibility of committing to more orders;
  • Shorten time of order delivery and completion.

 

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How to implement the Deming cycle using production planning software

How to implement the Deming cycle using production planning software

How to apply the Deming cycle using manufacturing software to improve production planning in a small company

The Deming cycle, also known as PDSA, the “Deming Wheel,” and “Shewhart Cycle are methods rarely used in small manufacturing companies. There are many myths surrounding them, which explains a great fear of implementation, although they are often used unconsciously in various workshops. Many years of consulting experience and working with the ISO 9001 system shows that the Deming cycle is very often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Read on to find out how to use it in practice to improve production in your manufacturing company.

What is the Deming cycle?

The Deming cycle is a continuous quality improvement model consisting of a logical sequence of four repetitive steps for continuous improvement and learning: Plan, Do, Check (Study) and Act. The method was developed by William Edwards Deming in the 1950s, who stated that business processes should be analyzed and measured to identify sources of variations that cause products to deviate from customer requirements. He recommended that business processes should be placed in a continuous feedback loop so that managers can identify and change the parts of the process that need improvements.

Deming cycle

The Four Phases of the Deming  cycle

1. Plan.

First, identify and understand possible problems. Perhaps the standard of a finished product isn’t high enough. Explore the information available in full. Generate and screen ideas, and develop a robust implementation plan as well as make it measurable.

2. Do.

Once you’ve identified a potential solution, test it safely. This will show whether your proposed changes achieve the desired outcome – with minimal disruption to the rest of your operation if they don’t. As you run the project, gather data to show whether the change has worked or not. You’ll use this in the next stage.

  1. Check.

Next, analyze your results against the expectations that you defined in Step 1, to assess changes. If it wasn’t successful, return to Step 1. If it was, advance to Step 4.

  1. Act.

This is where you implement your solution. But remember that PDCA/PDSA is a loop, not a process with a beginning and end. Your improved process or product becomes the new baseline, but you continue to look for ways to make it even better.

Simplified version of the Deming cycle 

It is possible to simplify the Deming cycle and focus on correction and prevention activities as the most important elements. The version of the ISO norm dated 2015 changes the definition of prevention activities to activities minimizing risk. It means that when something bad happens it is possible to identify the problem and establish its cause. Next step requires eliminating the cause, followed by checking progress in the allocated time frame. When the same problem appears again the whole process is repeated. In this way we move to a  model of continuous quality improvement, which concerns not only single actions but global processes improving the functioning of the whole manufacturing company.  

How manufacturing software can affect implementation of the Deming cycle?

There are different examples of using manufacturing software in continuous quality improvement models. Read on to find out more. 

1. Common mistakes at the shop floor level

Sometimes the same mistake appears regularly at the production hall ex. the operator of the machine constantly forgets to drill a hole or the final product has rough edges. The complaints follow because the client has to wait. Is there a solution available? The best way to fix this  problem is to identify the cause: whether an operator just forgot about the operation or maybe the task was not a typical one for the product, hence it’s missing.  How can we minimize this mistake and prevent it from happening in the future? In Prodio it is very easy – it is enough to add a photograph to the product. Once the photo is attached the difficult element can be highlighted even in such a simple program as ex. Paint – just draw a line in a bright color to indicate what should be done, together with the comment: “polish the edges”. Next time when an operator starts work on the order automatically the photo of the product will load. The remark regarding polishing or drilling will be visible, so there is much  more chance it won’t be omitted nor forgotten.

There is a similar situation regarding printed production orders. It is possible to write a comment in the product technology and when an operator picks up a printed barcoded order they will see that comment straight away. 

Next stage involves checking if there aren’t the very same complaints regarding ex. rough edges or missing holes. When everything is alright there is no need to make additional changes and the procedure can be closed. 

Other examples of simple corrections and improvements at the shop floor level involve building a database of products accompanied by comments on their production technology. When we focus on adding details once filling technological cards such as: machine parameters, temperatures, working time, it is possible to limit the probability of incorrect information added randomly by a  worker. They won’t be tempted to “invent” things they don’t know, because all required information will be already in the system. When managing production, it is important to be able to allocate resources and track the status of the project. Being able to ensure that work is being done consistently and that steps are not being skipped is essential.

2. Working norms and the Deming cycle

Production scheduling software and the Deming cycle can be used not only in the micro scale of particular complaint but also globally to control production norms, working time and the production technology.

Obviously it is highly recommended to have both precise production technology and technological cards prepared for each product, because it will help to monitor norms and establish good quality and standards. 

In addition a good solution is mapping, because many different production planning models are based on process thinking. That’s why it is important to identify processes happening  in the company as well as on its border – between the suppliers and the clients.  

Each organization has workflows that are unique to the type of data being collected and the type of product being delivered. These workflows can be generalized into a basic production workflow that consists of steps to create a database and capture or load an initial set of data, perform edits to the data, ensure the data is valid and accurate, and produce digital or hard-copy output. Mapping is designed to streamline each of these steps while remaining flexible to adapt to your business rules and workflows.

The main goal of mapping is data visualization. It is important when producing a hard-copy product or serving data over the web. Mapping provides the views and visual specification tools for consistent, repeatable, rule-based symbology, where you define what symbol or representation should be applied to features based on their attribute combination. It also provides a number of custom elements, such as the graphic tables, charts, infographic, that allow you to see clearly the whole workflow and processes.

Mapping process of each operation ex. lathing, drilling or cutting enables to add suitable time for those operations and production technology. Once the order is ready we can schedule it within the right time frame and budget, because the production planning software will calculate it for us. When there are 100 pieces to be made and each operation takes 30 minutes, the program will count the total time needed to complete the order, which in turn will help to create a production master schedule. 

The order is scheduled and workers at the production hall  can now check in with barcoded cards or RFID key-fobs to start work. If they use production planning software such as Prodio each operation is registered in the system, so it is possible to track real time progress. It is also clear how much time was needed for a particular operation. 

Mapping allows us to identify all processes and operations, where we waste time and money, because it is easy to identify potentially dangerous places where mistakes can happen. Once there is a clear view of the situation the weak links can be eliminated and order restored. 

By analyzing working time data we can improve productivity. When it’s clear that the time was exceeded (at production) it is possible to use checking – the third step of the Deming cycle. Let’s say that we planned 50 working hours to complete the order, but in the end there were 65 hours spent, which gives us 15 surplus hours. It is a significant amount of time and a great discrepancy between planned  and real working time. At this stage there can be a few different corrective measures taken, but it is obvious that something has to be changed ex. elements in the production technology. The client pays only for 50 hours, not for 65, so either the norms have to be increased or pricing for the next order.

Once the order repeats it is possible to check if the corrections proved to be successful and production was optimized. It is good to review progress regularly and make adjustments accordingly. Implement what’s working, continually refine what isn’t, and carry on the cycle of continuous improvement. The Demimng cycle is a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking (or studying), and acting. It provides a simple and effective approach for solving problems and managing change. The model is useful for testing improvement measures on a small scale before updating procedures and working practices.

The approach allows time for a planning phase in which problems are clearly identified and understood, and a theory for improvement is defined. Potential solutions are tested on a small scale in the Do phase, and the outcome is then studied and Checked. Sometimes it is necessary to go through the Do and Check stages as many times as necessary before the full, polished solution is implemented, in the Act phase of the cycle.

Another good example of global use of PDCA cycle can be measuring in the form of introducing main production KPIs. There aren’t many manufacturing companies that monitor efficiency and profitability of production processes. The working time spent can be a good example. When the time spent at work is registered in the RWT system (registration of working time) it is possible to say how much time was spent effectively (operation on different machines), not just lazing around. Once we decide that unproductive time should be minimized to 10 percent of the total time spent at work, we can start to monitor it and analyse the results. When production planning software such as Prodio indicates that 20% of time was spent in unproductive way it is possible to start correcting measures. We can identify the cause of the problem and quickly fix it. Analogically similar solutions can be introduced regarding machine breakdown, change over time, bottlenecks or delays thanks to a great number of different production KPIs. In the next article you will learn more about how to use various data from the Prodio system and analyse it.

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How online manufacturing software helps to fight covid19

How online manufacturing software helps to fight covid19

How online manufacturing software helps to fight covid19?

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Covid19 epidemic is  surely an unprecedented thing. The situation is still dynamic, but even the first lockdown made companies aware that they have to learn to operate in the new reality. What does it mean in daily practice? Many things have changed: the way we work, relax, buy products or use services. Our professional lives moved online and it is not impossible that even when the pandemic ends it will stay that way. Hence the need to adjust to this pandemic reality which proves to be challenging for many small manufacturing companies. They are looking for savings to survive but also wish to optimize operations and some elements of the production process.

The long lasting epidemic motivates the introduction of new technologies and computerization of production. If no-one is able to answer the question: “How much longer?” it seems to be a good solution to rephrase it to: “How differently can we…? Majority of small businesses aren’t able to afford many months of “production vacations,  that’s why they are looking for simple and inexpensive solutions.

Practical usage of production scheduling software which will help to limit the spread of virus and ensure your workers continue to work in safer and more comfortable environment:

1.Reduce the number of people present at the production hall. 

Regardless of the location of your company and constantly changing regulations it is clear that the less people are the premises the better it is. When using production scheduling software such as Prodio it is possible to achieve this in the following ways: 

a) The owner or manager doesn’t have to be present at the company. It is easy enough to delegate most of tasks online. From the safety of your home you can see what is happening at the production hall – just log into manager’s account and make necessary real time changes. Your employees will see them straight away on the production plan displayed at the production hall. It is also possible to say who is at work, which products are made and check the overall progress.

manufacturing software and covid19

b) Introduce the “hybrid” model of work: let some of your staff work online. The constructor or a technologist can easily work from home, only the absolutely necessary production team can stay in the shop. All comments are visible on the online production plan, which ensures smooth communication in accordance with social distancing rules. On the other hand you avoid bottlenecks and hold-ups as production continues.

manufacturing scheduling software for covid19

c) The manager or office staff don’t have to enter the shop floor to get necessary information. The same goes for the sales team. They can all stay in their rooms without the need to move around the company. All orders are in the system, so they can be viewed with one click of the mouse and their status checked to give a precise answer when the client calls. There is also no need to pass on any papers – every detail is in the system and various compilations can be downloaded and saved in .xlxs form, so people can work on their office PCs or again benefit from the home office. Thanks to that the staff in the office and the sales team can both be included in the “hybrid” system.

covid19 help for companies

d) The workers from different shifts don’t have to meet face to face to pass on important information. Everything is already in the software, so the following shift can check the progress. Possible problems or malfunctions are mentioned in the comments attached to orders, without the need of physical contact between the team members. Because of that there is sufficient time to air the shop, sanitise machines and avoid crowd in the changing rooms.  It will offer workers more comfort when they know that the sanitary regime is respected. 

scheduling software and covid19

e) It is not necessary to hire an additional person to enter paper orders to the system, because the moment you get an order it is straight away in the system.

2. Reduce the risk of infection caused by touching common spaces and using the same equipment.  

It goes without saying that we cannot avoid using the same machines or equipment by different people at the shop floor, but at least we can reduce the risk of infection by regular disinfection and taking serious security measures. Production management software can offer support: 

a) Eliminate paper orders. When all information is in the system there is no need to make paper notes and pass them to other workers. It is almost impossible to keep paper sterile or disinfect it regularly. In Prodio software you can add comments, make real time changes, drag and drop orders to prioritize the urgent ones, all in a paperless environment.

fight covid19 with online software

b) The documents don’t “travel” between the office and the shop floor and there is no need to collect thousands of paper cards, because everything is accessible online after logging into software. This limits the potential risk of infection.

c) Employees use personal RFID key-fobs to check in/check out  at work, which makes keeping the paper attendance list unnecessary (no need to touch the same notebook nor pen by many people).

registration RFID in fight with covid19

d) A tablet, a card, a button or a key-fob are much easier to disinfect than a piece of paper. It will help you to create a safer and cleaner environment in common space.

