(Deutsch) Der Wunsch, alles ganz einfach zu haben

The desire of having it all and easily

The visualization of complex planning schemes is already an academic field and expert discipline.

In this post I would like to talk about the reaction that people who manage a type of production characterised by complex procedures have towards infoBoard’s visualization. The situation will be clearer with an example: let’s take a car. Buyers are usually not very interested in the technology used inside but rather in the services that the car offers and in its comfort; it must be comfortable and simple. Also potential infoBoard buyers want to see services and comfort but not in a general description, they prefer to see its complex, often customized resources and examples. The infoBoard newcomer has to render during this dialogue hipothetical big transfer payments to adapt to the forming image to the production fast and to also match it with their personal goals.

Small interruption to tell about the exact opposite experience: a swiss company has all its orders in a tangled MS project. All tasks of all orders had been  catalogued under 45 precise and familiar names until year 2021 on our new infoBoard Project Konverter. The newcomer after just 30 seconds can see the result all at once, correctly finished and correctly represented. More than 600 working processes use arrows to show how they are connected to eachother. Do you think that now it is more comprehensible? It is diffcult to represent this because of the great amount of information. Is this the “overview?” (I wondered how far the tasks were from their optimal status. I already considered (had caught) the ERP systems as bad sequence handlers and so now also bad project data handlers.

But let’s go back to the complex production sequences. These are firstly the many constraints that in the USA are known as dynamic scheduling. We set up infoBoard for example fast with sample orders so that it also looks like a “dynamic schedule”. Everything through shift operations? Yes, it looks like it. Now the newcomer is nervous: is there a way to show it in an easier way? Yes, the best way is using the Webapp infoBoard Workbench.

Here we design optimized simple two-dimensional bars side by side and one beneath the other. It took us one year to achieve what we really wanted to acomplish. The implementation  developped in 6 weeks.

What does this point of view determine ? It determines how many orders are being processed simultaneously and how big are the time gaps between them (number of rows, number of bars behind and between them). An evaluation of the planning does not folllow (a comparison between net working time and processing time like in the BusinessController value stream mapping and order overview) or a traffic lights- evaluation as a reply to the CCPM question (close to the delivery date or enough puffer for the delivery date? BusinessController application CCPM-Dashboard) is still missing. Nobody can think of something more modern than infoBoard. The opinion of the most newcomers is still that you have to see to understand and to then formulate an opinion  (always also formulate the matter of that opinion), to control the result. People are used to use excel to look through a file and check everything is in order and make sure one more time that everything is correct. We live in a “Post Excel” and “Post PowerPoint” era. We are actively forming the present and future of  modern, digitalised production managers (Operational Officer).

(Deutsch) Gibt es eine Relation zwischen dem Grad der infoBoard Nutzung und Gehalt?

Is the frequency of use of infoBoard related to salaries?

We argue very often that while using infoBoard profits grow oup to 5% – 15%. That’s because your decisions are of better quality and you can change the way your organization behaves. Let’s take a ship as an example: We just provide you with a steering wheel and a steering gear while you steer your tanker yourself, of course .
When goals are achieved employee salaries and profits can only increase. Higher profits give also the oportunity to reward high-performing employees.
Without higher added value to the entire enterprise there cannot be a new increase in salaries, and employees without greater personal pride have no expectations for a salary increase.
I examined the effects of profits increase and salary raises. If the enterprise’s costs linked to salaries amount, for example, to 30%, a 5% increase in profits is the premise for a possible up to 15% salary increase. How can that not encourage every employee?

Unfortunately, positive events are not an incentive, three months later the feeling of happiness will disappear.
But infoBoard is always there, like a watch on your wrist / preferably on the wrist on the watch.
Constantly present means: the incentive for successs is constantly present at work. In addition, German company directors now have (finally) the opportunity to praise 100%nthis “get things done”.
(I will include in the weekly schedules an automatic praise and a star award)

So…not convinced yet?
Worldwide surveys show that employees overall and every year continue to perform 30% of unnecessary activities at their workplace. InfoBoard intervenes in this gap of non-productive activities. Here, the company can make in its own seat, out of their personal costs a profit.

