According to the International Labour Organization
“Work measurement is the application of techniques designed to establish the time taken for a qualified worker to carry out a specific job (task) at a defined Ievei (rate) of performance.”
Work measurement means to:
- Find out the different elements (parts) of the production process (job).
- Find out the time taken by each element.
- Fix the standard time for performing the production process.
Each example, publishing a book is a production process. There are many elements, which are involved in the publication of a book. In other words, book publication involves production steps like typing a manuscript, editing the written matter, proof read ing it, followed by printing and binding.
Work measurement involves finding out the time taken for doing each element. The time taken for each element is totaled. This is the standard time for publishing the book. Here, provisions are also made for relaxation, the breakdown of machines, etc.
Benefits of Work Measurement
The main purpose of work measurement:
- Manpower planning
- Production planning and scheduling
- Estimating productions costs
- Reduction and control
- The rational basis for incentives
- Performance appraisal
- Training of employees
- Comparing alternative methods
- Accepting new orders
- Fixing the selling cost
Manpower planning :
Work measurement data is used for manpower planning. This is because it gives information about the total hours required to perform the job. This helps to estimate the number and type of employees who are required to do the job. It ensures that there will not be any excess staff…
Work measurement data also helps to estimate the number of machines and equipment that will be required in the future. This helps to time out the number of employees who will be required to handle these machines and equipment.
Production planning and scheduling:
Work measurement data is used to» production planning and scheduling. This is because this data is used for making production standards. This data is also used for scheduling. Scheduling means to fix starting and finishing time for each job. This cannot be done Without work measurement data.
Estimating productions costs :
Work measurement data helps to estimate the production cost. This is because it gives management accurate data about production time. This data helps to estimate the labor costs. Secondly, indirect costs such as fuel and power consumption, rent and salaries of staff, etc. also depends on the production time factor.
Cost reduction and control :
Work measurement data is used to reduce and control costs. It helps t6 reduce labor cost. This is because it provides a guideline to the employees to work efficiently and effectively. This helps to make Optimum use of the available manpower. So the labor cost will reduce.
Work measurement data helps to reduce material costs. It also helps to increase machine productivity. All these steps help to reduce and control production costs.
The rational basis for incentives :
Work measurement data is used for making incentive schemes for the employees. Incentive schemes motivate employees to work hard. Efficient employees are rewarded by giving them a higher wage rate.
Work measurement fixes the standard-time for doing the work. Those who complete their work within a standard time or faster than the standard-time are rewarded with higher wages. This encourages all employees to work fast and efficiently.
Performance appraisal :
Performance appraisals are done to find out whether the employees are efficient or not. It is done to find the strengths & weaknesses of employees.
Work measurement helps to do performance appraisals. This is because it fixes the standard-output and standard-time for each employee. The employees, who produce the standard-output within the standard-lime are efficient and vice versa. Thus, it also helps to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the employees.
Training of employees :
Work measurement helps to train the employees especially the new employees. It divides the full job into small elements (parts). it gives complete details about each element of the job. It gives details about; how to do each element, the time taken for each element the machines and tools involved in each element, etc. These details are used for training the employees.
Comparing alternative methods :
There are many methods for doing a job Work measurement data helps to choose the best method for doing a Job
Accepting new orders:
Work measurement data tells us when will each job be completed 80, it helps the company to decide whether to accept new orders or not. In other words, it helps to find out whether the new-order will be completed within a specific time limit.
Fixing the selling cost :
Work measurement data also helps to fix the selling cost of the product. This is because it estimates the cost of production, especially the labor cost. Selling cost is decided after fixing the estimated production cost.
Techniques of Time Study
Following are the techniques of time study
Historical data method :
Historical data method uses the past-performance data. Here, past performance is used as a guideline for setting work performance standards. The main advantage of this technique is that it is simple to understand, quicker to estimate and easier to implement. However, past performance is not the best basis for fixing performance standards. This .is because there may be many changes in technology, employees’ behavior, abilities, etc.
Time study :
Time study with the help of a stopwatch is the most commonly used work measurement method. This technique was developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915). Time study is best suited for short-cycle repetitive jobs Most of the production jobs can be easily timed by a time-study
Work sampling :
The work sampling method was originally developed by Leonard Henry Caleb Tippett 0902-1985) in Britain in 1934. In this technique, the workers are observed many times at random. It is done to find out how much time the worker is actually on the job. It checks how long he is working and how much time he is not working (idle time) Work sampling method does not involve stopwatch measurement The purpose of work sampling technique is to estimate what pr0portion of a worker s time is devoted to work-related activities.
Synthesis method :
In the synthesis method, the full job is first divided into parts. Then the time taken to do each element of the job is found out and synthesized (totaled). This gives the total time taken for doing the Full job. In this technique, tbs time taken to do each element of the job is found out from previous time studies. So \this technique gives importance to past-time studies of similar jobs. It also uses standaré data.
Predetermined motion time system :
In ‘Predetermined Motion Time System’ method or simply PMTS technique, the normal times are fixed for basic human emotions. These time values are used to fix the time required for doing a job. Normally, three times are fixed for one job. That is, one time is fixed for each level of performance. The level of performance may be normal, fast and very fast.
PTMS is better than motion studies because it gives a detailed analysis of the motion, and it fixes the standard time for doing that motion. PTMS technique is used mostly for jobs, which are planned for the future. However, it can also be used for current. jobs as an alternative to time study.
Analytical estimating :
Analytical estimating method or technique is used for fixing the standard time for jobs, which are very long and repetitive. The standard time is fixed by using standard-data. However, if standard data is not available, then the standard time is fixed based on the experience of the work-study engineer.