3. Plan and monitor.

Thanks to good planning you will be able to tell precisely what is happening at the production hall, which in  turn will help you to ensure the safety of your staff.

a) The production schedule will show all operations and orders which are due, so it will be easy to plan the number of workers per shift needed each day at the production hall. This is important knowledge, especially if you decide to implement the “hybrid” system, when some of your staff works from home office or there is no need for them to present at the company every day. It is also vital information for those working at the shop floor, because it allows time for disinfection between the shifts, as well as guarantees that people from other shifts don’t meet.

manufacturing software fight with covid19 ok

b) Add machines maintenance procedures and service as operations, so it is clear when someone from the outside comes to your production hall. It will allow you to prepare for such a visit ex. you can limit the number of people present at work or assign a different shift for those who are particularly vulnerable (the group of high risk).

c) Production scheduling software shows who was working at the given machine or was responsible for the operation, so in case of covid19 infection it is possible to notify the group of workers who had contact with a sick person and should be quarantined. Thanks to that solution your production won’t come to a full stop and it will be possible to ensure the safety of the remaining crew.

d) Add a new operation – cleaning service – in the system. Time spared for cleaning is longer due to safety restrictions. When a cleaning operation is registered in the system you are sure that the production hall and machines were disinfected. There is also information about who carried out the operation and how long it took. 

e) Many services have moved online. Production planning software means modernization for the company. There is a chance to take an advantage of the pandemic and use it in a positive way as a motivator for changes. You send a message that your company grows and it is flexible and adaptable (maybe you’d wanted to introduce some changes earlier but procrastinated due to lack of time?). The epidemic is closely connected with a more conservative approach to spending. It is good time to increase effectiveness and productivity. What’s more, many customers prefer online services because of safety, so online manufacturing software will give you an upper hand

f) Manufacturing scheduling software is a guarantee that everything stays organized. In those difficult and uncertain times your customers and subcontractors surely will appreciate the transparency and order. It is convenient to receive a precise answer about the pricing and delivery time, etc. to make further plans.

These are just some of the ideas how manufacturing software helps to fight covid19. Which solutions have you implemented in your business?

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Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client.

 

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A brief history of Prodio manufacturing software

A brief history of Prodio manufacturing software

PRODIO - a brief history of manufacturing software company

Prodio manufacturing software

The beginning

It is not a rags to riches type of story, but it proves that hard work and patience pay off. Marek Mrowiec, CEO and one of the founders of Prodio talks about its beginnings.

How did you get into production planning and quality management? 

Since I remember I was working as a consultant, but originally I had no plans on setting up my own company, not to mention a software business. I got into consulting while studying, getting hands-on experience in the family manufacturing business owned by my father. This was priceless and I was praised for the quality of my job when auditors who regularly visited the company complemented us on the progress. They said that in many businesses it took years to achieve the same level of organization we managed to get just in a space of a few months between the audits.

There I was, at 23 having managed ¼ of clients for Tuv Nord Poland, one  of the best Polish certification units, where I shared my observations and expertise.  

At first I perfected the optimization processes improving life in small manufacturing companies to move slowly to larger and larger clients. My job involved mainly advisory services on how to organize and manage quality in production processes, maintain order and improve productivity and effectiveness of staff.

The beginning of my career is connected with machining, elastomers and rubber goods production, but slowly I gained clients from different industries. I was trusted with more and more complex optimizations, ex. I helped to move to a new premises Polish innovative company (the production used to be in the garage, but it became too small). It was a pricey move and organizational challenge. 

In my daily practice I heard many clients say that the biggest “wow” factor that improved their production planning and control over the manufacturing process was made by the simple tools I created for them on the spot. At the beginning there were some printable Excel files, with an easy to access products database and list of orders ready to print. The next step was Google Docs, which apart from collecting the data, could be shared online as a production plan. This, in turn, gave numerous possibilities: employees could mark the operations they were working on and this solution became a basic ecosystem for many of my clients. These tools I created seemed to be irreplaceable and many companies couldn’t imagine life without using them. However as the time passed there appeared more and more problems: obviously neither Excel nor Google docs are designed to process such an amount of information simultaneously. Naturally the systems got stuck and bottlenecks appeared.

Some of my clients asked me to change Excel sheets to easy to implement ERP systems. I was supposed to oversee the whole process as an independent consultant and make sure that implementation went smoothly. There were at least 3 such projects and each of them faced similar problems: the simple Excel tools I’d created proved to be far more useful than the new ones, which cost the company 30-50 thousand dollars. It seemed to be impossible to achieve the same functionality using expensive ERP systems.

My clients became more and more stressed and frustrated, because the companies which sold them new products weren’t keen on improved functionality or increased productivity. The production was an alien concept for them, the same as information flow between the managers and shop floor. The sales reps did their job, “flogged” the product, which was in most cases some kind of a complicated inventory and accounting system then forgot about the whole thing. That’s why the tools were rather a limitation for my customers in daily production scheduling. They learnt to avoid using them, coming back to the old methods which proved successful, namely the tools I designed.

A breakthrough – the idea of  simple manufacturing software

When another company after about year and a half noticed that even though the ERP system had been introduced they still carry on using “my” Excel sheets and Google Docs (although not everything worked perfectly because of the amount of data to process) I had a light bulb moment: why don’t we create a simple kind of software based on the same idea as Google Docs and Excel sheets?

I had known Paweł Kotarski (Prodio’s co-founder and CTO) for many years,  so I jumped at the chance to pitch this idea to him: a simple, user friendly software, without any accounting modules,  designed to register work and schedule production in a small manufacturing company.

prodio początki

At first we encountered a lot of criticism and everybody who heard of our idea, tried to discourage us from doing it. Critics said that the software without integration with inventory (warehouse) and accounting modules does not make any sense, because companies would still want to buy ERP systems. Moreover the project was viewed negatively because of the low pricing: we shouldn’t introduce such cheap solutions (from 97$ per month) where the clients can implement the whole system by themselves online without the need of having a consultant present at the manufacturing company.

However we were stubborn and carried on presenting our vision. At the beginning there weren’t many people interested in a new product, so we offered to implement Prodio free of charge in my old clients’ companies. It was a hit – this was exactly what they had been looking for.

After a year there were about 12 clients using our software. Unfortunately we made a mistake in enrolling in European Union project, where one of the basic conditions stated that we couldn’t sell anything for 9 months. It was an incubation period after which we were promised to get a grant. It slowed us down immensely, because the majority of time was spent on preparation of presentations but we decided that it was a sacrifice worth making and we would benefit from extra funding to develop the product.

In the end, although we finished the project with recommendations as one of the best companies from the whole platform and worked with the best experts in trade, we were told that our idea isn’t as innovative as we thought. Prodio was criticized as not intuitive enough and experts mentioned other,  similar tools which have been present on the market, however nobody was able to point to any products as an example. We lost almost a year for this experiment and were forced to fire staff, because of the lack of proper funding. It was a difficult situation as we had no new clients due to incubation conditions, but we decided not to give up.

In the meantime one of the larger Polish companies offered to buy half of Prodio, but at the end of negotiations it turned out that they wanted to sell the software exclusively (they failed to mention this fact earlier), so we gave up the whole idea.

There we were, with just a few clients, with insufficient funding, lacking staff. Together with Paweł we decided to take this challenge and prove everybody wrong, showing them that Prodio is a great venture. In a year time thanks to our hard work we managed to get about 100 new clients. Prodio was complimented on its simplicity and efficiency. People said, that it was exactly what they had been looking for a long time. Many small companies were amazed with our software, because it was the answer to their problems and the fact that Prodio wasn’t integrated with an accounting module was a plus. 

Finally one of the best Polish investment funds decided to support us by investing in our growth. At the moment we are working as a team to enter foreign markets. It is another challenge, but we are not afraid to take it, so “fingers crossed”.   

początki program do zarządzania produkcją

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Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in rubber goods production

Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in rubber goods production

Case study: rubber goods manufacturing software implementation

READ KAROL'S STORY TO LEARN MORE

Rubber goods manufacturing software implementation – taming chaos

Read the story of one of our clients from rubber goodsnand elastomers industry.

“Before we implemented Prodio we’d had many problems such as not knowing which percentage of the given order was completed or how many elements need to be produced to finalize the projects” – remembers Karol Wikło the owner of WIGUM company. “We didn’t have any control over the norms or many of the details used for proper pricing. We also didn’t know how many elements produced a particular employee in the scale of the calendar month.”

 

This was also the reason why many operators mixed up raw materials, not benefiting from the clear information flow, because the manager couldn’t be present at the production hall all the time to delegate and explain tasks. It was tiring: never ending questions about how to do something, what are we doing, what are we going to produce tomorrow, what is going to be the next order, etc. An absolute nightmare.

It was very frustrating not to be able to answer simple questions, ex. when the customer phoned to enquire about the progress on the order to learn the final date or check on the deadline the answer was “created” on spot without checking in the system.

That’s how the decision to start changes was made, because there was no other way to tame the chaos that was progressing with each new order. “There were more and more new customers, but this instead of making me happy, dragged me down” – remembers Karol. “I was depressed and unable to plan what is going to be produced, it was impossible to schedule orders  and give customers clear information on deadlines. We felt constantly overwhelmed” – he adds sadly.

What happened in WIGUM after rubber goods manufacturing software implementation

First thing which really impressed us was the check in/check out system, where everybody uses a personalized card to start and finish their day at work as well as progress with their tasks, operations and orders. Thanks to this system there is a clear working time history, which can be download and saved at any time. “It is an amazing functionality,  because you know straight away how much time people spent working; you can’t skip it or omit” –  the owner adds happily.

czas pracy elastomery wdrożenie

Another impressive feature is the fact that thanks to card system, it is possible to see who is working directly on your smartphone or tablet. “I can stay at home and I am still able to check if my operators are at work, which tasks are they working at, what’s the progress. It is superb!” – comments Karol.

rubber goods manufacturing software implementation

Regarding employees themselves it is a very practical solution. There are always some operators in the company who can’t remember how to make a particular detail or what is the correct production process. Now they don’t have to rely on the memory, but rather take the advantage of Prodio, where all information is collected and saved.

elastomers implemetation production software

When the operator starts to work on the order and he is not sure of some details of the process, he simply checks with a few clicks to retrieve necessary information stored in Prodio. If they follow step by step production procedure according to tips from the software it is impossible to make a mistake. Thanks to this a company can achieve repetitiveness. elastomery wdrożenia

All details start to look the same, because the whole  process is identical and follows the same routine. The defects are minimized, especially those resulting from using incorrect raw material, because the production is standardized. This in turn helps to achieve higher transparency and clarity. The workers know what is happening at the production hall, there is a plan what is going to be produced this, next or the following week. They are able to see work planned on machines, the time needed for completion of the particular order and all important elements of the master production schedule. They get simple information whether the machine is occupied, in service or they can use it to complete the task.  

“Judging by the number of orders entered to Prodio we make a joint decision, together with the whole team whether we work overtime or have some extra hours on Saturdays, because it is perfectly clear in the system if it is necessary” – says the owner. 

The benefits of Prodio are visible for everybody. “I honestly think that they are happy to use it” – adds Karol.