It is generally thought that cost savings do not lead to higher profits while on the other side  price increases directly increase the profit. My idea is to generate more effective profit increases through optimized workflows.

Another aspect is staff shortage: I can report a personal experience: in 2016 we had despite staff shortage in the sales department a 150% increase in profits over the previous year after I optimized time control. To clarify: infoBoard has led two high effective sales people to increase performance and increase efficiency. And of course to increase salary .

That’s why I introduce our weekly plan to my employees through the application MyBoard on tablets. There is still a lot of potential here, too.

 

infoBoard verfolgt ein grosses Ziel (Big Data)

infoBoard verfolgt ein grosses Ziel (Big Data)

Ein Unternehmen positioniert sich am Markt und wächst durch mehr Aufträge und mehr Mitarbeiter, mehr Maschinen, mehr Produkte, mehr zeitgleiche Aufträge, grössere Projekte mit mehr Beteiligten u.s.w.
Es werden Leitungsfunktionen geschaffen, die Verantwortung für einen Bereich tragen sollen.
Diese schaffen sich nun Softwarewerkzeuge, um dieser Verantwortung gerecht zu werden, i.d.R. Excel Tabellen bzw. Excel-Listen.
Man trifft sich nun, um sich besser abzustimmen, denn ohne die Information aus den anderen Vorgänger Abteilungen kann die Planung der Auftragsbearbeitung nicht funktionieren.
Immer bleibt die rechtzeitige Information über Änderungen ein paar Tage im Verborgenen.
Was kann eigentlich schlimmer sein, als Entscheidungen auf der Grundlage einer schlechten Informationslage zu treffen?
Es gibt eine Antwort: wenn man so weiter macht, obwohl man über die Möglichkeit einer vorausschauenden, gemeinsamen Planung verfügt.

Deshalb melden sich bei uns oft neu eingestellte Produktionsleiter oder Montageleiter, die ohne Softwareunterstützung die Abläufe und Ergebnisse verbessern sollen. Sie merken schnell, dass die Informationslage schlecht ist, die Lauferei gross, die Pflege der Exceltabellen praktisch nicht leistbar ist.
Hier haben wir es mit Menschen zu tun, die etwas bewegen wollen. Sie denken nach, forschen im Internet und finden infoBoard.

Im Urlaub las ich in einem Buch über schnelles und langsames Denken. Forscher über Jahrhunderte haben sich mit der Frage auseinander gesetzt, warum Menschen Fehlentscheidungen treffen. Man hat sich im Laufe der Zeit auf zwei Denksysteme des Menschen “geeinigt”, um folgendes zu erklären:
Im System 1 werden die lebenserhaltenen Entscheidungen getroffen: Situation ist: gut oder schlecht. Im System 2 werden die kognitiven Leistungen des “in Frage stellen” , nachdenken, forschen, kalkulieren erbracht. Dabei wird rational und ggf. auch intelligent gedacht.
Und weil der Mensch faul ist, und das langsame Denken im ” System 2″ ein Anstrengung ist, gibt er sich gerne mit dem Ergebnis des Systems 1 zufrieden. Nachdenken: “Fehlanzeige”. Fehlerwahrscheinlichkeit in komplexen betrieblichem Kontext : “hoch” und Auswirkung: “sehr teuer”.

Daher lassen sich auch die Wünsche nach Referenzkunden der selben Branche in der Nachbarschaft verstehen. System 1: nicht nachdenken.
Ein Neukunde liess sich nicht dazu bewegen, als Referenzkunde auf einer Branchenmesse genannt zu werden. Begründung: diesen Wettbewerbsvorteil werden wir nicht aktiv an unsere Marktbegleiter kommunizieren. Raten Sie mal, welches System ( System 1 oder System 2) diese Firma angewendet hat ?

Bei dieser schnellen Entscheidung werden also nicht alle Informationen eingeholt und bewertet.

