Warehouse management is an essential for any manufacturer looking to maintain effective control over its place in the supply chain. Without an efficient strategy to handle inventory for both completed products and the parts used to make them, there’s a high likelihood a company will lose its competitive edge, especially as customers demand more out of the purchases they make. To better manage output, it’s a good idea to consider using Microsoft Dynamics NAV Warehouse Barcoding to get effective results. It’s also essential to put in several best practices as they correlate with business operations and production.
Stop using manual data entry
Less than two decades ago, it would be an acceptable practice to write down on paper the inventory of a given item. A company would have several staffers working around the clock for solely this purpose. While this was particularly useful in some capacities, the advances in barcoding technology and enterprise resource planning software make this process very obsolete, not to mention extremely slow. By switching to automatic data collection and barcodes, all workers need to do is scan items, and the information will automatically enter the ERP’s database, according to Inbound Logistics. Moreover, there are far fewer chances for human error to appear in entries, creating a higher level of accuracy.
Increase information visibility
The one thing that can slow down production is a lack of information. If an operator only finds out just before starting a production run that he or she doesn’t have enough of a given part to complete it, he or she will have to wait until somebody orders the necessary component, creating costly delays. The best way around this situation is to make sure everyone in the company is aware of what’s going on in the warehouse and elsewhere. The Aberdeen Group noted in a study that when companies perform best practices in increasing information visibility, there is a marked decrease in cycle times.
Implement advanced shipping notification
On the logistics side of the operation, any sudden development in the warehouse can greatly hamper a shipping schedule. Even the best-laid plans can go awry for manufacturers, and that can affect proper allocation of labor, which increases costs. Legacy Supply Chain Services suggested implementing electronic advanced shipping notifications. This system, which can incorporate a notice with a purchase order or other inventory management functions, can allow for better planning regarding order fulfillment, dock loading and transport. It creates a more optimal setting for companies to function, helping the bottom line.
Keep the aisles clear
While it may seem obvious to some businesses, it’s an unfortunately common practice for companies to leave items on the floor, sometimes next to the very bins they’re supposed to be. A messy environment can greatly hamper movement and operations and weaken the flow of inventory. If a forklift has trouble navigating through an aisle, that’s a sign a company should spend time cleaning the warehouse, according to Justin Johnson of Demand Media. By keeping the warehouse floors clear, manufacturers can effectively manage the movement of merchandise and parts.
Perform order sequencing with the WMS
Warehouse management systems – especially those that work with Dynamics NAV – present a lot of opportunities for a more efficient inventory situation. One area of improvement is how orders get processed. With the WMS, the company creates an order sequence that takes into account the location and movement of items all throughout the space. ShelfPlus noted that by creating sequences, companies can have a workflow in place on the warehouse floor as they would on the shop floor or the back office. This can save a lot of time overall and make customers happy.
To learn about the benefits of NAV Warehouse Barcoding and how it can apply to your inventory, check out the white paper “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World In Sync” today.