For many manufacturers, especially job shops, the benefits of using Microsoft Dynamics NAV Barcode Scanning are already obvious at the inventory level. For one, it provides an accurate method of managing inventory. Second, it’s highly efficient. Finally, it’s cost effective, in that companies only need to invest in barcode scanners that are relatively affordable. With that said, using barcodes isn’t just limited to the warehouse. There are many considerable applications for them throughout production, logistics and other portions of operations. The shop floor is a great area from which the benefits of using such labels can apply.
A better handling of parts
Inventory management isn’t just limited to completed products ready for shipping. It also applies to finding parts and materials to actually create the items in question. Effective production requires a fast turnaround in moving a given part, alloy or polymer from stock to the shop floor for tooling or casting.
Where barcode scanners come in handy is managing the stock in a way that is most efficient and transparent to the workers and company. If a shop needs to execute a specific product run the following day, it would make sense for workers to find where all the necessary parts are and arrange them in such a way to minimize the amount of time it takes for it reach the shop floor. With this in mind, barcode scanners can simplify the process by helping workers map out through labels where these parts are and realign them for the best possible turnaround time. Moreover, by using these scanners, companies will have a better idea on how their stock looks. Instead of stopping a run because they exhausted a given material, they can either make a quick order or reschedule production to a time when they’ll have enough of what they need.
There are other benefits to consider as well. As manufacturing blog facilitiesnet noted, a shop can better track parts overall through transaction histories, determine what was where at any given time. As noted in the introduction, it’s a more accurate method of recording data, reducing the amount of time double-checking information and eliminating human errors from the equation. It’s much easier for craft technicians or operators to check out parts just by scanning what they need after grabbing the materials. Overall, it helps streamline many of the processes associated with parts inventory.
Strong software integration
A great thing about barcode scanning is its integration with enterprise resource planning software. Most warehouse and inventory management systems have some form or feature that allows the recording of barcode scans, according to technology blog TechTarget. Data collection software usually records information from the barcodes and applies them to a work order or other transaction slip. The ERP will then process the transaction so everyone in the company knows the situation in inventory and the shop floor. Moreover, it enables continuous operation of the business even if the ERP is down, since the data collection portion can operate independently if necessary through the scanners.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV has a variety of ways of collecting barcode data for the shop floor. NAV developer Olof Simren discussed in the Dynamics Community blog one method he developed using special characters. In it, when a worker uploads a barcode, NAV creates a character string which contains a function within NAV, the barcode and any particular aspects that the software should note about the code. A worker can make the scan, and then Dynamics NAV can print out the order or send it directly to the operator through a message. Other methods are also in place that makes the shop floor process much more efficient.
For more on the benefits of NAV Barcode Scanning, download the “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync” white paper today.