Auch unter diesem Aspekt sichert infoBoard mit der intuitiven Bedienung im “System 1” die Überprüfung weiterer Bedingungen nach der Tat zu und verhindert dadurch, dass Rationalität und Intelligenz des “Systems 2″nicht hinten runterfallen.
Zusammenhänge, Terminüberwachung “über alles” und Prioritäten werden überwacht.

Jetzt ist aber das grosse Ziel, die Firmenaufträge optimal zu bearbeiten. Im Projektgeschäft werden Aufgaben eher global und Zeiten auf Annahmen basierend geschätzt. Hier sollte es so sein: das ist das Ziel, darunter visualisieren wir die Aufgaben, darunter visualisieren wir die tatsächlich geleisteten Stunden für die Aufgabe. Und darüber hinaus brauchen wir noch eine Einschätzung, ob die geleistete Arbeit auch den Wert schöpft, der erwartet wird (Earned Value Analysis), ob der Fortschritt an gezählter Arbeitszeit auch der Aufgabenerfüllung, genauer gesagt dem Fertigstellungsgrad entspricht.
Und wenn gar keine Arbeitszeit gezählt wird: ist der Kollege überhaupt da?

Wenn wir das grosse Ziel als Balken/ Zeitstrahl darstellen, die vielen Aufgaben als Balken zeitlich darunter liegend präsentieren, die tatsächlich geleisteten Zeitaufwände wiederum darunter als Balken zeichnen und darüberhinaus im Bezug auf die Durchlaufzeit und die geplante Nettoarbeitszeit und die tatsächliche Arbeitszeit für diese Aufgaben untereinander liegen sehen, dann können wir visuell verfolgen, wie zielgerichtet das Projekt verfolgt wird.

infoBoard Europe hat sich auf den Weg gemacht, die geschaffenen Systeme so zu vernetzen, dass neue Eindrücke über die Leistungsfähigkeit des Betriebes entstehen und bewertet werden können. Manchmal schmerzt es zu sehen, was tatsächlich abläuft. Aber es entsteht eine unglaubliche Motivation, organisatorische Mängel abzustellen, Mitarbeitergespräche zu führen und zu Gunsten aller Stakeholder bessere Ergebnisse zu erzielen.

Wir holen alle Daten aus CRM und Ticketsystemen auf die Plantafel.
Stellen To-do Aufgaben und Wiedervorlagen sichtbar dar und den Getthingsdone aus den Systemen gegenüber, sortieren die Programmieraufgaben aus dem Ticketsystem, messen den Zeitaufwand, lernen über den tatsächlichen Aufwand erschreckende Aufwände, liefern den Kunden asap die Lösungen aus.

Wir werden weitere Ergebnisse auswerten und unsere Systeme optimieren.

Erfolg durch Meilensteintrendanalyse

Success with milestone trend analysis

Long-term projects can sometimes be difficult, long, or seem impossible. At the beginning of a challenge like this one people are always highly motivated to reach the goal, but this motivation continues to decline until the end. Motivation is often related to productivity, so no manager should allow a decrease in performance.

A successful method that is widely used is the milestone trend analysis. This project management tool includes the evaluation of the development of a project through specific objectives within the larger general goal. Thanks to the milestones,  the staff can verify if they are getting step by step closer to the completion of the project. When the employees mark a task as completed, this automatically represents a progress in the process, and success will always motivate the employees, while productivity will consequently be increased.

Milestones can also be used for a detailed project tracking. Precise time lags of each step are definitely helpful to be on time with appointments and trustworthy towards customers. Modern project managers therefore take care of various tools, for example the Gantt chart. InfoBoard  embraces not only this evaluation method, but also improvements in the current operations.

Project management is usually managed with Gantt charts, although there can be many problems with them. One flaw we can find in this method is the distribution of resources for a task because the chart assigns to the same employee two tasks at the same time. This is absolutely impossible to happen with infoBoard. Each resource occupies its own row and no one can be assigned simultaneously with two mpre than one task. In addition, the set of tasks is also available in form of a collection. You can, of course, also export a Gantt chart from an infoBoard planning board, but in this case without any possible errors!