“My private life has also changed. Maybe I haven’t noticed it straight away, but I know I gained confidence and certainty. There are many questions which I can answer now working from home, just by logging into Prodio from my smartphone. I can check for the piece of mind ex. what happens at 7 pm in the production hall. Obviously there are cameras and monitoring system, but now I am able to see which detail is being produced, by whom and how long it takes. It offers me a sense of security. I know that when you are on holiday you are supposed to rest and not think about your business (…) the same when I am away on business trip; but being a small manufacturer it is hard to neglect your business; sometimes it is enough to take a sneak peak at what’s happening at the production hall and you can go back to your things” – tells the owner.

program do zarządzania produkcją

If you want to introduce organization at your production hall, to have all production processes standardized and control over what is going on in your workshop, try to use Prodio. There will be no more trivial questions about production times, operations, processes. 

wdrożenia prodio elastomery 

It is an investment worth making. You will impress your clients or auditors when you show them how smooth things are. This is a kind of  “wow” effect. It proves that even a small company can be organized and modernized and the budget isn’t an issue.

If you want to read more about how to use Prodio in elastomer goods industry click HERE.

production planning trial

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Try Prodio without any commitments – you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don’t hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !

Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in injection molding industry

Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in injection molding industry

Case study: injection molding manufacturing software implementation

READ MARK'S STORY TO LEARN MORE

Injection molding manufacturing software implementation – fast changes on the  way

Read the story of one of our first clients from injection molding industry.

Fixing System is the company which has been producing synthetics elements for the automotive industry. Marek Barczak, the owner, tells about the company’s history in terms of the time “before Prodio” and “after Prodio implementation”.

One of the biggest problems in the company was information flow between the shop floor and the managers. Workers didn’t know which material should be used to make a particular element and what is the deadline. They felt lost not being able to remember everything, because there were so many different plastic elements with different parameters. The boss was giving a code with the name of a product, but the workers failed to recognize it. Similarly they had a problem picking the right mold, because different ones should be mounted each time on presses. “I had to be present in the workshop at all times” – remembers Marek – “because I was scared of making costly mistakes and what follows complaints from the customers” – he adds.

Another issue was the fact of work organisation, because in many cases the same person had to work on a few machines simultaneously. Production was varied, so the boss had to be present at the end of each shift when workers changed, so he could fill in the starting shift on the progress and delegate tasks. It was time consuming and really hard considering that there were three shifts working in turnes.

It was not surprising that Marek’s private life was badly affected: the daily rhythm was marked by mundane work duties. The holiday or a proper time off were a distant dream.

kontrola produkcji tworzywa sztuczne 

What happened after injection molding manufacturing software implementation in Fixing System

It was natural that Marek was afraid of changes and first of all, he was concerned that new manufacturing software would be very difficult. It turned out that his fears were unfounded: “Prodio is user friendly and intuitive” – confirms Marek enthusiastically.

Prodio is an online tool, which really enables you to monitor production from any place in the world. “I can sit at home and just log in every 2 or 3 hours to see what is going on at the production hall. I set up a machine, operations and technology, delegate tasks, and decide what is produced” – adds Marek. “There are no questions and everybody can focus on their tasks”. 

injection molding implementation software

What’s more there is a full documentation for each element in a form of product database in Prodio. The employee can click the product and see some photos presenting a finished element from different angles, as well as visuals of potential mistakes and possible quality defects.

manufacturing  software production molding

Being aware of what can go wrong helps to minimize the number of defects at the start. Moreover there is a number of mold saved in Prodio, that’s why it is clear which one should be used, together with comments on how to mount it. Thanks to that all precious know-how stays in the company (ex. when there is some unusual mount a worker knows straight away how to proceed, because they can check this information in Prodio).

It makes the work easier also for new employees, because they can learn faster without the need to rely solely on the experience of more seasoned staff as the knowledge is in the system not only in their heads. All in all it minimizes the number of mistakes.

program do zarządzania produkcją

At present each order has a unique number in Prodio and all boxes with ready elements (stoppers for car mats) are marked with Prodio ID, which enables them to identify easily. Thanks to that fact the company is compliant with all norms and standards. Numerous controls and audits from automotive industry showed that even though it is a small manufacturing business the production is organized better than in many larger automotive companies, especially considering the quality and transparency. Fixing Systems is regularly praised on their great organisation, that’s why they can deliver elements for the first assembly on the leading production lines.

 program do zarządzania produkcją

The implementation of manufacturing software in Fixing Systems was fast and smooth. After just a few days of using Prodio system, there were visible positive results and overall improvement. The employees had no problems with clicking and checking in/checking out system (the company decided to implement RFID codes). It proved to be easy to use and comfortable. Today employees cannot imagine life without Prodio and Marek is delighted that he can monitor what is happening in his workshop all the time without the need to  be physically present there. It is exactly what he was looking for, because the system is agile and shows real time  progress and changes. “Thanks to Prodio I was able to go on holiday for the first time in ages without worrying that the production will stop” -he remembers. “I had with me my laptop and I could check everything  (…) Prodio has changed my life”.  

kontrola produkcji tworzywa sztuczne

If you want to read more about how to use Prodio in injection molding industry click HERE.

production planning trial

 Start now!

Try Prodio without any commitments – you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don’t hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !

An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

Using bar codes and printing production orders for faster registration of production

PRODIO'S AUGUST UPDATE

Using bar codes to register work faster

Description: When you have really many orders and wish to make registering orders easier to facilitate work at the production hall, you can use a bar codes reader and speed up the whole process.

TIP: A detailed description of configuration and tips when it’s best to use bar code readers you can find below in video tutorial:

Filtering production orders by bar codes 

When an employee presses the button “Click and scan the code” and scans the bar code from the headline, orders on the production plan will filter only to this particular order.

The order opens automatically after scanning the bar code  

When an employee presses the button “Click and scan the code” and scans the bar code of the particular operation, the order opens itself and it will be possible to start or finish work using a RFID key-fob or a bar coded ID .

Zlecenie produkcyjne - skanowanowanie operacji

Filter quickly tasks assigned to a particular production employee

Description: From now on it’s enough to put RFID key-fob or scan a bar code, to narrow down the list of taskes assigned to a particular worker.

Using bar codes to register start and stops in operations as well as check ins/ check outs

Descritption: When you wish to use bar codes to ID your employees (analogically to how it’s done by RFID readers).

Obviously you can use both solutions simultaniously  – you can have connected to your computer bar code reader and RFID reader at the same time. It is even possible to clock everything using RFID readers at one production hall, and at the other use only the key-fobs.

How does clocking starts and stops of operations work with the bar codes?

Everything works excatly the same as if you were using RFID key-fobs or cards  – only instead of scanning a key-fob the reader scans the code from employee’s card.

Visualization – how do you clock registration of the start of an operation using bar codes:

Rejestracja produkcji na kodach kreskowych

How does clocking in/ out work with bar codes?

Everything works excatly the same as if you were using RFID key-fobs or cards – the only things is that instead of putting key-fob to the reader, you scan the code from employee’s card.

Visualization – how does clocking in/ out work with bar codes:

Rejestracja wejscia do pracy na kodach kreskowych

 

Where do I get bar codes, to give them employees if I don’t have RFID key-fobs?

You can download a ready-to-use PDF file, use any printer to print it, cut to required size – CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

Generating bar code cards based on RFID key-fobs

For the time being (until Prodio’s generator is extended) we shared a very comfortable tool in the software, which allows you to generate labels, then cut them out and place inside employees ID badges.

Here is a link to the generator based on Google Docs (the file is accessible to everybody, so let us know if it doesn’t work) – CLICK TO OPEN.

Assigning bar codes to particular employees

If you want to assign a bar coded card to a particular employee, just follow the steps used for assigning RFID key-fob. Go to “Settings”, next choose the panel “Employees” and click a “pencil” symbol next to an employee. After that click “NFC RDF code” box, so to see a flashing cursor and finally clock the code with reader.

 

Printing of production orders (they can be also used as products ID cards at production)

Description: From now on, to make eveything easier for employees with limited access to computer, you can provide them with printed production orders containing all product parameters and necessary information. 

TIP: Paper cards can also work very well and identify a product at the production hall when you attach them or put inside the box together with the order.

How to print a card:

1) If you want to print a card for only one item from the order, use the cog symbol in the line of this item on the list of orders.

Zlecenie produkcyjne - druk pojedyczego 2) If you wish to print cards for more items, check them on the list of orders, then choose “Checked” and click “Print”. Zlecenie produkcyjne - druk wielu

Other changes increasing the comfort of your work:

  1. After solving problems with server’s efficiency between 1st-2nd of August (caused by the increased number of new accounts), we optimized software efficiency over 4-times more, rewriting key functions and connections  with database.

     

  2. There is a new status filter on the list of production orders and possibility of hiding ready orders also from a tabular list.
    Filtrowanie zlecen produkcyjnych
  3. There are additional statuses on the list of production orders,
    Nowe statusy zopatrzenia na liście zamówień produkcyjnych
  4. …and many more small adjustments 🙂

The lastes posts from Prodio’s updates category:

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Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in cnc manufacturing business

Case study: successful implementation of Prodio software in cnc manufacturing business

Case study: successful manufacturing software implementation in cnc business

READ THIS STORY TO LEARN MORE

Successful manufacturing software implementation in cnc – difficult start

Read the story of one of our first clients from cnc industry.

skuteczne wdrożenia cnc

The owner of a small cnc manufacturing company got in touch seeking advice on production planning. We had a chance to meet in the past, while consulting some production quality solutions regarding ISO 90001. After a brief conversation it turned out that he had purchased some kind of manufacturing software over a year ago (investing a few thousands euros) but the system was complicated and, because of this, not functional. The company itself was rather small: the owner, who was also responsible for preparing offers and management, a foreman (who was helping with technical drawings), with the total number of employees as low as 18 people.

The system they initially bought didn’t work as intended: adding each new element took ages and in the end it was faster to do things manually to register production process than use this complex manufacturing software. What’s more the system  wasn’t user friendly, so the whole investment worth a few thousand euros was put in the drawer awaiting better days, because nobody was using it. The company faced problems typical for the industry.

First of all the boss complained about constantly increasing cost of remunerations and investments in raw material, which meant less flexibility in cash flow. The turnover was getting bigger,  it seemed that the company should be making more and more money, but in the reality was quite the contrary. Every month the remaining balance on the account was lower than expected, although the clients paid all invoices on time. It wasn’t clear what happened with the money, where was the leak. The greatest motivation was to establish what was going on with the profit and where the problem was.

The second reason the company owner was searching for new solutions was  regularly increasing costs of labor of hiring qualified cnc operators. Many workers came to the manager to negotiate a pay rise, but he found it difficult to assess their skills and compare their work to be able to have logical arguments to motivate his financial decisions.

The third element tipping the scales was doubled number of orders from  two strategic clients. The first one, a Polish company with its headquarter in Australia, inspired more detailed calculations and tracking. There was an issue of correct pricing (currency difference):  theoretically the company  should make a great profit but it doesn’t, it might be necessary to study in detail how much should cost each element of production process. This was particularly important because when the very same calculation was carried out by the company owner (he was checking with the stopwatch timer how much time was needed for each operation) the results were satisfying. Unfortunately somewhere in the due process the time stretched.

The decision to implement Prodio was made quickly and the tests started straight away.

The very same day a computer was installed at the production hall and it was the beginning of data collection.

 production planing

At the same time the check in/ check out system was introduced to monitor better working time and to enable future productivity analysis to see who works effectively. 

oprogramowanie dla cnc

registration RFID

Two weeks into implementing Prodio the foreman and 6 other employees came up to the company owner threatening him to quit their jobs if he decides to carry on introducing changes and the new system. He was given an ultimatum: either them or Prodio. 

He stood his ground and as a result at the end of the week all those people handed in their resignations. The situation was tense, the boss had many doubts whether he made a good decision, but instinctively he felt that’s the right direction to follow, even though the key workers quitted, including his right-hand man. There was no turning back, so the owner started to plan production with Prodio, having only half of his staff available, because finally about 7-8 people left the company. The results were surprising: the company managed to deliver everything on time with a limited number of staff. It was a great success.

