The WORKERBASE workflow management software provides task management functionality to allow the efficient organization of manual work in manufacturing and logistics. A Task typically announces a job which needs to be done. In most factories, tasks are planned on a fixed schedule derived from a well-organized planning system. But when an urgent issue finds its way to the shop floor, flexibility is needed. A core feature of the WORKERBASE platform is the task management functionality, which allows to dynamically assign tasks and to track task progress. Tasks can be enhanced with step-by-step workflows. Thus, a user gets a task announcement, accepts a tasks and then gets a detailed step-by-step instruction on how to carry out a specific job. All step-by-step workflows can be created and modified with the WORKERBASE Appbuilder tool.
In typical industrial settings, most task assignments follow the same pattern. We have identified four different ways to assign tasks: Process driven, Collaboration driven, Asset driven or Self-driven.
The WORKERBASE system provides functions to support all four ways of task assignments.
With system connectors to external business applications like e.g. SAP, tasks can be imported from the business application directly into the WORKERBASE system and can then be routed to a smartwatch.
The role management functions of the WORKERBASE system allow to create multi-user apps, so that collaborative workflows can be initiated.
The integrated barcode scanner of the smartwatch allows the creation of asset driven tasks. For example, operators can scan barcodes of machines to trigger maintenance tasks and to send repair orders with maintenance instructions to the smartwatch of a service technician.
Self driven task assignment is what usually happens when a user starts an app on his smartwatch: he will then be prompted with an individual workflow on the device, e.g. to put in data for quality inspection routines.
Usually, a task runs trough different lifecycle stages. It all starts with the task generation, either from the smartwatch of a user, external systems or directly from the WORKERBASE workflow management system. Based on the business logic defined in the WORKERBASE system, a task gets then announced to an individual user or a group of users. Users can accept or refuse tasks. If a task is accepted, the users start to work on it. Usually, a task is enhanced with a step-by-step workflow created by the WORKERBASE Appbuilder tool. If the user finishes the task, its status is automatically set to done. If a task is refused by a user, all other users who got the announcement can still accept the task. The first user who accepts a task can start working on it. All other users get an automatic system message that the task was assigned to a different user. If all potential user refuse a task, the task is suspended. Based on the defined business logic rule, the WORKERBASE system then re-announces the task or starts an escalation routine, e.g. announcement of the task to a different user group.
All data which gets processed on the smartwatch is directly sent back to the WORKERBASE workflow management system. Once an operator accepts a task, the task will be marked as “in progress” and is shown on a kanban-style dashboard in the workflow management system. Once the task has been finished, it will be updated immediately and will appear in the “done” column of the dashboard. Tasks which have not been accepted by the assigned users, will be shown in the “suspended” column. The system supports escalation rules for the automatic re-assignment or delegation of tasks to other users.
WORKERBASE provides a range of task management functions. As a result, work coordination on the shopfloor can be improved and organisational flexibility is increased. Together with the WORKERBASE Kanban app, the task management functions allow the efficient setup of a pull production system.