The milestone trend analysis WebView takes into account various aspects that often cannot be evaluated with a single tool. If you are interested in this function of infoBoard, you can read the user guide or watch the milestone trend analysis video tutorial on the infoBoard TV YouTube channel.

 

 

infoBoard Partnertagung in Hamburg

infoBoard Partnertagung in Hamburg

 

“infoBoard is international” this is the first sentence the two colleagues from infoBoard Netherlands / Belgium said.

After eleven years, infoBoard has reached high levels of professional service. The planning software reflects the economy of the country which is sold to and from which it will be used. Unlike what a university theorist would believe or what you would think, infoBoard Australia focuses on the production of kitchenettes, landscaping and the construction of sheep houses. Only the RDSA, Rock Drill Australia that produces drills for Australia’s mineral resources, reminds people of what Australia’s core competence is.

In Belgium our clients are mainly the “better Dutch people”, the Flemish and – the German-speaking companies, while in the Netherlands service providers companies.

In addition to a more powerful translation program will also be offered a reseller portal. A system against Bugs has been invented and it can be used worldwide.

In the following hours were shown under observation of our foreign university students the extensive marketing, development and sales activities while partners told about their customers.

The conclusion of the meeting took place in the harbor museum Övelgönne on the Elbe. We ate North Sea crabs with infront of us the view of the captain’s house  and Hamburg’s mountains. I proudly showed our partners the city’s district called Hamburg-Altona (Which I think is the only true Altona), since the Altona on the australian coast, near Melbourne, is named after the german one. Later after doing little research on the Internet we find out that Altona is really everywhere in Germany since Altona in German means “all too close”.

I am happy: I am an active globalizer. The world is close to me!

infoBoard an der Ostküste der USA

infoBoard on the East Coast of the USA

 

It was our first flight to Boston. Fortunately, the check- in was faster than the usual, because there were self-served terminals, where you could have your passport, fingerprints and photo controls done by yourself.

Once I arrived I wanted to – as suggested by the guide – get a water taxi from the airport to Boston City and I looked for a taxi sign but didn’t find any…..later I discovered that our hotel actually had a water taxi stop but I told myself it would be for the next time. The visit to the headquarters of our new customers’ company, which works in the aereospace sector, was a “very american” experience and we had so much fun. Everyone in the group could ask questions, it was a very colligial relationship, as you can read in the pertinent books. The easy-to-use database interface was especially appreciated.

There is no planning interface in the new ERP system, and new options are kept on being added: personnel planning, vacation planning, time recording. It will be easier to use also for the companies here in the USA since we have already solved the difficulties in the material supply processes in the German production plant. It took them almost two years to decide for infoBoard, they needed to first understand they wouldn’t find anything comparable to infoBoard in the Us.

On the highway, that led us past some famous universities on the East Coast, we learn how exit numbering with letters works and the difference between “58 a” and “58 b”; first one is a 7 mile drive, the second a 25 mile one.

We will travel from Massachusetts to the nearby state of Conneticut to meet a potential new software and hardware partner, whom we met at a fair in Chicago in September of the previous year. We are received by one of the three owners together with a consultant from the manufacturing industry. After we had made some conversation with them we realized why infoBoard was so different to them. Our hosts were astonished to be able to visualize the dependencies with connecting lines in the resource instead of the business processes -I, myself, could hardly believe it-. Infinte scheduling, linked to capacity was already available but now also the so called “dynamic scheduling”, the function that permits dependencies to be shown. It became clear that we not only could visualize the actual data from the production, but had also a powerful planning tool in our hands. When we later used the guest access to internet, we understood by the network’s name “Jesus Reigns” that we all had the same beliefs. At lunch we would all pray together for the food we were about to receive.