The owner was puzzled: how come we produced the same amount with half of the usual team? How was this possible? He started to analyse first data from Prodio, as well as the recordings from the monitoring system outside the company (unfortunately there weren’t any cameras inside the production hall). While checking them he came to a simple conclusion: there had been a swindle going on for quite a long time. The foreman together with afternoon and night shift workers “opened” their own company inside his company, committing extra orders, taking side jobs, stealing the customers from his company. Obviously they used machines and materials all during their working hours. When Prodio was implemented they were forced to quit, because it was no longer possible to hide their unfair practice. To this day the company hires less than 10 people, having the same number of machines as previously and the staff loves Prodio.

skuteczne wdrożenia cnc

The story behind this successful manufacturing software implementation in cnc proves that it is very easy to separate honest people from cheats. When somebody complaints and protests against implementation it is quite possible that they have a lot to hide. It is a common observation that those who protest the loudest saying that a new system isn’t functional, that all they do is “click” at different columns, are those who don’t work as efficiently as they could. When it comes to analysing and calculation their results are usually poor and the proportion of productive time spent on tasks to “free time” is the worst. It happens quite often that a key employee spent 6 out of 10 hours on doing nothing, hanging around the production hall, constantly asking for help, searching for tools, papers, etc. 

Thanks to successful manufacturing software implementation in cnc it is possible to pinpoint loafers and slobs and get rid of them to make the company more profitable and move forward.

If you want to read more about how to use Prodio in  cnc/machining industry click HERE.

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5 ideas how to implement a manufacturing software system successfully in a small business

5 ideas how to implement a manufacturing software system successfully in a small business

5 ideas how to implement a manufacturing software system successfully in a small business

Practical tips which will help you to avoid implementation mistakes.

We have already discussed some popular mistakes made while implementing manufacturing software system as well as common fears many company owners face when they decide to introduce changes in their small business.

  system manufacturing software

Below there are some insights on how to make the whole process smooth and successful. These tips are based on years of experience in consulting, different software implementations as well as optimization of processes. We have been working with numerous clients who successfully implemented Prodio’s manufacturing software system leaving behind their expensive and sophisticated ERP systems. Here is  the list:

1. Start to implement a manufacturing software system

 erp manufacturing

It might  seem to be an obvious thing, but if you saw the statistics you would be shocked to realize that so many companies get stuck even before they start using manufacturing software. Endless discussions, analyses and consultations will get you nowhere. Majority of failures result from not taking action. Start using some kind of manufacturing software at your production instead of planning forever and doing things on paper, in theory. With manufacturing software such as Prodio, where you can easily set up a computer at the production hall and prepare the first production order in less than 15 minutes it is possible. Once you start using the system you can adjust things and make necessary changes. There might be something in the discussion phase which seems hard but in practice with manufacturing software system it will be easy. Even the larger companies considering the purchase of an ERP manufacturing system should start from sharing Google docs at the production hall or system such as Prodio, to know exactly what they need. When at the later stage they opt for a more complicated system their needs are precise (they often say: “we need something like Prodio with additional functions and extra integrations). 

2. Keep it as simple as possible

 simple erp software

There are many manufacturing companies where all the scheduling is in the form of a paper notebook. Suddenly they decide to implement a manufacturing software system and wish to have all integrations possible: inventory, orders, accounting, advanced statistics and analyses. It is a sure way to a massive failure because it is too big of a milestone. Imagine that you have just taken up running and after one week signed up for a marathon. The best way to do it is to make baby steps: one computer at the production hall, simple product (without separate operations, machines or shifts). It is enough to have at first three or four operations in the system for people to use the computer and register production. Slowly your workers will get familiar with the manufacturing system and then you will be able to add more details. If you do everything at once you will be overwhelmed with the amount of data to be put into the system. The staff might also protest and panic when confronted with many new tasks and technical details. It won’t make any sense. The point is for the team to start using a manufacturing software system and learn its functions step by step in a friendly way. It is important that your workers understand that manufacturing software system can be really easy and helpful and then when they get used to working with such system you can add more elements and functions.

3. Manufacturing software system – don’t start a revolution

 simle manufacturing system

If you are after changes in  your small business don’t try to force them by employing a new manufacturing software system. Many company owners decide to kick start some major changes and reorganize the whole business using manufacturing software as a trigger for the whole process. They wish to alter the old ways of data collection, order registration, all production procedures. This approach won’t work, because it is very difficult to work on two independent projects simultaneously. As a result there are too many changing ideas on how the production should be organized and the new manufacturing software system fails to catch up with them. People become more and more confused and stressed and the prospect of working with a new program is daunting. Everybody feels discouraged even before they start using the system. It is better to take your old cork board with a production schedule or the notebook where the orders are noted and try to translate these simple processes into your new manufacturing software. Let the data become digitized, so you can see all correlations in your computer. Try planning things online and then when your database is ready you can start to think about improvements and more advanced options.

4. Find the right balance

balance manufacturing software

When you introduce a manufacturing software system it is tempting to start collecting all data possible. Especially when you picture the old paper orders and notebook or handwritten scribbles. Many clients want to collect all information possible: every screw used,  splash of paint, a minute of overtime, etc. If you do that you are on the right track to implementation failure. Why?

  1. If you are not used to analysing and collecting information, because you haven’t used any software system before, you are in for a big surprise: a “gigantic” excel file will be for sure overwhelming. Your initial reaction: “I don’t understand a thing”. It is much better to limit the number of things monitored, so the reports become clear: to make a product there were 3 operations with a total time of 14hrs. This is something you can compare with your calculation (it is supposed to take 10hrs). The conclusion is simple: the technology might be wrong.
  2. When you wish to collect a huge amount of data it is a time-consuming process for your workers as they would have to check in/out, click, etc. all the time. Their reaction is not hard to predict. They will either feel that too much time is wasted on monitoring and registering, leaving them with not enough hours to do the job, or that a new manufacturing software system is introduced as a sophisticated form of slavery. The owner can’t be trusting them if he wishes for such extensive control. Naturally they will try to boycott the implementation.

5. Don’t be lured by amazing features

 

There are software producers which promise a pie in the sky: a manufacturing software system will integrate different modules: inventory, accounting, scheduling, orders, etc. don’t be lured by such promises. Unfortunately the majority of ERP systems offered for small companies are extensive, large solutions with massive accounting and inventory modules, but only peripheral production scheduling features. It won’t work in a small manufacturing business. On the contrary Prodio is typically dedicated to managing production and shows you exactly which orders are due and what is being produced. The large ERP systems are more for keeping track of each element used for producing goods, to account for inventory, calculate cost, monitor thousands of unimportant details. The production model is added as an extra feature, to attract small business, but it is not what they are looking for. When you implement such a sophisticated erp system, you will end up working as an accountant in your company for at least a few months. You will have to adjust your business to the system, not the opposite. When you finally start to register production there will be so many limitations (resulting from the accounting and inventory requirements), that you will feel tired just looking at it, not to mention the lack of flexibility and ability to adjust to rapidly changing conditions.

Prodio offers you an alternative: you can start to plan your production straight away and later make decisions about which data is worth exporting to external accounting programs. 

production planing

Remember that first and foremost there is no time like today and if you want to implement a new manufacturing software system it is better to start from something simple. Hours spent on consultations and listening to “good advisors” will stop you from implementing a great solution. It is better to start doing something, introduce a simple solution and then if the need arises, search for more advanced options. But try today, not tomorrow.

 

What are you waiting for? - test Prodio!

No commitment 14 day free trial – with the most user friendly production management software, plan your work, track progress on your mobile phone, gain time and change the way your company works. After 14 days, if you decide, that it’s not for you, just leave your account.

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

Will your workers quit because of manufacturing production software?

Will your workers quit because of manufacturing production software?

Will your workers quit because of manufacturing production software?

Find out what are the most common fears of manufacturing company owners and employees before implementation of manufacturing production software and why it seems to be much scarier than it is in reality.

Many small manufacturing company owners avoid changes and put off implementation of manufacturing production software for fear of workers protest. The lack of green light to continue development is covered up by different excuses usually financial ex. “we can’t afford it”, “it’s going to cost us a penny”, etc. The paradox is that many employees are scared of the consequences and their staff reaction: what if they won’t accept changes and run to work at rival manufacture?

Manufacturing production software – 5 common implementation fears

Manufacturing companies postpone development, because they are afraid that new manufacturing production software will result in their key workers quitting the job

 

Employee market and invaluable know-how

Even before the epidemic of covid19 has changed the world’s economy the production market was the employee market, where experienced cnc operators or printers were able to pick and choose among various job offers. That’s why company owners frequently coddled such precious production workers, not wanting to come into conflict with them. They also were aware of the fact that these people were the pillars of the company, seasoned and  experienced with all business know how in their heads. If you don’t have manufacturing software in your production company you rely solely on the knowledge of key specialists; when they leave you lose that valuable database and expertise. What if while  implementing new software you somehow offend one of your expert workers, or they could be against the proposed changes and decide to work elsewhere with your competitors? Who is going to show the ropes to new workers, share experience, give precious tips? Training of  staff is time consuming hence expensive and it takes a while to pick all the tricks of the trade, especially where there isn’t an experienced foreman at hand to tech. 

Norms are a modern form of slavery

Generally many owners deliberately slow down changes at production, because they are afraid that people will quit if they start following production norms or when it is necessary to  check in and check out when entering the company or starting work on the order. What if the staff sees the boss as a modern slave driver who only pushes them to the limits and establishes unrealistic working schedules, calculating every second of their work? Employees might think that such monitoring costs a lot and demand a pay rise. Where should the money come from?

It is better to work than “click” at the keyboard

There also fear among the company owners that workers while entering different forms to the system or filling out forms for production orders will not have enough time to do their job, because they will spend precious minutes on entering data to  the system. What if it is necessary to do overtime to complete all entries? What if the staff protests against changes because they will refuse to learn to “click” at the keyboard or fail to use the new system?

Manufacturing production software is difficult

Additionally there is a concern that implementation process will be complicated and employees will protest. Not everybody wants to learn new things, so people might make it difficult for the boss to introduce new solutions. There are many blue collars working at the production hall and they might not want to learn sophisticated manufacturing production software, even if it was the easiest system on the earth, they will say it’s too difficult to make the point. It will be necessary to hire and pay for extra training for the staff, however there is no guarantee if they use the new system at all.

Old fashioned employees

There is also an anxiety that older members of staff might not be able to grasp the basics of manufacturing production software, because they are not technologically advanced and computer savvy, but they are very important in the company because of the experience they have and invaluable knowledge.

Production manufacturing software – implementation experience

When it comes to analysing the above fears you can draw a conclusion that successful manufacturing production software implementation is almost a miracle. Obviously there are some failures, but they are usually caused by totally different factors. Based on years of experience in consulting and different software implementation as well as optimization processes (since 2005) it is possible to say that majority of fears are unfounded. It is usually the opposite and many company owners are positively surprised by the effects of manufacturing production software implementation.

 

Manufacturing production software is great

 

From Prodio’s practice it turns out that people react very well to a new system (as long as it isn’t a complicated ERP). When everything is clear and easy to understand like in Prodio very often workers themselves complement the software. From their perspective it offers more order and transparency. When somebody comes to work in the morning they can check which tasks they were assigned, which ones are due first and start working following the priority of things in the queue. There is no need to wait for the boss who runs frantically from machine to machine, suggesting last minute changes, giving contrary orders resulting in confusion and disorder. In the end it is an employee who takes the blame for all mistakes, does not pay attention, lazes around. Simple manufacturing production software makes sure such situations are impossible, because everything works round the clock and is in proper order.  

