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Mistakes happen to everyone, but there are some business areas where mistakes can be costly. One of those areas is the warehouse. A single mistake can pile up and create more issues down the line giving your customers a poor impression of your business. Unhappy customers may take their business to a competitor. In fact, inventory management mistakes can cost your business thousands of dollars a year. If you want to improve profitability by reducing inventory management mistakes, try these four tips. Tip #1: Automate your warehouse. Automated warehouses use barcode scanners, inventory management systems, and other tools to log goods into the warehouse and log them out again during fulfillment. Such systems reduce the amount of manual errors made by failing to count items, mistaken counts, and mistakes during data entry. Tip #2: Add structure to the inventory fulfillment process. If your warehouse doesn’t have a structured process for receiving orders, picking, packing and shipping, you are leaving the success rate on your order fulfillment to chance. You can reduce mistakes and close gaps in the system by creating a structure and process that details each step for your employees. Make sure that the process is in writing, and […]

If there’s only one thing you do to improve your warehouse management this year, make it barcoding. Bar codes are a simple improvement in your warehouse management process that can add great value to your bottom line. How? They make inventory management faster and easier. Three Ways Barcodes Make Your Job Easier There are probably dozens of ways that barcodes make a warehouse manager’s job easier. These three, however, are those cited by many warehouse managers worldwide. Better inventory tracking: Keeping stock levels consistent so that you can fulfill incoming orders is important, but it can be difficult to know exactly what you have in the warehouse at any given moment. Managing multiple inventory locations within a single warehouse, or multiple warehouse locations containing the same SKUs, make the job even harder. Barcodes scanned into the system enable you to check inventory in and out of warehouses, monitor stock levels, and reorder before inventory levels drop too low. It makes inventory tracking faster, easier, and more efficient. Easier receiving: Receiving is often a bottleneck in many warehouses. The press to get customer orders out the door as fast as possible sometimes results in incoming shipments backing up in the receiving […]

Are you stuck in the typical inventory management quandary? You’re balancing the needs of senior management, who demand you reduce stock levels to contain costs. But on the other hand, customers are upset when you can’t fill their orders fast enough. It’s a common enough situation for inventory managers, but uncomfortable nonetheless. Enter better data through ERP systems, to the rescue of frazzled inventory managers everywhere. Smart companies know that as their operations grow, so too does the need for better data. When you’re managing a small back-room warehouse filled with goods created just down the hall, it’s easy enough to yell, “Hey, Bob, do we have enough blue widgets to fill Jane’s order?” But if you’ve grown since the time when a good strong yell could get the order info you need back into production, then it’s time to think about more sophisticated solutions. Barcoding, Automation, Inventory Management, and Warehouse Data Like the example above, many warehouses are still using old-fashioned methods to maintain stock levels. Sure, it’s not as extreme as yelling down the hall to whomever happens to be near the shelves at the moment, but it’s just as crude when compared to other sophisticated inventory tracking […]

Investing in automated business systems may help your business reduce human error and save a great deal of money each year. Just how much depends on your business and where automation can reduce such errors, but one common area where automated business systems helps is in warehouse and inventory management. Investment in Business Systems Set to Grow Manufacturers expect investments in technology to increase this year, according to an IDG Research Study conducted for Sage. They’re still spending on automated business processes, especially barcode systems in the warehouse. That’s one area, however, that continues to pay off in surprising and unexpected ways. The report indicates that the second-highest priority among manufacturers is automating business systems and processes to better manage cash flow. Changes in both accounting systems and inventory management can improve cash flow and inventory tracking. Investments in Automated Business Processes and Barcodes Improving the efficiency of warehouse logistics and minimizing costly mistakes is high on the list of important tasks for many manufactures. According to the IDG study, 61 percent of those surveyed invested in technologies to improve warehouse logistics. These automated business processes resulted in an 86 percent improvement as a result of the investment, a good […]

