Skills saavy: FLEX timesheets set up real-time data exchange

 SoftSolutions says its FLEX workforce management software is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector based on innovative metrics and decision-support tools to best leverage skilled labor markets.
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff September 17, 2008

SoftSolutions says its FLEX workforce management software is gaining traction in the manufacturing sector based on innovative metrics and decision-support tools to best leverage skilled labor markets.
Sheridan Books , a Chelsea, Mich.-based manufacturing plant, recently expanded its automated FLEX-Timesheets across the remainder of its key work centers in both its press and finishing departments. This marks the second expansion of FLEX within the plant over the past year. FLEX-Count Control provides accurate signature counts across Sheridan’s high-speed press equipment, while FLEX-Integration provides real-time data exchange between Sheridan’s PrintStream ERP planning software and shop-floor cost centers.
Says Mark Witkowski, VP of Operations at Sheridan Books, “FLEX provides real-time visibility into our operations, allowing us to see the performance impact of different skill levels, work mix, and job sequencing. This type of visibility helps us focus on addressing those obstacles that are costing us the most money, contributing to waste and consuming precious capacity.
Dexter, Mich.-based book manufacturer Thomson-Shore also recently expanded FLEX from its bindery into its press room. FLEX-Timesheets have been collecting detailed performance metrics automatically from Muller Martini bindery equipment since early June. FLEX-Count Control will provide the press management software on Thomson-Shore’s latest web press. FLEX-Integration provides real-time data exchange between the EFI Hagen Order Management System and shop floor operations.
Says Jack Anderson, Thomson-Shore plant manager, “Measuring workforce performance within a short-run environment can be very challenging. FLEX pulls its performance metrics directly from the equipment so we don’t have to waste time debating the facts. FLEX is helping our Work Teams and Managers define and measure performance expectations across all shifts, which help in terms of communicating expectations, establishing best practices, and defining the correct projects to work on that will improve our productivity at the machines.”