 

Honesty the first and foremost 

 

Thanks to a good production management system employees know that they are supervised in an honest way. At the first glance it may seem strange, because monitored work should be an unpleasant duty, but the majority of people want to show that actually they do a great job. When they are committed to something they wish to prove themselves and do their best. The company owner’s approach to monitoring is very important: either he can present production control as a calculation exercise or pester them about proverbial 2 seconds delay or minute norm disproportion. It is clear that in the latter case the effect will be opposite to desired. Everybody wants to be respected at work, not just treated as slaves or used. 

Easy to understand production schedule with all parameters 

Once manufacturing production software is implemented workers have access to a clear production schedule. They know parameters of products, can use attached technical drawings hence they are less stressed and nervous. It Is nothing worse than chaos at the manufacturing company, when the boss changes priorities all the time, so the employees don’t know whether they have updated information for orders. They are confused and stressed and work becomes more and more difficult. When you use manufacturing software such problems simply cease to exist: everything is updated, clear and sure. Tasks are visible on the production schedule, with the name of the worker assigned. There are technical drawings and important documents attached to products. When the employee follows precisely the production procedure and exact guidelines (they might contain a mistake made by the boss), he is not responsible for the eventual mistake and cannot be blamed for it. Workers are not responsible for their bosses’ mistakes.

We can develop

 

In many small “garage” companies hiring up to 15 people, along with Prodio software implementation changes the employees’ attitude. People start to be proud of their manufacturing company and value modernisation. It is natural to compare, so frequently their small firm in comparison with a larger business next door seemed provincial: paper orders, always unhappy and screaming boss whereas neighboring firms enjoyed paperless and computerized production. That’s why changes are good: they show that the company is moving with the times. It is not often said loud, but employees are happy to work when their manufacturing company develops, values progress and they are proud to be a part of this growth (we have key-fobs to check in/out, we use bar codes, we are modern). 

We work faster

 

Manufacturing production software makes work faster. Many employees admitted that starting an activity equals one click at the screen and key fob check in, similarly the end of operation means entering the number of pieces made, clicking and checking out. This speeds things up compared to writing down orders in the paper notebook and asking the boss what has to be done next.

We get a bonus

 

Simple production managing system provides basis for applying for a pay rise. It is transparent how many hours were spent on production tasks, how many pieces were made and what is the norm.

 

Layoffs and quitting

 

manufacturing production software company

Will your employees quit? It is one of the biggest fears mentioned at the beginning of this article. Unfortunately there isn’t a guarantee that they won’t hand in the notice. It did happen that after implementing manufacturing production software some of key workers quit. What is interesting, in the following months it became clear that usually resigned people who: 

  • Firstly had something to hide. In one of the companies where Prodio was introduced, practically the whole night shift was extorting norms and cheating the boss, doing things “off the books” while he wasn’t watching. The production manager turned the blind eye for the whole practice. After Prodio system was introduced potboiling became visible, hence the resignation of staff. At the moment the company employs 9 people (compared with 21 workers hired earlier), who manage to do the same job brilliantly, and the owner cannot thank enough Prodio’s efficiency.
  • Secondly, people who were the strongest opponents of changes, pointing out inefficiency of manufacturing production software, are the ones who are the weakest according to Prodio’s statistics. These are employees with the most unproductive hours, hanging around and doing nothing instead of working on machines. The wanted to have a safe and secure job post putting in minimal effort. That’s why they quit, when someone actually requires them to do something. 
  • Another group who might quit are “the grumpy people”. They are constantly whining and complaining. Nothing can make them happy and the glass is almost always half empty.They are toxic and can stirring up others, influence negatively the whole team and impede progress. Even if there are specialists among them they are the enemies of progress and you can only benefit from getting rid of them. There is no point in crying after them. 

When you use a manufacturing production software knowledge is accumulated: with every day more and more information is entered to the system, where it stays forever. It means that your company becomes independent of particular employees, who don’t own the knowledge. Everything is in the system and can be accessed by those who are authorized. 

To sum up all points above we say that there is nothing to be afraid. The most often quit workers who were screwing around and cheated norms, because their lies have come to light thanks to manufacturing software. In other cases they are usually threats of quitting and in the end employees stay in the company very often becoming propagators of new changes. The employees might not say outright: “the software is amazing”, but if you suggest going back to the old ways and switching off Prodio it suddenly turns out that it is a great solution and it is almost impossible to carry on working without it.

Remember first and foremost that there is no time like today and if you wait for full support of the whole team you might wait forever. Hours spent on consultations and listening to “good advisors” will stop you from implementing a great solution. It is better to start doing something, introduce a simple solution and then if the need arises, search for more advanced options. But try today, not tomorrow.

 

What are you waiting for? - test Prodio!

No commitment 14 day free trial – with the most user friendly production management software, plan your work, track progress on your mobile phone, gain time and change the way your company works. After 14 days, if you decide, that it’s not for you, just leave your account.

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

5 reasons to use simple manufacturing software and avoid complaints in B2C daily practice

simple manufacturing softwareWhether your business is fully manufacturing-focused or it represents a strand within your operations, producing enough goods at the right time without straining your team or finances is an ever-present battle. What’s more if a product is faulty or not of satisfactory quality then your customers can ask for a full refund, a repair or a replacement within a reasonable time.  

That’s all very well and it’s obvious that mistakes do happen and some complaints are legitimate and reasonable but you cannot be too careful and it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

One of the reasons for mistakes is miscommunication caused by troubled information flow between the customer and the supplier. It won’t hurt if you do a bit of self-examination:

  • Is your customer and supplier relationship management information scattered in different systems, and people’s heads across the business?
  • Are you drowning in spreadsheets as you try to manage increasing production in your small manufacturing business?

  • Do you happen to make last minute changes on your paper production orders,  alter measurements, add side comments, cross things out or update projects?
  • Do you often miss deadlines or feel unable to forecast accurately due dates, as you are not sure how long it would take to deliver finished goods?
  • Do you have troubles with monitoring work progress and time spent by each worker on their tasks?

If you answered “YES” to some of the above questions it looks like you could benefit from using simple manufacturing software in your company. 

But what it’s got to do with complaints and B2C practice you might ask. Actually quite a lot.

1. Simple manufacturing software offers convenience

Many of your customers reach out to you, because your company is a convenient choice. It is a major part of your branding and branding isn’t just about logos, tagline, and image; it’s about what you promise the customer. This is a touch and buy factor. 

Let’s say that you picked a new order, it doesn’t have to be a large one, just a standard job for your business. When you use simple manufacturing software, straight away you are able to check this order into the system with a few swipes on your phone or tablet. You might be on location, in your customer’s office, in their house, settling the order over a cup of coffee – it doesn’t matter. The point is that the order is in the system and your employees can proceed as soon as you enter it, while you are still away from the workshop. 

 

SCREEN PRODIO

 

What’s more you can attach photos (ex. the color sample), technical drawings with measurements (ex. the exact size of the door or cupboard), your comments (ex. urgent).

 

SCREEN PRODIO

2.  Personalized orders – tailor your products with simple manufacturing software

 

The competition on the market is harsh these days and many of your customers are attracted to tailored goods or services, lured by the individual approach your company offers.

 

Bespoke cabinets, intricate metalwork, printed brochures, ……..INNE PRZYKŁADY – they all require precision and even a small mistake, misunderstanding or a lapse in communication can prove detrimental for your manufacturing business. 

It is much easier to organize production with support of simple manufacturing software. Access additional functionality by capturing individual contacts, locations, enquiries, orders, service requests. Upload files and documents, track emails and interactions for a full record of activity. Monitor order patterns, and set tasks for following-up. Make sure your customers are treated as individuals with great care and offered the best quality of service. 

SCREEN PRODIO

3.  Time is money – avoid costly bottlenecks and delays.

 

The mistakes and complaints caused by delays can cost you a lot. Follow all your manufacturing orders and workstation schedules with the main production schedule.

 

  • Follow color-coded warnings that indicate when operations or work orders are late, and take the necessary action in response.

SCREEN PRODIO

  • Enable seamless collaboration across your team by using one integrated tool for  production planning, stock control and shop floor reporting.

SCREEN PRODIO

  • Use accurate automatic planning and realistic production schedule. Reschedule dynamically by dragging and dropping manufacturing orders and operations. 

SCREEN PRODIO

4. Ups, we did it again…

 

The prospect of accepting a complaint doing things once again seems costly and daunting.

It’s not rocket science to calculate, that double job means cut margins and zero, or below acceptable profit (Check out this case study to find out more).

 

In the majority of cases it turns out that the problem isn’t in poor quality or efficiency but mainly in huge losses made due to chaos in communication.

 

Trying to fix the botched job can be extremely demotivating for employees, LINK DO TEKSTU O MOTYWACJI also financially when their monthly bonus is gone or when the animosity arises once you want to pinpoint who is responsible for the mistake. 

 

Simple manufacturing software such as Prodio can prove helpful and prevent such problems.

 

5. You want to make a local name for your business

 

It would be great to become a household name straight after launching your manufacturing business, but the ability to earn trust and a good reputation locally is like a life insurance for a small business. 

Surely you want to get recognized as a reliable company, get positive reviews and more business, as the word of mouth does wonders for your marketing as well as having a well-established position on the local market. 

Smart manufacturing software can help you retain precious company know-how built over time. Mistakes do happen, but even though you will be able to learn from them, avoiding repeating the same ones in the future, because the management of production scheduling will not solely rely on someone’s experience or skills. 

Remarks and comments will be visible to everybody, warnings will appear each time you decide so, special requirements will be noted.

 

SCREEN PRODIO

 

Start now!

Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don't hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !
Start a trialCall us: +48 32 746 61 62

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

How manufacturing software can improve production planning in a small business?

How manufacturing software can improve production planning in a small business?

How manufacturing software can improve production planning in a small business?

3 easy to achieve “wow” effects.

It probably goes without saying that a majority of small business owners dream of ordering out their production halls: keeping deadlines on orders, no faulty products, their workers know what to do and don’t just hang around waiting to be appointed.

 If you have more and more orders in your small manufacture, you will come at some point to the same conclusion: I need a plan or some kind of manufacturing software which would help me to tackle the situation and systemize everything. Things are a bit chaotic at the moment – you might think – but as soon as we implement new manufacturing software life will be much easier, problems will be solved, all bases covered.

 “Wow” effects of introducing manufacturing software into a small business


The truth is that most small manufacturing companies don’t need advanced planning systems or when they consider such planning tools they have in mind something different to extended ERP systems.

The first impressive effect of introducing manufacturing software into a small business

  1. In a small company even collecting all information in one place contributes to the “wow” effect!  There is no need to go over tons of papers in search of a missing order or go from person to person to find out what and how it should be produced. When the list of orders is completed with all items included,  it is clear to see the production process, track, schedule, and report the status of  work in progress, from your floor-level, giving you a clear channel of communication between your operators and managers on the production line.  

What’s more you are able to see:

            –  what is being produced at the moment and

            – the list of production tasks

manufacturing software small business

This is an amazing progress. Small improvements allow the company owner to finally stop worrying about their production hall and start to think how to develop the  business to grow bigger. And time is money; in this case – free time.

Sometimes shock therapy works miracles and it is good to realize how serious problems your business faces (or to put it bluntly: how far behind you are) to start organizing things to bring at last law and order. When micro changes make your production more efficient, it is plain as day that those changes are needed; they promise growth and that’s the way to go.

