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How Does Your Shop Keep Track of Employee Productivity?

Nerdlinger

Stainless
Joined
Aug 10, 2013
Location
Chicago, IL
Hi Everyone! So just like the title says...do the supervisors record number of widgets made each day and put it in a spreadsheet, look at "cycle start time" on machines, etc??? Are there periodic (i.e. daily, weekly, quarterly, etc.) incentives for meeting the goal as an individual and then another one for the group, if applicable? etc.

Thank you for sharing!
 
We track machine productivity, not employee productivity. We use www.scytec.com for machine monitoring. We have different targets for lathes, VMC, or HMC, ranging from 60% in cycle to 80%. That is based on a 24/7 schedule. We normally can hit those numbers relatively easy if we don't have any extended machine down time for repairs. We also track our saws and rotary tumblers with Scytec as well, but those are not automated to run lights outs like the machine tools so the targets are much lower.

As far as incentives, I am salaried engineering so I don't know how the shop floor people are compensated. We do have a great work culture here and people are genuinely productive. We also make things easy for them to be productive. We but top shelf tools, components, software, machines, etc. We build robust yet simple to operate automation so people don't have to work like slaves to be productive. We also try to keep a clean shop and good climate control.
 
I ran a machining high production shop 90 person, 2 shift and partial 3rd.
was no need to track, everything was sold, push quality and numbers, workers
knew their jobs, were cross trained lathe and mill, life was good, job shop totally
different started 23 yrs ago, and is constant battle, all comes to training and selecting
good responsible workers, no need to track, when workers know their job is key to
their survival, they do their best, team work.
Before being in my own, visited suppliers shops, and seemed to me too much red tape
unproductive time, workers would cloak time card every time they switched jobs, to me
sound odd, they wanted management by office, I guess , If you are small shop need to
be hands on, delegate as much as possible wear more than one hat.
Keep an eye on the bottom line, take care of the pennies the dollars take care of themselves
 
Different stokes to different folks.
A small shop is so way different from a auto plant.
Not so happy with the current output? Or looking for a way to sort the superstars from the donkeys?
 
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At one time we had 12 on the payroll, a friend came from out of state and his first question upon entering our shop was "how many people do you have working for you", before I realized what I was saying I told him "about half of them". In reflecting back later that was pretty accurate at any given time, all were good folks, all tried hard but there was always some reason some weren't quite there even though they were.
 
That off-hand "about half of them" remark by kustomizer illustrates a very important to managing point about the difference between easy to track things, like widgets per hour, and the myriads of pesky details that have to be attended to if the shop is to keep running. Mighty Big (and Not Quite so Big) Industries can afford specialists to deal with the pesky stuff so the widgets just keep coming off the line. Having a specialist (should) make it easier to keep track of WTHIGO.

For example a friend of mine used to be a toolmaker for MK Electrical and they had a guy dedicated to floor sweeping, machine cleaning, bin emptying and errands in the toolmakers shop. More than worth his wages for the extra productivity of the toolmakers.

In a small shop the pesky stuff tends to gets spread around on the "who gets a burr under his saddle first" principle. Left overs end up as more after hours work for the boss! Net result is probably that the pesky stuff takes twice as long at twice the wages when compared to having a specialist. It's also pretty much unmanageable without an uber complex clocking system that is going to be a worse time hog than the problem you are attempting to solve. Back in the manual management days plenty of folk made a very nice lifetime living in large companies operating such systems with, objectively, negative benefit to the company. I've met a few! Who usually got their vocabulary expanded.

When the numbers don't seem to be coming up to what they ought to turning a beady eye on the pesky stuff is good place to start. Remembering the doubling rule applies. A "five minute" errand always costs ten "productive" minutes. Probably due to start-stop effects. One a day effectively costs an hour a week. But it doubles so that's 2 hours or 5% of a standard week. If you haven't got the pesky stuff nailed down it's a fair bet that everyone has one "five minuter" every day. Leaving the boss wondering where that 5% off the bottom line evaporated.

Hard management is probably impossible in a small shop but you can at least formalise it and ensure it doesn't get out of hand. Sort of time management equivalent of the petty cash tin.
 
Pretty hard to "keep track" but very easy to discern who gets shit done and who doesn't.

But one thing I've noticed since finding out I have OCD, If you're organized and know EXACTLY where your tools are you become very productive.(as a rule).

I didn't used to be like that, and my dad was VERY disorganized when running his one man shop.

As the "tool man" for my small toolroom, I let folks borrow tools all the time, but get incensed when they don't put them back, or put them away dirty or in the wrong place.

So, I guess, if I had to choose, I would easily hire the more organized person over the devil may care dude.

Your mileage may vary.
 
On our job travelers, we would note what time/day I handed a job off to an operator, and what time/day that job got finished.

I would then add the cycle time and any changeover time each cycle, multiplied by how many parts we made. If the actual time was significantly more than the cycle time calculation, we would have a talk. Of course I take in to consideration bathroom breaks, the odd phone call, some telling-of-jokes time (which I'm fine with). But if it's too much, I made the operator tell me why. If he couldn't then he got watched a lot closer on the next job, which nobody likes.
 
I've got this one.

