Barcoded warehousing data entry for Dynamics NAV users
Accuracy of data entry is key to the success of your system and there’s no more important area than inventory and warehousing when it comes to getting it right. The MetaSkan Business App for NAV ensures that all data entered via the handheld barcoding devices is totally correct – it either reads or it doesn’t – there’s never a mistake. Using MetaSkan you can deliver greater efficiency and real data integrity into a crucial area of your business.
Carrying out inventory transactions using the warehousing elements of Dynamics NAV is a standard function in the system. However, what’s not available is the ability to issue transactions from NAV out to handheld devices so that they can be managed remotely in the warehouse.
MetaSkan allows you to link your NAV system to a network of intelligent handheld barcode reading guns that will manage the entire data capture and NAV update process for you.
MetaSkan offers a range of key functions that any warehouse user needs. The following functions are standard in MetaSkan.
This manages the process of taking goods received and handling the put-away movement to a stock bin. This handles the put-away transaction created by the NAV Receipt process. It may be based on a free stock location or a location defined in NAV for the item.
The put-away transactions shown on the gun will be filtered by user ID so you only see the transactions that you should be managing. Alternatively, there is the option to see all put-aways, if you are an administrator or floating worker that needs to see a list of outstanding put-aways and choose the next one to action.
To make put-away easier, all the lines included in a put-away transaction are sorted by bin code. This will allow the user to follow the natural bin order in the warehouse. The information displayed on the ‘Put Away’ screen is the same as that recorded in NAV under the ‘Take’ and ‘Place’ description. The system tells the warehouse worker the items to put-away, the quantity of items to move and the bin destination. In addition, you may want to record additional information, such as serial number, and that is available with MetaSkan.
After confirming all the values, the warehouse worker can register the transaction. The MetaSkan system carries out all the validation required on the receipt, the vendor, the item and the location to ensure accuracy of the put-away.
This option allows access to NAV Pick documents from the gun. These are usually assigned to a picker by the NAV process, managed by the warehouse manager or inventory planner. The standard process for shipping goods starts in NAV with a sales order. When an order is released a warehouse shipment for
this order is created.
The warehouse manager will check the outstanding shipments in NAV and will assign them to the different warehouse workers. This information will be used by MetaSkan to filter the transactions by the user logged into the handheld system. After selecting the Pick option, the pick screen will be displayed and the warehouse worker will have the necessary information
to finish the picking action displayed on his device.
On the screen the suggested bin, from where the user should pick the item, will be displayed. Where there is no bin suggested, it is possible to access to the list of bins with the Find button and then select one of the bins containing this item. Once the warehouse worker is in front of the bin, they scan the bin code and enter the quantity of items that are picked, updating the quantity. When the pick action is finished the pick line is registered using the Register option.
Another everyday transaction that is commonly done in the warehouse is the unplanned movement of goods. This movement can originate from a mistake or simply to optimise bin space and usage.This option doesn’t relate to a request generated on NAV and it should only be used to correct stock errors detected in warehouse operations, create ad-hoc movements, allow
warehouse staff to reorganise stock etc.
To create a movement in MetaSkan, simply select the Move option and the movement screen will be displayed. The user enters the information required –the item code, the originating bin and the destination bin. The system will display the available quantity for that item in the originating bin. The user fills in the quantity and scans the destination bin where the items will be placed.
Like put-aways and picks, these are movements in NAV created by the warehouse manager – for example, replenishments or planned re-organisation of bins. These will be allocated to warehouse staff by the warehouse manager with the view filtered by User ID and the option to see all movements, as described earlier.
To have access to all these movements from MetaSkan, the Planned Movements option is selected from the main menu and the list of planned movements is shown on the screen. The Planned Movement works in the same way as the Pick and Put-away list. The user will select one of the movements on the list. The list of items within the movement will be shown.
Each movement will display the item code and the item description involved in this planned move as well as the originating bin the item should be moved from, the destination bin and the quantity to move.
Bin Content/Item Look-up
This option allows the user to search for the available stock by Item code in the relevant bins. The user enters an item code and the handheld returns the list of bins holding the part and the quantities in each bin.
One of the most time-consuming activities done in a warehouse is stocktaking. To make this task easier, the Metaphorix Barcoding system offers a stocktake functionality. There are two functions – update and add.
This option allows the user to update stocktaking quantities in NAV based on the physical inventory found. The Update option is used when the item being scanned is found in the bin but the quantity requires adjustment.After scanning the item and location, then entering the quantity, the system updates the Physical Inventory Journal values
(increasing or decreasing the quantity).
The Add option is used when there is an item is found in a location that was not recorded in NAV as being in that location. In this instance a new line will be created in the Physical Inventory Journal and the NAV data will have an entry added.
In order to utilise MetaSkan then the correct hardware needs to be put in place. That’s something we can help with as we can advise you on the correct specification or even
sell you the required elements through our chosen partners for this solution. There are two elements to the hardware set up – the network infrastructure and the guns.
Typical warehousing set ups have lots of racks and pallets that may interfere with the signal in parts of a warehouse. It is essential when planning a MetaSkan roll-out that we make sure there are no network blind spots in your warehouse.
To help, we offer a free site survey that checks the power and reach of your network in the warehouse to ensure connectivity at all times. Perhaps you have no network in the
warehouse at all. In that case, our survey will help you get a quotation for the hardware and effort involved in establishing the right links.
The guns we recommend are industry standard ones that run the Microsoft Windows Handheld 6.5 or Windows CE 6.0. operating system that our solution requires. Typical installations involve devices from DataLogic, Skorpio, Dolphin or Intermec guns and accessories. These rugged mobile computers are particularly suitable for warehouse solutions.
All of these devices offer large high-visibility colour graphic displays, some with touch screens, three different keyboards – the 50-key alphanumeric, the 38-key functional and the
28-key numeric, and accessories to support your use of the hardware in the warehouse.
The accessories we recommend include:
• Gun docks and chargers
• Spare batteries
• 4-way battery chargers
• Belts and holsters
• Mounts for forklifts/cherry-pickers
In addition, we recommend specialist printers for production of your own barcodes for boxes, pallets and racking.