Traditionally, production control in a business environment is a process that not only requires great management, but also high costs associated with asset management hardware, such as barcode scanners, man power to handle the managing process as well as any costs incurred as a result of stock loss or delays in the supply chain. There is one word that could resolve many of these issues from initial implementation: automation.
Even though a significant part of this process has already been mentioned, the humble barcode scanner, there is much to consider when implementing a solution that will ultimately be an automated process. However, when looking at the benefits, a handheld barcode scanner will not only reproduce data accurately, but also provide real-time production data that can streamline the supply chain.
SMARTScanndy is the latest offering from PanMobil, the barcode scanning giant that provides stock and asset management to thousands of distributors worldwide. This small, lightweight handheld barcode scanner can work in conjunction with inventory control software to provide users with an efficient and precise production-tracking. The key really is in the inventory control software, which can allow anyone overseeing a project or operations the whole picture, from the scan of an asset or product using a laser scanner or PDA barcode scanner to its destination of an operable action (such as ordering new stock).
Another important implication of such technology is the transparency of being able to see inventory information instantly from a PC. This allows workers to work much more effectively and efficiency and issues such as manual coding of barcodes is no longer an issue. The cost and time savings will be seen instantly from a customer service point of view.
So how would you implement such a system? Since the process involves integrating the solution into the supply chain, a complete chain of inventory or asset tracking is required. Using a handheld barcode scanner the user is able to scan a barcode which can then be stored onto the host’s PC. Relevant information might include stock location (especially useful if the tracking device is using RFID technology), asset number and product specifications. To make the process even easier PDA barcode scanners may have a number of connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi. Networking your scanner to a central server will allow users to roam a warehouse or other environments to make scanning of items much easier.
Going even further, scanners sometimes have the ability to store information internally, such as the barcode scanner Scanndy. This scanner can read 1D, 2D and RFID tags and has the option for Bluetooth, GPRS or USB.
The knock-on effect is pretty obvious when implementing this solution into your existing asset tracking management system. Handheld barcode scanners are key in streamlining your production environment but the key is having the flexibility to make full use of this system, using different types of connectivity, comprehensive barcoding solutions and powerful software to make it all work.