SMB Production Scheduling Blog

Product update: operator client and refined impact of job status

With the September product update, which we just rolled out to all user accounts, we finally close the loop that we had in mind when releasing the Execute Mode for the first time. From now on, operators working on the shopfloor can provide shopfloor information via any kind of mobile device (PC, tablet, smartphone). When operators log in, they no longer see the visual schedule. Instead, they see a list of jobs and tasks scheduled for their resources and can act on them accordingly.

In addition to this, we refined the impact that the job status (released, ordered, planned) has on the job shop scheduling process. Going forward, the job status will have no more influence on the job's priority (sequence number).

The Operator Client

The Operator Client is a complete new user experience. When you log in as operator (via the "log in" button on www.just-plan-it.com, you no longer see the visual schedule, but you can work in an app-style experience on any device. That means, that you can now enable your operators to provide shopfloor feedback not only from a PC, but also from mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Operator ClientFirst screen: select task from list

When logging in, the operator sees the list of tasks that are scheduled for the resources that he is responsible for. Please note that you can define which operator should see which resources via the user management (this is also new).

This list always shows three lines per job:

  • Line 1: Job name and assigned resource
  • Line 2: task number
  • Line 3: planned start date, planned end date, planned runtime

In addition to this, there can be three symbols on the very left hand side:

  • The yellow square with the exclamation mark is the same as you know from the Execute Mode. It tells the operator that there is feedback missing - based on the current "pulse-to-line".
  • The black square tells the operator that he has set this task to "finished" but that the planner has not yet approved this.
  • The green square tells the operator that he has set this task to "started" but that the planner has not yet approved this.

The operator can select and open one task by just touching (or clicking) the respective line in the Operator Client. 

Last but not least, the operator can also filter this list (via the yellow button at the top of it). He can apply a filter on resources and a filter on the task status.

Operator Client - second screen2Second screen: set shopfloor data

Once a specific task had been selected, the view of the Operator Client changes and the operator enters the screen, where he can take action.

Here, the operator can - from his (mobile) device - set the shopfloor data in the same way he had been providing feedback before.  He can:

  • Provide information about the start time: set the task start to now, set it to the planned date or provide any start time via date/time picker.
  • Set the remaining runtime from now, as introduced with the June product update.
  • Set information about the finish timeset the task finish to now, set it to the planned date or provide any finish time via date/time picker.
  • Provide information about the resource that is actually carrying out this task on the shopfloor and give information about the task status.
  • Also, the operator can add an operator note, which basically means that he can send a message about this task to the planner.

The operator can return to the task list with the home icon in the upper blue band. The book icon opens a third screen providing the operator with more information about the selected task. The three dots in the blue band are for logging out of the Operator Client.

Working with the Operator Client happens from www.just-plan-it.com. You do NOT need to download any kind of app from any kind of appstore.

Refined impact of job status: changes to the Job View

With our just plan it  scheduling software, we initially implicitly had a "typical workflow of jobs" in mind: customers ask for a quote, then order and then the job is released to the shopfloor. This let us implement the job status (quoted, ordered, released), which also structured the Job View. Even more: we also let the job status have an influence on the scheduling engine, which meant that a released job always used to have a lower sequence number (thus a higher priority) than a quoted job.

This dominant impact of the job status is removed with the current product update.

From now on, the job status is just meant to be a criteria for coloring the respective bar in the visual schedule. There are a couple of consequences coming with this change.

  1. The Job View is no longer structured by the job status (released, ordered, quoted). Instead, the Job View differentiates scheduled and finished jobs.
  2. Within the scheduled jobs, you can have released, ordered and quoted jobs in any sequence of order you like. That means, you can also have a quoted job having the highest priority (sequence number 1).
  3. We added an extra visualization to the left hand table (in the cell with the sequence number) to show if a job (and some of its tasks) have already been started (by means of operator feedback via the Operator Clients).
    1. Jobs with minimum one task started are highlighted in green.
    2. Jobs with no started/finished tasks are shown in the job status color (dark blue = released, light blued = ordered, grey = quoted)
    3. If you expand a job, you can also see the task status (black = finished, green = started, job status color = still scheduled)
  4. All finished jobs are shown at the bottom of the visual schedule.

This all results in a much slicker and more meaningful Job View:

Jobs View - September Update_2

Few more bits & pieces

There are a few more things that also have been shipped with the September update:

  1. We added a shopfloor report so that the planner can also run and export a report that provides multiple information about the shopfloor status of your jobs and tasks. This report can give the planner a better understanding before approving the data provided by the operators.
  2. You now can see which operator provided the last feedback on a specific task. This information is available when the planner approves shopfloor data via the Execute Mode as well as in the new shopfloor report.
  3. We also enhanced the Learn View and added a whole bunch of new tutorial videos to it.

 

Am not yet using just plan it? Why not giving it a try?

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PS: A special and big THANK YOU goes to our neighbors and friends from Bauer + Kirch. They gave us some truly useful tips when we started to work on the operator client. Guys - we owe you at least a drink :-)

Topics: Product news