Back-to-Basics: How to Choose an Inventory Control System for Your Shop Floor

August 7th 2018 15:00:00 PM



Modern manufacturers are finding that inventory control is no longer simply a task for the warehouse. It’s now useful on the shop floor, as well, helping to improve scrap tracking for less waste and ensuring a more efficient procurement process with up-to-date material stock levels.

Those aren’t the only benefits. By implementing effective inventory control on the shop floor, manufacturers can also gain real-time insight into production speeds, so they can fix problems before they become costly; and, they can also track finished goods and work in process, so they can provide accurate delivery estimates any time a customer calls.

Now that you know the benefits of inventory control on the shop floor, it’s time to learn how you can choose the right system for your plant. Get the facts in this article or contact Scanco online to request a personalized walk-through of your options.

The Key Is to Choose the Right Inventory Control System for You

These days, everything is complex. The latest business solutions often require interdisciplinary specialists to design, run, and modify computer processes in high-tech manufacturing operations. On these cutting-edge shop floors, teams of psychologists, programmers, sociologists, and biologists work together in an effort to teach artificial intelligence (AI) how to ID materials, build components, and assemble finished goods.

Some people like this complexity. Some people don’t.

For example, the Tesla factory is pretty high-tech and complex. It’s so complex and tech-focused that it takes a genius like Elon Musk to keep the whole place working properly. However, even Elon Musk seems a bit worried about today’s over-complicated computers and keeps warning us about killer robots 

But we digress.

The point is, if you don’t like lots of complexity, then you don’t need some sort of complex, killer-robot-like solution to make your factory work more efficiently and effectively. Perhaps all you need is a simple, proven solution; one that’s been around so long that no one questions its time-saving success.

We’re talking, of course, about barcoding for inventory control.

With barcoding, you’ll have an inventory control system that’s easy to use, easy to implement, and easy to integrate into your existing workflows, as well as into your existing job management and ERP applications. Barcoding solutions connect cleanly into your existing processes, so you can start improving your plant productivity right away.

In fact, by connecting barcoding tools to your already running systems instead of performing an entire rip-and-replace, you’re likely to experience a faster, better ROI. After all, a rip-and-replace requires a vast amount of training and data migration.

How to Find That Right Inventory Control System for You

If you’re ready to use a simple, easy-to-use system that will increase your efficiency (and also not destroy humanity with killer robots), you’ll need to know how to find the right tool for both your current and your evolving needs.

As you research your options, consider your answers to these questions:

  • What are your short-term ROI needs and your long-term success goals?

With modern, cloud-based solutions, you can adjust your inventory system’s capabilities as you go, using APIs that help you add or remove tailor-fit functionality that meets your evolving, changing needs. The most important feature to look for is seamless integration with your current ERP. That will save you a lot of wasted time.

  • Do you need to limit downtime and lost revenue?

When you’re looking to install and start using your new inventory control solution quickly, you’ll want to choose a tool that’s familiar and intuitive. Mobile-based barcode scanning apps for smartphones are easy to learn for employees of all ages, so they can get you up and moving faster than more complex, ruggedized / button-filled scanners.

  • Do you really need to customize your system?

Though the key to building great systems in the past was to customize them to your exact specifications, that old-fashioned method also caused a lot of headaches—especially when it came time to upgrade your ERP system. These days, agile companies customize less, so they can ensure they always have the latest, best-functioning systems available.

  • Does the solution you’re considering have a proven history and track record?

These days, Shark Tank endorses hot, new startup companies each week and everything sells itself as “the next Uber.” But, Uber is flailing, and those hot startups fail far more often than they succeed. Instead of choosing the hottest, most fashionable, most heavily marketed inventory control product out there, you’re better off choosing a solution built and backed by a small, innovative team who’s focused on the future and has an impressive business track record that spans back at least a few decades.

Get Innovative Inventory Control Solutions at Your Factory

Often, when making a change at your business, your hardest step lies in figuring out where to start. Make things easy on yourself by starting where you are. Look at your existing ERP and job management systems, and then call up your reseller for help figuring out how you can optimize those systems for better inventory control.

Chances are, your reseller will recommend Scanco.

That’s because, for nearly 30 years, Scanco has been helping manufacturers and distributors improve efficiency and optimize shop floor inventory control with easy-to-use, familiar tools, such as our most modern solution: smartphone apps.

If you’re ready to learn more, schedule a tour of your inventory control options with Scanco when you contact Scanco online or at (330) 645-9959.

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