We spent April learning from many of you about the places where what was being shown in Fulcrum wasn't matching perfectly with what was happening on the shop floor, then working to better align the two. With improvements to invoicing, jobs, personnel, purchasing, and scheduling, we've taken strides across the board to ensure that Fulcrum is as accurate and helpful as possible!
Real-Time Personnel View
Think of this as a companion to the real-time operations report we released last month: At a glance, you’ll be able to see who is clocked in, what job they’re clocked into, and how long they’ve been working on it compared to the estimated time. This is a great way for managers and owners to see what’s running long, who is working efficiently, and who could benefit from additional help or oversight.
This will work for every Fulcrum user, but there are aspects of it that will be less useful for those not currently using the time clock feature within Fulcrum. If you’d like to move onto Fulcrum time — which will easily integrate with your current payroll system — let your launch team member know and they’ll get you set up!
Employee Time Override
Even the most diligent of users sometimes forget to clock out for the day or clock out of the job they just completed. To help keep your data accurate and save you time on data corrections, you'll be able to stop the timer from the real-time personnel report. Managers can find this option exclusively on the real-time personnel report to start, but we will be expanding it to other sections in the coming months.
Data Clarity Enhancements: Invoicing and Jobs
Last month, we rolled out the first of our visual enhancements to help you get the information you want as quickly as possible with our improvements to the quoting grid. This month, we have a pair of improvements for you!
Our new invoicing grid is designed to improve the workflow of anyone that has to deal with getting cash in the door. At the very top of the page, you’ll get an actionable dashboard showing where each invoice is in the process, as well as everything that has been paid or remains unpaid. Mouse over the red square (or press on mobile) within the unpaid invoice section and you’ll see the maturity of every outstanding invoice as well as who it was issued to.
Once again, we’re giving you the ability to get the real-time information you need as quickly as possible. With the new jobs grid, you’ll be able to see what is waiting to be reviewed, what jobs are currently in progress, and what jobs are late — and how late they are. With the newly added progress bars, you’ll even be able to get a feeling for what’s about to happen on the floor based on what’s about to finish on a machine. This may not look like a crystal ball, but you’ll still feel like you can see the future!
Purchasing Planning Updates:
Speaking of seeing into the future, we’ve retooled the algorithm behind purchasing to give you an even better plan for what to buy and when. Fulcrum takes into account current inventory levels, when materials are needed based on the schedule, the historical lead time of your vendors, what's already coming in on other purchase orders, any minimum stocking levels, and vendor price breaks stored in the system, and comes up with a recommendation of how much to buy today.
Along with a more robust back end, we’ve updated the front end to give you the ability to switch the entire planning page to see it in your vendor’s unit of measurement and added item tags here for enhanced searchability.
Scheduling Logic Updates
Ensuring the schedule is as accurate to reality as possible is a huge goal for us, so to that end we’ve made two big updates this month.
1. Buffer Times
It would be great if work flowed from one machine to the next, with no breaks for movement or additional processes between stations, but that’s not exactly how most shops work. So, to account for the realities of moving big pieces between stations or factors like drying time, we’ve added buffer times to operations.
You’ll be able to preset buffer times at the operation level, which means for repeatable times you’ll only have to do it once. However, since some times will change based on part size or other factors, we’re giving you the ability to select whether that time can be overridden. If so, users will have the option to change it during the BOM and routing set up.
2. Unlimited Capacity
Since processes like drying don’t require constant supervision and don’t take up machine time, we’re giving you the option to set certain work areas as having unlimited capacity. This, along with the unattended run option we debuted earlier this year, should make it possible to set up a run that does not take into account either personnel or machine availability.
As always, we’re here to help! If something in an update like this sounds interesting to you, but doesn’t match with how your shop is running right now, touch base with your launch team member and we’ll be happy to help think through with you whether it’s a good fit and how to get it implemented if it is.