Barcoding Warehouse for Manufacturers & Distributors

Modern barcoding technology has been around since the 1940s. As a concept it has revolutionised the retail industry, massively reduced checkout time and become almost universally adopted.

Increasingly it is also being seen as a necessity in Warehousing, both for Manufacturers and Distributors. Implementing an efficient barcoding system, fully integrated with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution can make a very significant improvement to customer service and reducing costs. What are the key factors to consider when looking at barcoding in the modern warehouse?

Click here for more information on MetaSkan, our fully integrated barcoding ERP solution.

Key Advantages

Introducing a barcoding system into a warehouse has a number of key advantages. The two main categories these benefits fall into are speed and accuracy.

Speed

The most obvious benefit is the time saved by using a scanner to read barcodes over manual data entry. Studies have shown that by the time an operator has made two keystrokes an entire twelve character barcode can be scanned. Ease of implementation is also relevant when discussing speed. Since barcodes are incredibly simple to use operator training is kept to a minimum. When integrated with an ERP software such as Dynamics NAV bar coding technology also proves remarkably cost efficient since they do not require two systems running in parallel.

Accuracy

When a warehouse supports its operations with wireless barcoding it normally reaches 99% inventory accuracy. Even experienced typists make an error on average every 400 keystrokes. By eliminating human error barcoding can dramatically reduce cost, time and paperwork. Barcode reading devices supported by laser technology make approximately one error in 70 million entries.

How Scanners integrate to an ERP and how this is useful

Barcoded warehouses operate best when integrated with an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution such as Dynamics NAV. When utilised as part of a “joined up” Manufacturing or Distribution solution barcoding can really begin to demonstrate solid ROI and improved operations processes.
The key areas this can optimise are:

Receiving

At Goods Inwards, the receiver is immediately notified of any discrepancy between the packing list or the physical goods and the actual purchase order. The warehouse team is then able to move the stock into an area ready for put away.

Put Away

Barcodes operate in real time ensuring company data is always 100% accurate and up to date. When a warehouse team member puts away a received item of stock it is scanned and the ERP system verifies it is being placed in the correct location and instantly increases the on hand quantity and decreases the planned-in bin quantity.

Picking

The increased insight and pinpoint accuracy allows the system to direct warehouse staff in the most efficient routes to put away, pick and replenish stock. Throughput, accuracy and stock rotation are all increased and obsolescence reduced. Picks can be consolidated by order or by aisle or indeed a combination of the two with the next pick instruction being automatically presented on the handheld by the system.

Paperless Benefits

A common problem with paper based warehouse processes is “floating stock”. This is caused by the inevitable time lapse between moving the stock and recording the transaction into the stock control system. Barcoding provides an accurate update of both stock quantity and location ensuring order fulfilment is smoother and more efficient.

Changing the way you do Business

Warehouse Management systems built into an ERP software such as Metaphorix Dynamics NAV deliver the optimal solution, without the need to interface to a 3rd party warehouse system and the overhead of keeping the two systems in synch which can be a major operational issue. However when implemented correctly these solutions will revolutionise the way warehouses are run and return on investment quickly. Real time visibility, reduced lead times and errors together with efficient mobile warehouse processes all gained from a single investment.

 

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Infographic

An infographic on barcoding for the modern warehouse

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