The estimation team maps every step of every compoment required to produce every job in the quoting process. Every step gets a set-up time and an associated cycle time. Setup time is amortized accross the whole run. It creates lots of data points. When we get the job, all that data moves from the the quoting software to the ERP system automatically using an API connection. Weve trained our people to always clock into and out of routing steps for every job. When they complete steps and quantities, the resulting data is stored deep in the ERP system. I could never hope to get the data displayed in a searchable format, so I pull the raw data out of the ERP system, reformat it a bit and then dump it into a database. Then I use google's BI tool Looker Studio to build charts and tables that reference my damn-near real-time production data. I know ecatly how much value has been generated by who, with what, doing what and in what department on any given day. I can tell you with a glance at my phone how much money I lost in 3 axis milling or how much profit I generated with my lasers. By default it displays a rolling 30 average that every person in my company lives and dies by. I know exactly who my slackers are and who prints me money.

And on the good days, I can see it from the comfort of a quiet beach. Of course, this rarely happend because running a company with 3 distinct and highly techincal departments carrying waaaay more debt than most are comfortable with.... well, you just get used to never shutting off.

Like right now for example. Its F****ing midnight and I'm posting on some forum for the first time about charting production data.
 
Last place I worked at, got bought out by a new guy in 2017 or so, after I had worked there for 17 years. 7 guys on the floor running 16 wire EDM machines with me managing them.

This new owner comes in after running a factory with 2000+ employees. Goes ISO 9001+13485 and AS9100.

Spends probably 40k setting up machine monitoring on our wire machines. I thought this was insane. He said he would sit at home at night and remotely view the monitoring. Then he would come in the next day and question why this and that stopped for this period of time. Mind you, this guy had never cranked a bridgeport handle in his life, not exactly the hands on type.

Needless to say I only lasted a couple years and I'm working at a much better company now. I still keep in contact with some guys at the old place and only half of them are still there.

Not even sure if this is thread appropriate but it just got me thinking about it all over again. So uhhhh, be careful with that monitoring I guess.
 
Remote monitoring of production rates... ouch.
As a supervisor in a auto parts plant the current Kanban board numbers on each cell visible to all upper via the net.
So you have some issue and are scrambling to get in the needed trades to fix it.
Midnight or later and the guy above me sends a text. "You are 143 parts behind in the last hour, why?".
This guy needs to report for work at 7AM so my first thought is that you should be sleeping and let me take care of it.
Second thought is micromanagement and you do not trust me to solve problems. (this one hurt more)
That sort of hurt but okay my it's job to explain the hows and whys tomorrow. Not while I am fighting fires with the short staff on 2nd and 3rd.

Said that I track minutes, actually I track seconds per part.
Something goes wrong the and machine goes off production and into downtime in 20 different slots with a paper slip explaining.
The I'd look at downtime every month and have a meeting with all about "How do we eliminate this".
No blame or finger [pointing, just how to not have this problem.

All for tracking real time and built my own in the 80's which I still use . What to do with the results?
Shit happens. Things go wacky. Part size goes out of the control limits for unknown reasons and the SPC says "STOP".

All this in bigger runs. At 1,2,10 it is going to be very different. Still track but do averages off of estimated and allow for a reasonable spread for people.
When it was slow and lost money try to find out why. When it was super fast and made tons of money try to find out why.
Bob
 
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Having the data doesn't necessarily
Remote monitoring of production rates... ouch.
As a supervisor in a auto parts plant the current Kanban board numbers on each cell visible to all upper via the net.
So you have some issue and are scrambling to get in the needed trades to fix it.
Midnight or later and the guy above me sends a text. "You are 143 parts behind in the last hour, why?".
This guy needs to report for work at 7AM so my first thought is that you should be sleeping and let me take care of it.
Second thought is micromanagement and you do not trust me to solve problems. (this one hurt more)
That sort of hurt but okay my it's job to explain the hows and whys tomorrow. Not while I am fighting fires with the short staff on 2nd and 3rd.

Said that I track minutes, actually I track seconds per part.
Something goes wrong the and machine goes off production and into downtime in 20 different slots with a paper slip explaining.
The I'd look at downtime every month and have a meeting with all about "How do we eliminate this".
No blame or finger [pointing, just how to not have this problem.

All for tracking real time and built my own in the 80's which I still use . What to do with the results?
Shit happens. Things go wacky. Part size goes out of the control limits for unknown reasons and the SPC says "STOP".

All this in bigger runs. At 1,2,10 it is going to be very different. Still track but do averages off of estimated and allow for a reasonable spread for people.
When it was slow and lost money try to find out why. When it was super fast and made tons of money try to find out why.
Bob
Having the production data doesn't necessarily equate to bad management. There isn't a scenario in which one should choose to ignore their employees or departmental production rates, remote or otherwise. Its a business. You need to know how its doing. You need to watch it. You trust but verify. This is your job.

I get it if you're a 30 year veteran employee: of course you're going to rail against real-time performance data. And yes, it sounds like you and another poster above have worked for some out-of-touch micromanagers. But that doesn't mean that averages and estimates are an appropriate replacement for precise data.
 
Good to see a person busy most of the time, few stand around chatting sessions, not on the cell phone except a one minuet or so answering a call, few long sessions in the bathroom, and making few scrap parts.
 








 
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