In manufacturing, having an accurate assessment of inventory and stock is extremely important. Excess inventory can be wasteful in the long term and a sign of inefficient business practices that cost companies money. Low inventory can be worse because in the event of a spike in customer demand, businesses can fall behind on orders, which can lead to cancelations, loss of future customers and a decline in profits. A clear idea of where everything is in a warehouse or in general inventory can be critical in maintaining a steady flow of business that isn’t disrupted by a lack of supply. Automatic identification and data capture can help make those accurate assessments, which when implemented in an effective ERP solution can be analyzed more effectively as part of a greater inventory management system.
Scanning for items
Automatic data capture, as defined by TechTarget, is any technology that collects information on objects instantly. When it comes to manufacturing, this information is usually marked with a specific barcode affixed somewhere on the goods or parts being inventoried. That can include the standard striped unidimensional barcode found on everyday products. Another form of barcode are two-dimensional codes that are often found on newer products. These squares of data, also known as Quick Response or QR codes, provide greater levels of data collection, and can be used for inventorying a much larger quantity of goods and parts.
The primary purpose of ADC in manufacturing is to collect data on inventory in order to organize and manage products and goods both on the factory floor and in the warehouse. That includes components to be used in a specific order from a customer, or completed items to be sent out for distribution.
There are various particular benefits associated with utilizing ADC in a manufacturing setting. The most obvious is that it improves efficiency greatly by allowing employees to know where exactly certain parts or components are to grab for a customer order. It can also allow management to have a better understanding of current inventories while eliminating the paperwork that usually went with finding this out, according to Engineer’s Garage. It can eliminate redundancies in inventory and allow factories to work on an as-demand as well as a scalable basis. This process can also cut down labor costs by eliminating manual data entry. Most importantly, it can making organizing and moving around goods in a warehouse a lot simpler, since the scans can also tell the workers where to place things.
For more information on improving efficiency with barcode technology, download the free white paper entitled “Keeping the Physical World and the Virtual World in Sync” from DMS today.