Regardless of the level of sophistication of your systems or the complexity of operations, there is no easy way to monitor a work center today. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems push work onto the floor in batches or via kan bans. Manufacturing Execution or Shop Floor Control Systems help control and schedule work around available people and machine capacity. The problem is that none of these systems actually watch the action on the floor. That is why the first lesson we were taught in operations is that there is no substitute for managing by wandering around (or MBWA).
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