Want to take your manufacturing operation to the next level? Be more competitive? Streamline your operation? A new time tracking solution may be what you need! Keep reading to learn about the six things to consider when determining what type of time tracking solution is right for you.
Six Steps to Help You Select Your Next Time Tracking Solution
1. Evaluate your processes and identify your pain points
What issues are slowing you down or disrupting your operation? Do you lack job visibility? Are you still tracking time manually or struggling to keep track of paper time sheets? Want to improve employee performance? Now might be the time to upgrade to a more efficient time tracking solution.
2. Does your business need a diet?
After evaluating your pain points, you might discover that your business needs a “diet” due to the number of time wasters you found.
Here’s a list of common issues that can create big process inefficiencies and negatively impact your bottom line.
- Duplicate entry of time clock and job punches, production data, and more.
- Wasted time looking for lost time sheets or reading messy handwriting.
- Outdated job standards that negatively influence job costing and your ability to compete.
- A lack of job or employee visibility without walking around your operation.
- Delayed reporting due to data lags.
- Incomplete or incorrect information to make smarter business decisions.
- Paper processes that reduce efficiency.
Taken collectively, all of the above issues can have a dramatic impact on your long-term business success. Read more about determining if your business needs a diet here.
3. Evaluate software options based on your business needs
Think about your pain points and then consider what key features are most important to you. Determine what type of information you want to track; how quickly you want to get started; and think about your budget for the software and mobile devices. You will also need to decide if you want a plug and play solution or a custom solution designed just for you. Evaluate available options against your key buying criteria and prioritize them based on what is a “must have” versus a “nice-to-have.” Use the list below to jump-start your evaluation process.
- What information do you need to track as work happens (e.g., Track Labor, Jobs, production data, etc.)?
- Are you required to capture time or production data for compliance requirements, specific government contracts, or pending ISO certification?
- Do you need real-time visibility of Jobs and employees for improved performance monitoring on-site or off-site?
- Do you want supervisor dashboards and reports that you can easily create yourself?
- Is ease of use and ongoing maintenance or support important to you?
- What type of devices do you want to use? Do you need mobile capabilities with device flexibility?
- How quickly do you want to implement? What resources and team members will be needed to successfully implement the software within your organization to meet your timelines?
- Do you need a solution that can be self-administered without an expert?
- How important is real-time integration and system compatibility?
- What are your budget considerations? (Think about total cost of ownership including: software, hardware, implementation, and support.)
4. Do you require a standard or custom solution?
Another key step in the evaluation process is to determine what type of system you need—a standard, ready-to-use, plug and play software solution or a custom built solution. The advantage to a standard solution is that it is more cost-effective and easier to implement and maintain. On the other hand, custom solutions can be built to your exact needs, but they take longer to implement and are more costly. Standard solutions will typically meet 80% or more of your needs and can often be configured to match your current processes. Do your research. This decision has long-term implications from a maintenance and compatibility perspective.
5. Determine what you want to track with mobile devices
Mobile devices can make time tracking a breeze on-site or off-site. Think about your operation and what you need to track as work happens. Determine what areas of your operation need to track time spent on jobs or tasks or capture production data such as scrap, good quantity, etc. Do you want to:
- Use touch screen kiosks or tablets to track timeclock punches, job punches, plus work center and production data using the same devices?
- Scan barcodes or badges to capture job, task, and break punches?
- Track time for employees working remotely or off-site at a client location?
- Screen employees for COVID-19?
- Capture data for job safety audits?
- Track indirect time such as training, maintenance, and Job setup?
6. Check the features against your key needs
Finally, evaluate the available options based on your most important needs and criteria. Keep in mind what is truly a need versus a want. Some features may be “nice-to-have,” but will they truly be utilized? Will the software be easy for your operators to use on the shop floor? Make sure to consider how easy it is to update the software and your mobile devices on an ongoing basis.
Another important point to consider is integration. Do you need to integrate or share data with another system to eliminate duplicate data entry? If you require integration to another system such as your payroll or ERP system, what are the costs involved? How will the data be exchanged? Is the data exchanged in real time? Additionally, how easy is it to keep your your stationary and mobile devices updated to maintain system compatibility? All of this has an impact on the total cost of ownership which includes the software, hardware, integration, implementation, training, and support costs, as well as future maintenance costs.
Before you make your final purchase decision, find out if you can try out the software before you buy it. This can be a true test of its functionality as well as evaluate the level of support provided by the software vendor.
By following the six steps above, you can pick the right solution that best fits your operation. Time tracking software can help improve efficiency, reduce waste, increase visibility, and help you keep your job standards up-to-date.
Want to sharpen your competitive edge? Contact us today to learn more about time tracking software.