Archive for August, 2009

Example Timesheet Template using Excel

Deploying timesheets with your staff can have a variety of benefits from controlling hours worked to more complicated activities such as recording what tasks are worked on, even down to supporting tasks such as job cost billing.

Creating a timesheet isn’t overly difficult and can be achieved with Microsoft Excel fairly easily.

Before starting – consider the information you want to record for example

• Employee Name
• What period the work reates to e.g. Week Number/Commence date
• What hours have been worked on which day
o What time rate (e.g. overtime standard)
o Total Hours worked
• Does it require authorization
• Do you need to capture hours not worked?

The timesheet template is divided into four main parts

1/ Titles – what the template is about

2/ Employee details – details such as a name, payroll number

3/ Hours Worked details – The hours worked and the remuneration

4/ Hours worked summary/totals – total of hours worked and a sign off element.

Example Timesheet Excel template video

Check out our video below that takes you through the steps in how to build a excel timesheet template:

The six forces model

The six forces model ( an expansion from the traditional Five forces by Michael Porter) is a strategic business tool used primarily as an industry model which assess the competiveness of a market. It is often used as in strategic management and it can also be used as an alternative to the SWOT model. It’s advantages over the SWOT model is that a bit more specific in it’s areas of analysis drilling down to the main drivers of a market.

As suggested by it’s name it analyzes six areas:

1/ Competition – is their a lot of competition in the market? Are there dominant players?
2/ New entrants – Is it easy for new entrants to enter the market and compete
3/ Buyers – How easy is it for buyers to affect the price, can they work together – how strong is their position
4/ Suppliers – What is the state of the supply base – is it a monopoly – are there many sellers?
5/ Substitutes – how easy can a product or service be substituted?
6/ Complementors – influence of complimentary products and services on the market.

What is the 6 forces model used for?

The primary use of the six forces model is to enable a detailed analysis of an organizations strategic position within the marketplace and calculate the market’s attractiveness with regard to competition and profitability. This assessment is a key step prior to investing resources and deploying strategy as if the market should prove ultra-competitive it may be more prudent to look at obtaining revenues from alternative markets.

The 6 forces model is not a one off activity, markets continually change and any changes in the model requires a re-assessment. As stated the model should form part of a regular strategic planning process and should be reviewed at least annually.

Differences between the 5 forces model and the 6 forces model.

As with all models – Porters original 5 forces model has been criticised for a number of reasons – primarily that elements of the market such as buyers and competitors do not collude. There have been some changes to the 5 forces model and the six forces model expands on the original by assessing complimentary areas of the market.

How to carry out an ABC inventory analysis

One of the key techniques used in supply chain and inventory control is the method of ABC analysis. It’s often seen as the starting point in inventory control and is often used as a key lever on which to base various other inventory tasks such as stock counting, strategic purchasing decisions, storage locations etc.

ABC analysis is an important tool as not all inventory or parts require the same management attention. For example does a $500,000 Engine require the same controls as a bolt which costs $1? By conducting the analysis you can determine which parts require most management attention.

ABC analysis is a categorization system and is often seen as a relation to the Pareto tool in that it is utilizes similar principles to categorize. ABC analysis will typically use three categories, with each category utilizing different management controls for the inventory or part numbers within it. A part’s category is usually determined through calculating the annual consumption value which can be achieved through multiplying the amount of product consumed in a given period (often a year) by it’s price. Once each part has a value they are then grouped.

While you may find different industries utilizing varying “rule sets” for grouping parts – typically the bands will follow close to a 70%, 90%, 100% groups.

70% of the value is represented by the A class items

Between 70% and 90% relates to B class items

C class make up the remaining.

Once you’ve carried out your ABC analysis you’ll generally find that the high cost materials will be categorized as A class items, and the lower value (and higher volume and fast moving parts) will be determined as C class.
As stated once your ABC analysis is complete you’ll want to set your procedures and policies up accordingly. For example

A class parts typically require close monitoring and tight control – they tend to be complex expensive parts and while they will amount to a large costs may probably represent a small percentage of your overall inventory volume (which is where the similarities with Pareto occur).

B class whilst lower grade than A class parts still require more control than consumables and will require some management effort.

C class require the least controls, and will typically make up the largest volume of your stock
ABC analysis is a basic stock management principle that when applied can have direct impact on the policies and procedures that govern your inventory. Take a look at your ERP system – ERP’s will typically contain functionality to both carry out an ABC analysis but also store it as a control mechanism within the system itself.

Bear in mind also that ABC analysis is not a one off exercise and should be considered a periodic process in order to ensure that the controls and efficiencies created are maximized.

Introduction to Negotiation

What is Negotiation? Negotiation happens to you every day, in all types of situations – it’s a common facet of everyday life. In business terms negotiation is seen as a key business tool which can be used in many forms from strategic negotiation with suppliers through to staff disputes. In it’s correct context negotiation is used for resolving conflict –in business it’s used between two parties to agree an often compromised outcome.

Negotiation in a business context

It’s importance in business is that negotiation protects organizational assets – why pay more for something when you don’t have to – have you got the best possible terms of trade? Resources are not a bottomless pit so negotiation has a particularly important part to play as well as protecting an organization commercially.

Why Negotiate

Negotiation is used to bargain, compromise and craft an outcome – it is the general process we use for getting what we want from people who in return want something from us. In the context of a buyer seller relationship – the buyer requires a product and / or services with the seller requiring remunerating. The more complex the purchase (or higher the value) the greater the need for negotiation to protect both organizations financially and commercially.

An appropriate time to negotiate

Businesses negotiate all the time! In purchasing departments where cost down initiatives result in the procurement team |”negotiating better terms” through to staff negotiating periods of absence.

Generally speaking negotiation occurs the most where the stakes justify the time, resources and effort (e.g. financial penalties) to carry it out.

Phases of Negotiation

Negotiation is typified by four phases

• Preparation – understand who you will negotiate with, what you want, the market position and other attributes that will assist in the discussions
• What do they want? – understand the likely “trade” points of the other side – what are the buttons to push to get what you want
• Proposal – what can you trade/concede
• Bargain/Trade – the real negotiation!