After two days of Conneticut we drove through New York, on the other side of Manhattan, to New Jersey. By the way, we are fans of “The Jersey Boys”, we saw the musical in London and on Broadway. We took the highway from Newark airport and pasted the Atlantic coast: we drove on the old 2-3 lane highway while an of another three lanes with a guardrail was being built built next to it three lane. It was a highway in a highway. There was in fact just enough space! Now…how do we turn right into an exit? On the left there was a service area accessible to us and the opposite direction. How could the service area be on the left side of the highway? My brain had difficulties adjusting to the american customs, I had to react quickly; driving on the right is always right! And finally we were able to exit the highway thanks to a bridge. It’s crazy how much space it consumed! We switched our navi – or better in English our GPS-  to English. The German pronunciation of the US street names was not funny anymore, like it had been in the beginning.

We payed a visit to a potential new customer. As always we are happy with Excel and a cardboard planning board. This will be a technological leap! The interface  was completely irrelevant to the ERP, but the automatic scheduling alone with sample orders and connecting arrows would make them save a lot of time, said the two invited production planners. Our contact person ha been complaining for 5 years that he wants to have the cardboard on the wall.

We drove on to get to our customer, 45 minute drive from where we were. A “pimped” warehouse management program generates production orders that are scheduled manually with warehouse orders for infoBoard planning objects. The production itself was brought from almost 0 to 100 within 4 years. The stock list has been now set up in the infoBoard panel and scheduled as needed. “Keep it simple” is the motto, for God’s sake no interface!

We almost took the same path to travel back to Boston. From experience, I knew that Google Maps calculated reliable travel times, but that didn’t work so well in Google’s homeland. The two-lane freeways and highways of New England are full of rush hour traffic until 9pm but we had planned ahead of schedule at the hotel that was 2hrs drive outside of Boston.

Once back in Hamburg we began to post new online presentations for New Jersey companies. We drove past tose places. And the only direct connection between Hamburg and the USA is: Newark Airport in New Jersey. That creates a certain feeling of closeness!

P.S. Three months later my family and I learned that one of my three daughters was moving to Boston with her family. Good thing we had been in Boston …

infoBoard analysiert ERP Daten schonungslos

infoBoard analyzes ERP data relentlessly

“Have you already realized an interface with MyOneOutOf 100,000 ERP WorldWide systems?”

The decision of a company with often only 10 customers, for any ERP system with should now be supported by us. ERP systems can sometimes visualize your data. That’s the biggest control station for machine allocation, without dependencies on upstream and downstream operations. The visual surface can never serve as a graphical planning surface. Therefore, the responsible production manager can not make planning changes in an easy and intuitive way: the extensive ERP data must remain consistent, since then new delivery notes and other papers might fall out, and you really do not want that.

The other way around: if you “release” the operations via the infoBoard-Sync interface to an infoBoard, the planner can graphically “push together” optimal sequences within the framework of the specifications. When these planned orders are sent forward to the shopfloor, then a functioning system has emerged.

But what if the ERP data, in particular work step times were not entered correctly or the calculation factors were not stored correctly? What if the capacity rate is displayed incorrectly? Then the capacity will visibly / apparently be insufficient to get everything ready in time.

infoBoard can help to make inadequate ERP databases or imbalances visible. If one notices the imbalances, one examines the underlying data in the ERP system and can correct the wrong time specifications. How much is this worth to you? Are you going to keep your eyes open and go through with it?

Changes in business organization are often made under pressure and not in time. There is no guarantee for success when management changes are made. Wouldn’t it be better if the managing director worked on a strategy to improve his/her company’s market position and provide it in time with personnel and money resources? In some companies, the planning board shows relentlessly inadequate and on that data decisions are made. Isn’t it good to be able to see the truth?

Businesses have two options to improve the database in an ERP system:

1. A structured approach through 30,000 records without seeing anything

2. An efficient approach by changing the most important data with the support of the visualization tool on an infoBoard planning board

Changes in the company organization require a considerable effort. You see the success first on the planning board, second in the business evaluation and third in the balance sheet.