Increasing visibility is a critical strategy for all manufacturers, but even more so for those in food manufacturing. In our last blog, How to Improve Transparency in Food Manufacturing, we discussed the importance of transparency to food manufacturers. A vital component of transparency is supply chain visibility. Supply chain visibility means that you are able to collect and respond to information from your suppliers regardless of size or geographic location. This information includes specific data related to product orders, physical shipments, invoices, and the status of events and milestones. When done well, you will have a tight synchronization of supply and demand as well as the ability to orchestrate the flow of product, information, and funds. Visibility provides many benefits in addition to transparency. Supply chain visibility can help reduce costs and improve company performance by increasing your company’s agility and responsiveness. In order to establish supply chain visibility and see these key benefits, you will need to follow these steps. An Action Plan for Supply Chain Visibility in Food Manufacturing Establish communication: In order to gather information from your suppliers and transporters, you will need to share and adopt universal standards for barcoding and data exchange. GS1 standards will […]

Mobile technology integrated with your enterprise software promotes business agility. With mobile access, wholesale and distribution employees can react quickly to market or process changes. According to Aberdeen’s 2014 ERP Benchmark survey, best-in-class wholesalers and distributors are twice as likely to enable mobile access to their enterprise software. Not only have 56% of these organizations implemented triggers and alerts in order to help them make immediate decisions, but 76% have data entry at the point of activity. Improved business agility enables companies to drive down costs and increase revenue. Mobile devices like radio frequency hand-held devices and barcode scanners have been used successfully in inventory management for some time to provide real-time information and product tracking. However, there is great opportunity in supply chain management to conduct business processes with mobile technology as well. Mobile devices and enterprise software like Sage X3 or Sage 300 can be used across the entire supply chain from the front to the back of the warehouse. Receiving: Capture inventory data from the point that it arrives in the dock. Using barcode technology, incoming shipments can be automatically verified against purchase orders and instructions sent to an employee’s mobile device Storage: Put-away is expedited by […]

Most organizations implement barcode scanning software to solve a particular problem they are experiencing in the area of inventory management. Whether it be a large number of inventory inaccuracies, time-wasting activities, or high inventory costs that they are experiencing, barcode scanning software offers a solution to the problem at hand. What many companies do not realize, however, is that the benefits of barcode scanning software applications extend far beyond the warehouse or distribution center. Barcode Scanning Software Extends Beyond the Warehouse into the Office A good inventory management solution with barcode scanning capabilities will serve your entire business, not just a segment of it. Let’s take a look at some of the areas that are positively impacted when you make the decision to invest in and implement barcode scanning software: First and Foremost: The Warehouse Knowing how much inventory you have on hand is crucial to the success of your operation. If you are relying on manual methods for inventory counting, tracking or picking and packing, the process can become extremely cumbersome and inaccuracies can abound. Barcode scanning software not only automates the process and allows you to see real-time inventory data, but it also eliminates inaccuracies that can cause […]

No human, business or entity is exempt from making mistakes; they happen to the best of us. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned pro, you can most likely recall a time you yourself or your business made an error or mistake. How significant was that error? Was it costly, or did it have an impact on other areas of the organization? Whether it is shipping the wrong product to a customer or simply sending them an invoice for an item they did not order, errors can be costly to your business. While mistakes and errors are certainly a fact of life, it is important for businesses to take certain precautions and prevent as many mistakes from occurring as possible. One area that we encourage our customers to focus their error prevention on is the area of order fulfillment. How Much are Errors Really Costing Your Company? Errors can occur easily during the order fulfillment process. When an item or product is incorrectly slotted or labeled, the likelihood of that product being sent to the wrong customer is high. These mistakes can be costly to the business, costing the average company a total of $390,000 a year. […]

Investing in new software and technology is always an extensive process. Not only do you have to do thorough research into the products you are considering, but you also have to prove the benefits of the software in order to obtain approval from upper management for purchase. The time and money put into not only the software but the process itself is a huge investment, and you need to be as prepared as possible in order to make the right technology decision for your company. When it comes to barcode scanning software, it is important to know what you are looking for. Every company has its unique needs when it comes to barcoding and inventory management, and making sure you invest in the right solution is crucial to your barcoding success. Don’t make the mistake of investing in the wrong solution for your company! For companies needing access to real-time information, wireless barcode scanners are the way to go. These are used to track data as products move in and out of the company. Once a barcode is scanned, the data is sent directly to the company’s ERP and inventory management software. Sales teams and upper management can then view […]