The second impressive effect of introducing manufacturing software into a small business

2. The second planning “wow” effect regards … introducing production control. It sounds trivia but when you are able to tell precisely what is happening now at the production hall, it’s a whole new game. The problem with the majority of production plans is that somebody spent many hours willing to schedule and plan everything, but just after 2-3 days this plan is nowhere near real production needs. As a consequence nobody pays attention to it, and the work of a “planner” goes to waste. There is also no information on how long it took to produce a given item (lean time), which makes it difficult to improve and adjust for the future. The more detailed the production plan is and the more diverse products are made, the faster it is out of date and useless.

The third impressive effect of introducing manufacturing software into a small business


3. The third planning “wow” effect, is a simple communication between shop floor and managers. It might come as a surprise that it isn’t a plan or schedule but communication which decides on the success of a manufacturing business.

manufacturing software small business (

It is a common practice in a small company that an owner or a manager has some kind of a notebook or uses Excel files and takes this intricate plan to the production hall. Unfortunately the piece of paper with crucial planning tips gets stuck on the cork board where everyone can put changes, draw, cross things out, write over to update. In the worst case scenario the paper gets lost and the owner goes from person to person at the production hall passing on information. Employees feel lost because they are not sure what to do and even the originally  perfect plan is ruined, especially when there is the need of introducing last  minute, small changes no-one knew about. Even the simplest tool which will show people what to do will contribute to the “wow” effect in this case.

Modern manufacturing software in a small business

manufacturing software small business

Nowadays the market is demanding, specifically when more and more companies deliver varied products divided into small elements at the same time trying to stay flexible and competitive. This specifics excludes the need of having some kind of long term complicated scheduling solution – it is simply impossible. Lean methods are winning over. that’s why it is so important to be able to control production, having a transparent production plan, showing real time progress. It makes much more sense than using automated planning modules, which are less flexible and not adjusted to needs of small manufacturing companies.

Start now!

Try Prodio without any commitments - you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don't hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !
Start a trialCall us: +48 32 746 61 62

Do you have any questions?

We are glad to help ?

Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

An update: bar codes /NFC tags and printing production orders to organize production better

Jak w 5 minut ustawisz program produkcyjny na swojej hali? Co potrzebujesz, dlaczego warto i co widzą pracownicy?

program produkcyjny

Program produkcyjny (razem z planem pracy i jej rejestracją) udostępniony na produkcji to dziś abosolutna konieczność – nawet jeśli Twoja firma ma 3-4 pracowników. Jeśli do dziś, zamiast programu używasz papierowych zleceń to codziennie tracisz ogromne pieniądze,

Wszystkie argumenty typu NIE STAĆ CIĘ / NIE MASZ CZASU / UMIEJĘTNOŚCI / LUDZIE NIE DADZĄ RADY OBSŁUGIWAĆ przez postęp technologii straciły sens i dziś program produkcyjny na proukcji możesz ustawić w 5 minut, a całą firmę zinformatyzować dosłowanie w jeden dzień.

Zobacz wideo, gdzie tłumaczę jak ustawić program produkcyjny na hali praktycznie bez znajomości komputera, a następnie zobacz w szczegółach jak sprawdznie możesz zarządzać produkcją:

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Jak działa program produkcyjny?  Co zyskujesz i jak korzystają  pracownicy ?

1)  Zawsze aktualny plan produkcji oraz ogłoszenia

program produkcyjny

Pomyśl jak bardzo poprawi się komunikacja (i ile zaoszczędzisz czasu), jak Twoi pracownicy  widzą zawsze aktualny plan produkcji oraz statusy zleceń (zielony – gotowe, pomarańczowy – w produkcji, szary – czeka).

Ich plan pracy jest tożsamy z tym co widzisz na swoim koncie managera – każda zmiana jaką dokonasz od razu przenosi się na plan wyświetlany na hali produkcyjnej.

Możesz też dodawać ogłoszenia, by przekazać dodatkowe informacje pracownikom.

2)  Pełna rejestracja operacji z produkcji i śledzenie wydajności

Pracownik przychodząc do komputera wybiera następne w kolejności do zrobienia zlecenie (pierwsze niezrealizowane z góry dla danej maszyny).  Następnie wybierając siebie z listy podaje swój 4 cyfrowy PIN (jaki jest najprostszym i najbardziej logicznym sposobem zastąpienia podpisów w małej firmie) i klika rozpocznij. W tym momencie na planie Twoim i hali wyświetla się informacja na temat rozpoczęcia pracy

program produkcyjny

Analogicznie wygląda rejestracja wykonanych sztuk – pracownik klikając zlecenie podaje ilość wykonanych sztuk, może zostawić dla Ciebie dodatkowe adnotacje, podać identyfikację partii materiału czy ilość zużytego surowca – wszystko wyświetla się w Twoim planie a także na planie produkcji.

program produkcyjny

To co dodatkowo widzisz u siebie to możliwość podglądu wydajności pracy, a także osiągniętych norm. Oczywiście możesz dokonywać analizy po produktach, zamówieniach i czym tylko chcesz – tak by poznać faktyczne parametry pracy i porównywać pracowników między sobą.

Innymi słowy otrzymujesz pełnoprawny moduł MES z dużych systemów ERP, za ułamek tej ceny i pracy.

3) Zawsze aktualna technologia – koniec z reklamacjami.

Moduł rejestracji pracy to nie tylko dane dla Ciebie, ale też ogromny przeskok jakościowy jeśli chodzi o wiedzę na temat Twoich produktów.  Pracownik rozpoczynając zlecenie ma dostęp od razu do wszystkich parametrów z jakimi ma wykonać operację, może zobaczyć dołączone do produktu zdjęcia oraz poprać dokumentacje techniczna produktu lub inne załączniki (np ustawiania dla obrabiarki CNC). Koniec z reklamacjami z powodu pomieszania rysunków czy błędnego przepływu informacji.

program produkcyjny

4)     Rejestracja czasu pracy (wejść i wyjść z pracy)

Bardzo wielu klientów Prodio decyduje się na wykorzystanie tej bardzo przydatnej funkcji. Niezależnie od list prowadzonych dla kodeksu pracy, w Prodio możesz mieć pełną historię wejść oraz wyjść z pracy.

Program bezlitośnie wskaże wszystkie spóźnienia, podliczy godziny w danym miesiącu, pozwoli Ci wyeksportować je do Excela czy zestawić z faktycznym czasem przepracowanym przez pracownika na maszynach w danym okresie.

Sprawdź program produkcyjny w praktyce!

Wypróbuj Prodio bez zobowiązań. Stwierdzisz, że to nie dla Ciebie to po 30 dniach po prostu zostawisz testy.

Co potrzebujesz by zinformatyzować małą produkcję?

 1) Program produkcyjny w wersji testowej  ( www.Prodio.pl )

Jeśli jeszcze jakiś powodów nie skonfigurowałeś próbnego (30 dni) konta w Prodio, które jest najbardziej przyjaznym w obsłudze programem do zarządzania produkcją – kliknij tutaj i podaj podstawowe dane na temat produkcji – program poprowadzi Cię za rękę. Ważne byś dodał cokolwiek na plan pracy.

Darmowe konto testowe (bez żadnych zobowiązań) możesz założyć tutaj: kliknij.

program produkcja

2) Używany komputer postawiony na produkcji

Niech to będzie najprostszy możliwy sprzęt, które przeżyją codzienny trud pracy na hali lub cokolwiek. Najlepiej od razu dodaj zewnętrzny monitor dla wygodny pracy osób.  Z swojego doświadczania  do progamu produkcjenego odradzam tablety / urządzenia dotykowe – na hali nic nie zastąpi klawiatury.

program produkcja

May tip: jeśli masz prawdę ciężkie warunki pracy kup jeszcze tańszy komputer (gdyż słabsze modele w ogóle nie posiadają wentylatorów) lub wsadź laptopa do środka szafki, a podłączony używany monitor i klawiaturę z myszką wyciągnij na zewnątrz.

3) Dowolny dostęp do Internetu

Program produkcyjny przez Internet jak np. Prodio potrzebuje bardzo mało danych, dlatego połączenie może być bardzo proste. Sposobów na udostępnienie Internetu na hali produkcyjnej jest cała masa poczynając od skorzystania z biurowego Wi-Fi / wzmocnienia za pomocą urządzenia za 60 zł (zobacz np. TP-Link WA850RE) lub skorzystania z wpiętego do komputera modelu LTE z abonamentem za 10 zł miesięcznie. Jeśli w głowie masz wymówki na temat Internetu (sprawdź ten artykuł).

Program produkcyjny w małej firmie – czy to się opłaca?

Zróbmny prostą kalkukację i zobaczmy, jakie zyski może przynieśc dla Ciebie program prodkcyjny taki jak Prodio ( z nikim abonamentem i bez kosztów wdrożenia). Przyjmijmy założenia :

  • Koszty odnośnie pracowników:
    • wypłata netto na produkcji  3000 
    • łączny koszt dla pracodawcy 5077,93 zł  (z portalu wynagrodzenia.pl)
  • Program produkcyjny koszty na podstawie cennika Prodio
    • do 10 osób na produkcji:  197 zł miesięcznie  (przy abonamencie rocznym)
    • dla firmy 11-20 osób: 397 zł miesięcznie (przy abonamencie rocznym)

Przedstawione kalkulacje są szacunkowe i zależą od specyfiki, z czego pamiętaj że uwzględniają jedynie wzrost efektywności pracy.

Wdrażając program produkcyjny dodatkowo zyskujesz na:

  1. Wyższej punktualności pracy (jeśli program produkcyjny jak Prodio ma opcję wejść i wyjść z pracy)
  2. Mniejszej ilości zmarnowanego materiału i uszkodzonych sztuk (bo w programie do zarządzanai produkcja pracownicy mają dostęp do zdjęc i parametrów)
  3. Mniejszej ilości reklamacji (powód jak wyżej)
  4. Szybszego wdrożenia nowych ludzi ( bo dużo jest w programie)
  5. Oszczędności czasu przepisywania papierowych zleceń
  6. Wyeliminowania nierentownych zamowień, bo program produkcyjny pokaże Ci realny koszt wykonania.

Jak uruchomić program produkcyjny na Twojej hali?  (przykład z Prodio.pl)

  1. Włączasz komputer oraz otwierasz dowolną przeglądarkę internetową
  2. Jako adres wpisujesz swoje konto:  https://nazwatwojegokonta.prodio.pl  – oczywiście zamiast słowa nazwatwojegokonta wpisujesz domenę jaką ustawiłeś sobie podczas koniuracji – masz ją też w wiadomości email. program produkcja
  3. Po prawej stronie podajesz login i hasło produkcji, jakie ustawiłeś wcześniej w konfiguratorze – jeśli masz wiele komputerów lub nie pamiętasz loginu znajdziesz go w swoim koncie (Ustawienia->Panele produkcji)
  4. Gotowe ?   – możesz przekazać pracownikom do nauki ten wydruk lub puścić im ten film.

     

    Tips & Tricks 

    •  ustaw stronę z programem  jako startową – by otwierała się od razu po kliknięciu przeglądarki
    •  zapisz hasło w przeglądarce, by logowało automatycznie do planu produkcji
    •  klikając F11 na klawiaturze zmaksymalizujesz widok na cały ekran,
    •  w swoim panelu możesz dodać logo swojej firmy tak, że program będzie w „100% Twój”

    Na co jeszcze czekasz ?

    Rozpocznij, a tylko 5 minut dzieli Cię od wrzucenia pierwszego zlecenia na plan produkcji!

    Pobierz poradnik: 10 Pomysłów, jak prosto zwiększyć wydajność Twojej produkcji.

    Podoba Ci się Prodio, ale uważasz że zbyt wcześnie na testy? Zostańmy w kontakcie i otrzymuj praktyczne wskazówki, jak doskonalić swoją produkcję.

