Job Shop Software
Understand What’s Happening on the Floor
SensrTrx is a software designed to help manufacturers track against the schedule, understand machine utilization, and find bottlenecks.
Trusted By Leading Manufacturers
What is Job Shop Software?
Job shop software is software dedicated to creating visibility, solving problems, and streamlining processes.
Use production scheduling to understand if you’re ahead or behind. See where you might have excess capacity to accommodate for potential rush orders. Look at capacity historically.
Eliminate manual reporting and focus on value-added tasks. Enable employee communication and team alignment with visual management tools.
With job shop software, manufacturers can operate more efficiently and manage the shop floor with one solution.
Features Designed for Job Shop Manufacturing
Get visibility into the plant, understand how it’s running, in real-time, and know if you’re on track to hit your production goals with a complete job shop software solution.
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Learn more about SensrTrx.
Tacony Reduced Lead Time by 150% and Gained $500k in Unrealized Revenue with SensrTrx
“The real-time tracking towards a goal will tell you how many you’ve completed. You know from the minute you press the start button in the morning if you’re tracking towards your goal.”
Still have questions about job shop software?
What are the benefits of using job shop software?
Too often, traditional software solutions promise to make the lives of job shop manufacturers easier, but they rarely deliver the intended promise of actually making things less difficult. There is a lot of ERP software today that is built to solve those issues, but it tends to be really, really complex, and maybe even too accurate. The scheduling is too accurate. It doesn’t take into account all of the variability that is so common in job shops.
Between each step in the production process, the product has to move from one place to another and some may be taking longer than planned or required. This follows the whole idea of dependent events, which is actually what happens in a job shop. So, scheduling becomes very, very difficult and complicated because of the many dependent events. When this happens, job shops fall into having people manage that whole process in Excel, on whiteboards, or with Kanban boards. Manual processes are convoluted and difficult to track.
There is a solution that actually does solve these issues – manufacturing productivity software. You can measure utilization, planned versus actual changeover times, and planned versus actual operation time. You can import your schedule and track against the jobs at an operational level to be able to give you that granularity of knowing if you’re running ahead or behind.
There are specific requirements and metrics in job shops, much of which are traditionally measured and tracked manually. In these types of companies, there are machine-based operations with machine tools, like mills, lathes, saws, press brakes, etc. but, there could be a lot of manual operations as well. Hand assembly, welding, and so on, that aren’t practical to measure through a piece of equipment. With manufacturing productivity, you can collect the data from people, too, not just the machines. It covers all of the bases by giving an entire view into the plant, not just the machines that make the product, all while getting rid of tedious manual processes.
The biggest benefit is the scheduling feature – tracking against the schedule, looking at machine utilization, and understanding if you have bottlenecks. Using the scheduling tool, you can also see where you might have excess capacity to see where you may be able to slot something in today if you receive a rush order. Or, you could use the schedule to understand if you’re ahead or behind, as well. You could even see your capacity, historically, over time.
Job shop software like SensrTrx gives you the visibility you need into the plant, through machines and people, while eliminating manual reporting and solving the problem of overly complex schedules
Does your job shop software have a mobile app?
We understand that things happen at the plant, even when you’re not there. Because of that, we created an iOS and Android mobile application to provide insight into the plant, remotely. Not only will you be able to see real-time performance data, but you can configure alerts to tell you when a machine goes down or scrap is too high. Receive push notifications and never let problems go unnoticed or unaddressed again.
We also have other features to provide even more insight. Scoreboards placed throughout the plant, real-time dashboards accessible via any web browser, and operator screens stationed at every machine or line provide visibility for the entire plant. By using these visual management tools, the entire company can see and understand what’s happening, creating better-aligned teams, more employee engagement, stronger communication, and a great culture.
What machine shop performance metrics can I track with software?
The hard part of job shops is that everything is different, every single day. A job shop can be medium to low volume, but medium to high mix, creating an environment of constant change. Some job shops do produce thousands of the same things, but a lot of job shops are totally custom and everything is engineered to order.
There are unique requirements for a job shop. Each machine, each person, each work center, each cell could be doing something different every day, which makes planning for that really, really difficult. It is much easier to schedule, understand capacity, order products, do quotes, develop cost projections, all of those things you need to run a factory when you’re making the same thing every single day. But, if every day is different and every time you make something, it’s different, how do you plan and predict? And, what metrics do you track to accommodate for the high variability in a job shop?
Performance metrics are not the key metrics in a job shop. The plant is not asking, “How many parts were produced on a machine?” But, instead, it’s the changeover times and run times that matter most to the plant operations team. They’re asking:
- “What’s an estimate for how long it takes to set up a machine and changeover from one job to another?”
- “How long should a job take to run? ”
- “Is the job close to that time?”
These are all local optimization numbers. “Is this machine or this operation running the way it should?” And, when you have those numbers, you can begin to look at the more holistic view of the plant by asking:
- “How much capacity do we actually have?
- “If we got a rush job today, where could we actually fit it in?”
So, unlike a more traditional manufacturing environment, performance doesn’t matter nearly as much as the metrics needed to understand changeover and run time. Also while on-time delivery is something that matters to any manufacturer, a job shop places greater importance on the need to track, not only on-time delivery to the external customer, but on-time delivery to the internal customer. Which basically means that from one operation to another, what does that look like and how is it tracked. “So, if we’re supposed to make these parts today and finish them today, did we do that? Yes or no? Why not?”
Let’s not forget about quality, either. In a factory that produces the same product every single day, quality is easily automated. In that highly automated, high volume, repetitive company, you have most of those check processes built into the equipment already. But, in a job shop, measuring quality is typically a manual process. Sometimes, a job shop has tooling and machines that will measure and check parts, but more often than not, the process of monitoring quality falls to job packets or job travelers and humans.
Because everything is different every time, these job packets or job travelers “travel” around the shop for detailing and verifying each step in the production process. The problem with this is the fact that these travelers are paper that can get lost, be torn, spilled on, etc.
This is where job shop software can provide immense benefit in eliminating manual processes, providing visibility, and providing simple scheduling methods.
How can software grow a job shop manufacturing business?
The fact that the process in a job shop is different every single day and measurements are very specific, makes it hard to plan. This is why many believe job software is too complex or too difficult to generate any real improvements. But, this is actually wrong. Job shop software is designed with those challenges in mind, giving manufacturers the ability to overcome them.
With job shop software, manufacturers will see many benefits, as shown in the paragraph above, that will lead to increased efficiencies and productivity. Goals will be met and customer satisfaction will increase, all leading to increased revenue and growth.
What is the best software for job shops?
The metrics you track and the benefits you see with job shop software are important to your growth as a manufacturer. Visibility doesn’t have to be impossible. It’s not a myth that manufacturing productivity can’t work in job shop. So, when you’re ready to take the leap, how do you know which software is going to be the best for you?
In our honest answer, it all depends on the goals you want to achieve. We don’t want to tell you SensrTrx is the best software for your plant because it may not be for what you want to do. That’s okay. But, we do want to help you in your process of choosing the best software vendor for your particular situation. There are a few things to think about before choosing one.
Sure, you’ve already decided on the goals you want to achieve, but how do you want to achieve them? Will the software help you do that at every step of the way? Is it easy to use and train your employees on? What’s the implementation process look like? Will you have a dedicated employee spearheading the project both before and after implementation? What’s your budget look like? Will this solution continue to grow with you in the future?
As you can see, selecting the right software for your needs isn’t always the easiest decision, but if you are prepared, you’ll find the best solution for your company.