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Human Resources & Payroll Blog

8 Best Tools for Manufacturing Labor Tracking

Oct 28, 2020 12:30:00 PM / by John Duval

Keeping track of your manufacturing labor force requires specific tools and resources to help you stay organized and keep the shop floor humming. You need ready access to key workforce metrics and the flexibility to make staffing and scheduling changes that sync with production and delivery timetables.

Manufacturing labor tracking impacts your ability to meet customer expectations and make efficient use of inventory and equipment. With the right tools, you can manage your manufacturing workforce and keep things moving around the clock.

Necessary Elements for Manufacturing Labor Tracking

As one of the largest sectors of the workforce, employing roughly 15 million people, manufacturing produces many essentials for modern life: cars, technology, household goods, medical equipment, and more. In many ways, manufacturing keeps the world running, and as a result, it’s crucial that you’re able to manage how and when employees perform their work. 

There are many ins and out to managing a manufacturing workforce, because staffing levels must work in concert with both your supply chain and customer demand. To ensure productivity and efficiency in the workplace, it’s essential to track the following manufacturing workforce metrics and activities:

  • Time and attendance
  • Scheduling and hours worked
  • Payroll and overtime
  • Paid and unpaid leaves
  • Productivity reports
  • Training costs and attendance
  • OSHA reports
  • Workers’ comp claims and status

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Top Manufacturing Workforce Tracking Tools

With effective tools for manufacturing labor tracking, you can have better control over employee schedules and overtime, so the workforce can stay productive and make the most of every minute. The right technology also helps you track labor costs related to hiring, time off, and training, which allows you to make data-driven decisions about staffing levels and long-term workforce planning.

Like with many other areas of life, in manufacturing, time is money. Here are eight top workforce tracking tools to help you make the most of both:

1. TimeClock Plus 

This cloud-based time and attendance tracking tool allows managers to monitor and adjust employee work hours from anywhere. Configured for on-site hosting and customization, it also offers a mobile app that uses GPS technology to record exactly where employees are clocking in and out. Other features include employee self-service, detailed labor reports, and integration with payroll services.

2. Hubstaff 

Hubstaff is a platform for scheduling, staff management, and time tracking. Available features include GPS tracking for large multi-location sites, online timesheets, and tools for setting pay rates based on hours worked. It also sends automatic alerts when employees are late or miss a shift.

3. Prodsmart

Part of a suite of floor production tracking tools, Prodsmart helps manufacturers match work orders and production schedules with employee working hours. Designed specifically for manufacturing and fabrication industries, it also comes with chat features to improve collaboration among employees, shift management tools, and worker productivity reporting.

4. Fuse Workforce Management

Fuse is the all-in-one human capital management (HCM) software that unites time and attendance management, human resources management, and payroll into a complete, integrated system to help track your manufacturing workforce. Powerful dashboards and reporting capability enable workforce decision-making and planning, so you can plan staff and hours according to production needs.

5. JobBOSS 

JobBOSS shop management software includes a range of production management tools for manufacturers. The work scheduling module allows users to adjust work schedules and shifts to match inventory availability and job completion deadlines. Shift management tools also help managers adjust employee work hours to accommodate equipment maintenance and late material delivery.

6. MISys

Designed with small and mid-sized manufacturers in mind, this desktop workforce scheduling system enables tracking of labor rates and work hours across shifts and work sites. Managers can create custom schedules and set timesheet approvals to manual or auto-approve. The system can also track time and attendance trends across locations and labor rates.

7. Jibble

Jibble is a time and attendance tracking app that uses facial recognition and geolocation to allow employees to clock in and out for each shift. Additional features include activity tracking, collaboration tools for employees, and time-off tracking and approval tools. Employees and managers can access the software via mobile or desktop app.

8. Acumen Data Systems 

Acumen’s JobView job tracking software allows manufacturers to design work shifts and employee schedules across multiple locations and production teams. Features include time-off tracking and biometric punch-in/punch-out tracking. Managers can also generate visual Gantt charts to illustrate workflows and compare employee productivity across multiple processes.

Improve Labor Force Tracking with the Right Tools

The moving parts in your manufacturing workplace aren’t limited to the machinery. Managing your labor force requires a combination of planning, occasional workarounds, and staffing changes to keep each worksite running. You need a reliable tool to help you track labor costs and productivity, so you can mobilize employees to meet production goals.

Just as the right equipment improves product assembly, choosing the right technology to help manage the workforce can improve your manufacturing labor tracking activities. An all-in-one HCM system not only helps you manage hiring, scheduling, time and attendance, and payroll, but it also helps you improve HR productivity so you can support employees better. To learn more about how an HCM can help you manage your manufacturing workforce more efficiently, read our free guide, “How to improve HR productivity with an HCM system.”

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