    How to introduce clear rules on quality control

    How to introduce clear rules on quality control

    How to introduce clear rules on quality control

    In many small manufacturing companies the lack of clear quality regulations is a norm, so when the complain appear, it is always an employee who is guilty – "because if the owner was in his shoes he would have done it better”.

    The method

    The easiest method of checking if you have a clear rules on quality control is 0/1 possibility of establishing who was responsible for the mistake: an employee or quality rules failed, each time the job botched was spotted.

    You might be shocked, but it is important to say that the role of an employee isn’t guessing how to do things the best for the company, know everything, and perfectly balance efficiency with care to detail…

     

    Why is it worth to crate and develop clear rules regarding the quality control:

    1. OPTIMIZE THE COST – this is you not a coincidence, who decides which  % of time is optimal for monitoring and … of course there are less complaints.
    2. AUTOMATION – with each job botched (and they always will happen) there is something you can fix, to avoid it happening again;
    3. TIME SAVING – you can introduce new employees much faster;
    4. BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE STAFF – everybody knows what to do and how good they work (it i salso a proof in labor court if you want to punish an employee).

    Imagine how you would work, whether many daily used devises such as laptop, or car were made if thousands of people involved in production proces, were only guessing if they did their job correctly ?.

    How to create good quality control guidelines:

    Speaking from 10 years of experience in consulting and observation of companies from automotive industry, there isn’t a better option than creating and placing near workstations quality guidelines in a form of a table. Columns which may appear there can include information about:

    • Who: so who is performing monitoring, because ex. an operation can be controlled twice: by an operator and at random by a foreman
    • What: whether a parameter is checked ex. color, weight, lack of sharp edges, etc.
    • How and What with: the checked color ex. by using sampler, by naked eye, in the laboratory, against the light?
    • How often? Each piece, 1 out of 100 or maybe first 5 and than every 10?
    • How it should look? The difference of 1 shade, no smudges, 98% accurate?
    • Remarks? Here you can write different tips based on your experience ex. that color has to be checked after 2 minutes from leaving te machine
    • quality control

    In my opinion using photographs with examples OK / NOK  to visualize potential defects of the product is 100% necessary and it has the greatest influence on effectiveness of quality control.

    Feel, that organization pays off

    1. Designated areas and marking at the production hall and at the warehouse

    The principle is very easy: designate the area near the machines and in your manufacture to:

    • Use the space optimally and faciliate the transport of materials;
    • Quickly recognize 4 types of products: in production, to be checked (if it is the last stage), Checked OK, Incompatible NOK
    • Prevent mixing your products from different categories (especially OK and NOK)

    quality control quality control

    When you think about designated areas you probably have in mind painted lines on the floor, but the choice is much wider: markings on the walls, colorful containers, tags on pallets –  it should be convenient and practical for you. There are few more TIPs below:

    • Instead of directly painting lines on the floor it is better to test them with special floor tapes, where it will be easy to adjust the right setting;
    • Regarding colors: in production; items checked; incompatible
    • The best way is to have double ares by machines (for processing and after processing),
    • Very clearly separated checked products from other categories
    • It is recommended to use some simple numeric system for the production hall and machines

    Similarly you can use the area policy / other markings inside the warehouse (both for dispatching and collecting of materials). Exemplary areas to design inside the warehouse (depending on the industry):

    • stock: keeping ready made goods / raw materials, checked by a stock boy, and indicated as „in stock” in a computer system
    • unloading – unloaded from the truck, waiting to be checked and placed
    • incompatible – incorrect deliveries to be returned / awaiting explanation
    • to be dispatched – items prepared by the stock boy and ready to be send
    • packaging / preparation: the area to complete the orders.
    1. Mark items / batches with one number,

    If I approached a pile of products being produced at your production hall, would it be possible without guessing to verify which products are they, for whom they are being made and what is the stage of that order?

    In practice it a piece of paper with penned numer of the order and alternatively the numer of pieces is sufficient. Then it is possible to check on the computer / board with a production plan, who is working on them and how many are there ready made.

    Regarding the numer, it is best to use your own internal numer, than the one provided by the Client. It is best to use numbers like the ones used by Prodio, so the following order number / a year.

    A common practice is putting the order number on the packaging / final product. Thanks to this approach, it is easier to respond to potential complaints, because you can find the order in the system and see the working history with 100% effectiveness.

    Just START, and you’ll see it is not that bad.

     

    While reading previous advice you thought: „WHEN AM I GOING TO DO ALL OF THAT? IT WILL TAKE AGES! WE HAVE TO PRODUCE, NOT PLAY MANAGERS”. 

    Please note, that there are 3 typical mistakes regarding development of your production:

    • Don’t do it at all – if you are scared but the amount of work to optimize your production, you put things off for the time when there will be less orders…but this will never happen and the chaos will prevail or you will be only searching for new orders and new customers.
    • It’s a one off revolution in the company (it is usually connected with an audit for a client / ISO 9001 / there was a big fuck up). New documents and new tools are created in a rush, but later everything goes to a folder, because nobody believes in it. (If you wish to read more on how production management software can simplify ISO norm system n your company click here)
    • You analyse too much: it is easy to see based on a software example, when you do many different tests searching for a perfect solution, but picking faults in each system, until you opt for customized solution, which is too expensive…

    HOW TO DO IT IN 2020 TO BE SUCCESSFUL?                                        

    Superb know-how regarding products built in real time!

    What you really need is a REAL TIME DATA and you have the whole 2020 for it.  That’s why it is so important to do everything in real time.

    With each product / type of product:

    • Open a card / create a new product in your software – but write only absolutely necessary data for the worker to see.
    • While producing something go down to the production hall, take a photo and write exact parameters – do it on your mobile phone best.
    • Observe / talk to your employees – let them share some details with you, which are worth adding for the future use.
    • After finishing production verify productivity based on the real production data and than enter them to your system.

    …after 3 months you wil have  so much data, that it will pay for the effects ?

     

    Instead of looking for an expensive ERP-s start with something simple!

    The discussion is it worth to spend huge amounts on ERP system is a longer one, because many companies after introducing such systems see more disadvantages than positives – so be wiser.

    Instead of analyzing and debating introduce Google Docs / Prodio in your firm today, test it and you know what…  …even if after 6 months you decide,that it i stoo simple for you, you will know exactly what data is needed in ERP system.

     

     

    What are you waiting for? - test Prodio!

    No commitment 14 day free trial – with the most user friendly production management software, plan your work, track progress on your mobile phone, gain time and change the way your company works. After 14 days, if you decide, that it’s not for you, just leave your account.

    Do you have any questions?

    We are glad to help ?

    Let’s chat (the right-hand corner of the screen)  or talk on the phone, call us: +48 32 746 61 62

    We are happy to hear from you from Monday to Saturday 9.00 am to 5 pm

    How small manufactures related to interior finishing industry waste time and money?

    How small manufactures related to interior finishing industry waste time and money?

    How small manufactures from construction industry waste time and money?

    Paul – one of Prodio’s partners, author of majority of the code and our CTO has recently finished a removal project. In the process he was able to see for himself, that things we are describing in series of articles are terrifyingly real…

    There were plenty of examples of totally chaotic work on the side of suppliers, where companies made the product badly (starting from doors, through fixture modifications, fitted furniture, kitchen worktop), but it was enogh to choose ONLY 3, which show clearly how much time, profit and reputation lost those companies.

    It turnes out, that the problem isn’t in poor quality or efficiency but mainly in huge losses made due to chaos in communication .

    1. Case study – kitchen worktop

    Who: small company with moder technology, employing about 15 people

    What:  Fitted kitchen worktop with an undermounted sink.

     

    Although the correct technical drawing was delivered, Paweł received a sing moved for about 1 meter, which made impossible kitchen fitting. 

    Costs for the company:

    1. A 3 meter long customized worktop had to be re-made. (raw material + production)
    2. A sink had to be again undermounted.
    3. Colection of mis-measured worktop in order to dismount a sink 
    4. Large-dimension delivery to Pawła 
    5. Reputation loss

    Cost of approximately 1500 zł PLN, not including loss of machines and employees occupancy, plus additional reputation loss.

    How would it look in Prodio: 

    When writing an order on the list of orders the employee would attach a PDF file from Paweł, and the file could be displaed at the production hall.

    When offered Prodio software the company responded:
    WE DON’T HAVE TIME!

    If they had one less complaint a month, Prodio would pay off after one week.

    2. Case study – bathroom countertop

    Who: small carpentry workshop

    Co:  Impregnated bathroom countertop

    After completing the order with a salesman at the company headquarter, wrtiting measurements and choosing the right models, an assembly team delivered the furniture. It turned out that both beds have 20 centimeter gap between a frame and the matterrace. Some of the bed elements were from the model with a headboard, on top of that the drawer which supposed to be under the bed was placed on the wrong side.
    The complaint was filed TWICE AND EACH TIME, WRONG PARTS WERE DELIVERED.
    It hasn’t been solved yet.

    Type of dicrepancy:

    After choosing a desired color and model on the website Paweł placed an order by e-mail, and received (with quite a delay) a countertop in  a different color then the one ordered. After sending it back and waiting few more weeks HE AGAIN RECEIVED A WRONG COUNTERTOP AND THE PACKAGE WAS SENT TO A DIFFERENT CITY. Not having more time to spare he decided to give the countertop to a different carpentry shop, which will invoice the provider for extra sanding and re-painting. As we are writing this article, we don’t know if the second carpentry shop successfully completed the task.

    Costs for the company:

    1. Collection of faulty countertop
    2. The countertop had to be re-made (once again sanding and painting) 
    3. Protection with special oil
    4. Sending a countertop to a customer (Paweł)
    5. Cost of service in a local capentry shop.
    6. Reputation loss

     Cost of approximately 1000 zł PLN, not including loss of machines and employees occupancy, plus additional reputation loss.

    How would it look in Prodio: 

    When writing an order on the list of orders the employee would write in additional boxes “Color”:  Biscuit and information would appear on the print out passed to production, together with delivery address, etc.

    When offered Prodio software the company responded:


    WE DON’T HAVE TIME! And
     249 zł PLN seems a bit steep.

     

    3. Case study – beds

    Who: small furniture producer employing – 40 people

    What:  Beds

    Type of dicrepancy: 

    After completing the order with a salesman at the company headquarter, wrtiting measurements and choosing the right models, an assembly team delivered the furniture. It turned out that both beds have 20 centimeter gap between a frame and the matterrace. Some of the bed elements were from the model with a headboard, on top of that the drawer which supposed to be under the bed was placed on the wrong side.
    The complaint was filed TWICE AND EACH TIME, WRONG PARTS WERE DELIVERED.
    It hasn’t been solved yet.

    Costs for the company:

    1. Part of elements for both beds had to be re-made 
    2. Two additional assembly team visits (a truck-drive 80 km one-way + 2 employees working time) 
    3. We’ll se what’s going to happen next…
    4. Reputation loss 

    Cost of approximately 1000 zł PLN, not including loss of machines and employees occupancy, plus additional reputation loss.

    TO SUM UP

    Even assuming, that Paweł was exeptionally unlucky each of the above examples shows that ONLY because of mistakes made in his case the companies lost the equivalent of 3 month access to Prodio software – so that would sum up the money saving excuses…

    …because the biggest loss are time and energy, wasted on working uder pressure, in chaos trying to fix mistakes made under pressing deadlines, adding onto general confucion. 

    All mistakes came from the same source – broken communication which resulted in information not getting to a production hall. It could be easily avoided, by investing less then a minute of time in introducing Prodio in orders, thus information would automatically get where it supossed to.

    What are you waiting for? - test Prodio!

    No commitment 14 day free trial - with the most user friendly production management software, plan your work, track progress on your mobile phone, gain time and change the way your company works. After 14 days, if you decide, that it's not for you, just leave your account.
    Free 14 day trial.

