A manufacturer of small plastic parts contacted Current Directions to automate their recording of employees' productivity, time, and attendance. They were still using time clock cards and handwritten labor-collection forms. Collecting the information involved too many people, too many pieces of paper, and too many steps. The entire process was slow, cumbersome, expensive, and prone to error.
Current Directions designed a solution to run on the company's existing Sun Solaris based system. An Intermec 9154 crossbar controller was connected to their Sun host. Eight Intermec 9560 bar-code transaction managers were then connected to the controller. A bar-code printer module was attached to the company's HP laser printer.
Reports were developed using the Informix database system already in use. Each employee was given a uniquely bar-coded identification badge. Menus were created for each bar-code reader site listing typical jobs with a matching bar-code.
A control program, running on the Host Sun Unix system handles all communications from the Intermec controller. Looking for incoming data from any of the stations, it manages the prompting sequence to each bar-code reader station. By simply scanning their employee badge bar-code, every employee's time and attendance are instantly recorded. As the scanned information is received, the control program validates the data. At the end of each prompt sequence the database is updated with the results. This means management has instant access to all information.
Additionally, the control program sends a series of beeps to each bar-code reader station at certain times to notify the employees when they should clock in and out. Current Directions also helped develop Informix scripts to determine the amount of regular and overtime hours worked by each employees.
Recording labor information is equally easy. The work orders are already bar-coded. The employees only need to scan their badge, the work order, and the labor-collection menu provided at each bar-code reader. The information is validated, and processed immediately.
The manufacturer no longer has to deal with mounds of paper, poor handwriting, cumbersome data entry and potentially inaccurate reports. The new time and labor-collection system is fast, accurate, and easy to use Because labor information is now scanned at the job site, work orders can be tracked, and production trends can be recognized as they develop. Due to the seamless integration with the manufacturer's existing system and programs, in-house computer staff can create reports, modify data collection prompts, and modify the bar-coded menus without re-training.