It was the esteemed American writer, Mark Twain, who turned the old proverb on its ear when he said, “Man waits not for time nor tide.” In this, he implied that the ever-increasing speed with which modern society moves is a result of the advance of technology—not the forces of nature.
This thinking could not be more true in the fast paced, shortened lead time, “around the clock” manufacturing world today. Indeed, with only a limited amount of time available as a resource for production, making the greatest use of the supply of time is more often than not the difference found between profitable companies and those less so.
Getting the most out of what limited time a manufacturer has involves a strong sense of orderliness to process, as well as an awareness of the relationship of waste to productivity. The techniques used by job shops, make-to-order, make-to-stock, and mixed mode manufacturers are not only considerations of eliminating waste, but also of maximizing valuable production time as a function of labor efficiency. Whether direct labor as value in actual production, or indirect labor cost through non-productive activities of employees, labor management is an important tool of analysis built into the best paperless Touch Screen Data Collection systems (TSDC) in the determination of the cost of goods sold (CGS). (more…)