    Case study: Ryan fights, with the help of Prodio, the most common causes of CNC machining problems

    Case study: Ryan fights, with the help of Prodio, the most common causes of CNC machining problems

    Get control over your small manufacture and identify the most common cause of CNC machining problems.

    READ RYAN'S STORY TO LEARN MORE

    When Friday means troubles

    Picture this: your week is moving along nicely, when all of the sudden the CNC machines in your shop start to produce components that don’t meet the necessary specifications. Straight away you start to wonder, what’s going on? What causes the machines to malfunction, where is the error? The exact same questions asked Ryan, when he entered his workshop on Friday morning, only to find out, there are many problems to fix before the weekend starts. 

    Perhaps the most common cause of CNC machining problems is poor programming. The programming of the computer software directly controls the machine and impacts the outcome. Therefore, incorrect programming leads to product errors. These issues can be difficult to diagnose, particularly for inexperienced operators. 

    To avoid such problems, you make sure to have an experienced programmer oversee operations and comprehensively train new employees.

    “When my partner and I started our company, we wanted to be the best. We didn’t start out by buying bargain equipment or hiring the cheapest workforce. We focused on buying the best equipment and investing in the top people because we felt that to reach the level we wanted, we couldn’t afford not to.” – says Ryan. 

    When operating appropriately, CNC machines offer many advantages by eliminating inefficiencies, reducing costs and increasing consistency and productivity. If you experience issues with your CNC machining processes, establish a troubleshooting process, taking into consideration these common causes and establish a routine maintenance regimen, you can prevent problems before they happen.

    “It is all very well, but you must have skilled workers to do it” – comments Ryan. “I am tired of showing them what to do all the time”, he adds. 

    “Manufacturing businesses need skilled workers and at first we didn’t have any mechanisms in place for transferring knowledge from retiring employees. There is a smaller pool of talent available now, which is quite alarming (…) everytime we hired a new worker we faced the same issue: the lack of in-company database. I spent long hours showing them the ropes, so they learned the basics, and after some time they were gone. And we were back to square one”.  

    Being an owner of CNC manufacture, you probably searched for production management software – and usually it turned out that because of too many production options in ERP you would lose flexibility and would be forced to hire someone to fill out all required data…

    “Due to many leasing contracts for CNC machines, we were searching for something, which would help us increase profitability. Something with transparent product technology allowing us to collect in just a few steps all information about product making process and necessary know how, the sequence of operations and estimated efficiency.” – remembers Ryan. 

    “We aren’t a big company, so an expensive ERP was never an option. I started searching for manufacturing software for a small enterprise, and that’s how I came across Prodio”. 

    “Even during a 14-day trial we knew it was exactly what we wanted. All documentation and product parameters are in one place so you can share them wherever it is necessary. Forget spreadsheets / whiteboards at the production hall; plan work for machines  and their estimated occupancy in hours/ days /weeks … It’s magic” – says Ryan.

     CNC machining problems

    Don’t be fooled by a simple form, thanks to clever modifications in the schedule you can incorporate:

    • division into preliminary / finishing processing,
    • different types of mount / tool on the same machine,
    • preparation / changeover time.

    And to avoid errors  you can print with one click technological guides containing all information about the product, which can follow the production path making work clear and easy. You can also attach machine settings and set operations path for each product to follow.

     CNC machining problems

    Technologist and machine preparation time are as valuable as a real production time, but they are very often neglected hence not monitored – and in your industry, this is a possible money leakage.

    Make sure you add in production technology, a machine named “Technologist” and ask constructors, preparing machines software and technical documentation to clock it in/out each time.

    “Since we started using Prodio the skills gap hasn’t been a major concern” – smiles Ryan. “The knowledge stays in the company, and is easily accessible for everybody. When the issue arises, guys at the production hall simply consult technical drawing or check the tags on product and comments. It’s feels like we are in the know”- he chuckles. “If you come from a budget-focused mindset, like we do, you can’t afford not to use Prodio” – Ryan adds. 

    Read more on using Prodio software in machining industry.

     Start now!

    Try Prodio without any commitments – you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don’t hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !

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    Download a manual: 10 ideas on how to increase efficiency of your production.

    Case study: Peter, the owner of a small joiner’s workshop shares his thoughts on Prodio.

    Case study: Peter, the owner of a small joiner’s workshop shares his thoughts on Prodio.

    Get control over your small manufacture and never cancel your holidays again.

    READ PETER'S STORY TO LEARN MORE

    Living out of a suitcase

    “When we had to cancel our summer holidays again, I thought my partner was going to kill me” – says Peter, the owner of a small joiner’s workshop, who took it over 3 years ago to continue the tradition and experience of the family business. Since then the workshop specialised in window and door manufacturing, cooperated with local locksmith shop and have undertaken a range of different projects to fully satisfy wishes of customers whose satisfaction has always been a top priority.

    “At first it felt like a dream come true: we were super busy, had loads of orders, I was in my element” – he remembers. “Quite quickly we built a reputation for a high level of service”. The customers were beating down their door. 

    To keep all deadlines and complete orders on time, Peter hired 5 more people, so in total there were 10 of them working in the workshop. “That’s when my struggle started” – he sighs. “I had to be there almost 24/7 to supervise first-class workmanship and assembly, monitor progress, guide and solve problems on spot. I spent more time at the workshop then with my family, not to mention friends, trying to plan ahead, schedule orders, minimize material loss, controlling workers and the quality of our products.” Yet still there were times when Peter was tired of all the nonsense his workers wrote on production orders. Handwritten scribbles on a piece of paper torn from the old notebook, unclear and hard to decipher. Last minute changes in parameters added as a note in the corner, often intelligible. It took ages to copy everything into Excel. The more orders they had, the worse information flow was.  

    small joiner’s workshop

    Slowly, but surely more and more mistakes were made, which resulted in complaints. After all, paper is costly, slow to file, and highly prone to human error among other things. Knowing which tasks need to be done, as well as keeping track of progress, can be a headache when everything is being noted traditionally. 

    On top of that, each time Peter wasn’t physically present in the workshop the job was botched, so he often burnt the midnight oil or sacrificed his family time to improve the efficiency of a whole process by a few percent, specify a measurement or simply learn something new. But it wasn’t enough.

    When you hire 10 people in your workshop, even an increase of 3% in productivity will earn you enough money to pay for a family vacation. How much is 3% in a scale of a daily wage? It’s about 13-14 minutes of more productive time per worker per day. 

     

    The big change for Peter started with setting up a computer at the workshop, so the workers could check in/ check out and all working process was registered. It resulted in 5-6% efficiency rise, where all he needed was a mere 3 %. What followed was paperless manufacturing. “Prodio really changed my life” – he says. “It is the easiest online system for managing tasks at the workshop. Everything is always in the system, up-to-date and in real time. We are able to keep track of records.”

    “I had been looking for a tool, which would tackle all issues we had. Something ideal for a modern workshop that wants to grow fast. A tool that allows me to be on the ball and make decisions in real-time without the necessity of being present at the workshop all the time ”. 

    Prodio allows manufacturers, like Peter, to track the progress of their production schedules remotely. Which is especially great if your office and production floor are not physically close to each other. You can perform automatic manufacturing costs calculations, which is going to help you scale your business. 

    Prodio provides the tools not only to manage your entire business, but to manage it from any place, at any time, from the cloud. 

    small joiner’s workshop

    “I was desperate to take some time off and spend it with my loved ones. But there was always something urgent, a deadline to keep, the last order to complete. Now I am free to do so”, says Peter zipping up his suitcase. He is looking forward to a weekend break, and not worried  a bit that without him his workshop will stop. “Now I have everything I need in my pocket, on my mobile phone” – he smiles.

    Read more on how to use Prodio production planning software in your workshop.

     Start now!

    Try Prodio without any commitments – you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don’t hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !

    Download a manual: 10 ideas on how to increase efficiency of your production.

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    Case study: Mark discovers that Prodio is ideal to organize work in his small manufacture

    Case study: Mark discovers that Prodio is ideal to organize work in his small manufacture

    Get control over your small manufacture and don't be an "Undercover boss" any more.

    READ MARK'S STORY TO LEARN MORE

    “Undercover boss”

    Every time Mark was trying to get control over his small manufacture he felt like starring in a distorted version of a popular television programme “Undercover boss”. The show follows high-level executives as they slip anonymously into the rank-and-file of their own organizations. Each week, a different leader sacrifices the comfort of their office for an undercover mission to examine the inner workings of their business.

    Technically speaking there is nothing wrong with fraternizing with the staff, spending time in the shop, making sure things are going well. “But there was not much fun in turning up at the unheavenly hour just to make sure guys were working there, not just lazing around” –  recalls Mark. “It was more like consorting with the enemy”, he adds. 

    “The moment you turned around, or left the shop to tend to something urgent, they were just hanging around there, looking busy, putting in lots of hours but there was no visible progress on the orders. (…) Don’t get me wrong, we did complete them, but it was hard to predict how long it will take each time to finish something and I couldn’t pinpoint who was responsible for which task”. It was like a bad joke and Mark felt he had no control over his small-scale manufacturing business. “I see myself as a people person: you can turn the blind eye sometimes, I get that, but I am not a schnook.” Naturally, he was desperate to change something. And by sheer accident he came across Prodio. 

    “I remember talking to my friend Mike [an owner of a small tool shop] over a beer and confiding in him, that I am at my wits end and it is all a complete disaster really. He listened patiently and then took out his mobile phone. I considered that rude, but after a few swipes he showed me a very simple dashboard with a production plan. My first impression was, that it is very clear and easy to read. That’s how I first saw Prodio”. 

    software for small company  

    Mike explained, that he had been using Prodio software for a while and he was keen to show me everything. “I was a bit reluctant at first – I didn’t really plan on investing in a software, but he said, that I needn’t worry about any specialized equipment,  on-premise infrastructure, IT team of implementers or long hours of training for my workers. Prodio takes 5 minutes to set up and another 10 minutes to schedule your first production order” – he added. “Just click the trial button and you will see.”

    Indeed Prodio enables to watch my inventory in real-time and better plan out our manufacturing. There is no guesswork. I know exactly what is going on with the orders. 

    software for a small company

    We can prioritize and make adjustments to predict accurately order completion and delivery times based on manufacturing process and historical data. On top of that I make real-time changes to see where our resources would be the most productive. 

    software for a small company

    Speaking of productivity: Mark finally felt, that he regained control over his small business. “I am able to track the time each employee spends on their tasks, as well as non-productive time. Thanks to registration of working time, we avoid lateness and see clearly where bottlenecks appear.”

    software for small manufacture

    At first, there has been a lot of fear among employees, a trace of negativity. “We did say goodbye to some of our staff, but it was for the best. Those, who stayed learned to appreciate Prodio. Measuring the efficiency and performance has transformed into increase in profits of our company. The more money we make, the more likely they will get their bonus” – laughs Mark. “What’s interesting we complete the orders on time with half of the staff! I was shocked to learn that my foreman was doing some side jobs during his working hours! I feel like we have just opened a whole new chapter, and it happened just under a month!” 

    Sometimes what you do, requires a leap of faith and “can do” attitude. In Mark’s case there was more of a “click of faith”, but it paid off quickly. 

    Why don’t you follow in his footsteps? You can see it for yourself since Prodio offers a 14-day free trial, so you can test how easy it is to implement remote work into your business. If you need more guiding arrange a demo and our team will be happy to go through the software with you.

     Start now!

    Try Prodio without any commitments – you have 14 days to check all of its functions in practice. After your trial period ends you can simply leave your account or continue work as our Client. Would you prefer to talk? Don’t hesitate and call us from 9:00 am to 5 pm !

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    Download a manual: 10 ideas on how to increase efficiency of your production.

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