Looking forwad to new features in infoBoard

infoBoard international conference held in Hamburg with Andreas Hinze, Founder and Managing Director of infoBoard providing an insight into the development pipeline and new features to be soon released in the Version 3.2 (Apr/May 2017). A lot of time was also spent in discussing the work-in-progress on the new features and roadmap for the medium term.

These new features will be very useful for Australian infoBoard users and Qmani will be organising briefing sessions and site visits to clients. 2017 will be an exciting year for our infoBoard clients and many thanks to everyone at infoBoard for working hard to enhance the product’s features.

Wenn man mehr zusammenarbeiten möchte

If more team work is what you are looking for

 

Or in German: more planning boards synchronized with different departments. The aim is to accept the natural need for information on completions or expected completions.

In our YouTube video “Synchronize infoBoard Projects” it is shown and explained which options the clients have to do this.

Now, let’s analize the core of this need. Without doubts the transfer of tasks to another sector influences the planning of the following units. So, how would the ideal situation be? Everything proceeds according to a plan that however contains many possibe errors. I read not long ago that an office worker manages to keep concentrated for an average of only 4 minutes until the next disturbance / distraction. Data from real life prove the plan can be effective in the morning but not so much in the afternoon.

The German-speaking group of users now believes that with a plan that everyone can follow, it will be possible to achieve goals faster despite expected disruptions. The French-speaking group of people, on the other hand, believes that a plan can only have a basic structure and that delays are normal. For this reason the plan seems to not be able to work. C’est la vie?

So, again, where is the difference? Set goal – Create plan – Detect disruptions- Fix disruptions- Accept deviation – Achieve goal. Does the only difference lie in the handling of disruptions and acceptance of the time delay?

We have to involve the Japanese. Although in German it is possible to summarize many words together, what is not possible in French, we have a lack of inventive spirit, which the Japanese on the other hand manage very well in the organization sector with keywords. Also Americans have creativity in creating summary words. Example: Kaizen, TQM (Total Quality Management). These catchwords are called organizational systems and they of course include “everything”. The two languages ​​have therefore dealt with the disruptions more than the Europeans. Disruptions are perceived with the aim of preventing them, eliminating them.

So does holistic thinking have an advantage over linear thinking? Yes, the larger the companies are, the more often occur systemic errors / disruptions. That’s why I read that quality is faster to introduce in small businesses than in large companies.

But hope is everywhere! and so is infoBoard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017: Back to the roots

2017: Back to the roots

 

At the beginning of the year in companies new projects are set off and projects that haven’t been finished after a first, second and third attempt are freshly tackled. Every year companies come to us, after their ERP manufacturer has provided them with a not easy-to-use, flexible graphical planning surface. They did although promise that “The new version will be something completely new”.

And those responsible for the planning boards turn to infoBoard although they have agreed with their colleagues to rely on simple Excel overviews. There is a lack of multi-user capacity, different access rights (writing, reading), and mobile access.

And so we come back to the primal basic need of visualization and representation of the most important information in a department or small business.

Images: the most important thing about our appointment calendar are the images of the parts to be constructed. In the calendar we want to link the image to the drawings and the project folder so that the sales department should be able to get access to the appointment calendar also from mobile devices.

Or: our customer expects to see on his/her next visit, a graphical planning board to be able to evaluate its utilization.

Or: my supply companies cannot cope with the many opportunities we give you. They simply lack of a general insight!

Does infoBoard provide too many functions for these simple requirements?

Well, you can make your planning board in just 3 minutes. That does not sound like too much functionality. Often a 2-hour webinar is enough time to talk about everything we have to talk about. Is it really bad when a program has drafts? Isn’t it a kind of insurance that it can take all future requirements or other departments with their different needs to the same planning tool?

From my many years of experience with large companies I have learned how the planning needs and requirements vary according to the different tasks of the different departments. But our clients are lucky enough to have a general scheduling tool available.

The use of infoBoard planning board software enables a scaling of the services. What is a scaling? The possibility to do more with the same amount of resources.

Or: you can easily start in a department and when it’s necessary other complex processes in other departments will also be provided with the same planning support.

More on this topic in the next blog post.