It’s that time of year again. We gather to count our blessings, enjoy good company, and feast.
Thanksgiving is a holiday on which we typically focus on the positive things that have happened in our lives. But don’t forget to give thanks for the negative things that have gone away.
If you’ve achieved real-time inventory tracking in your manufacturing business, then you have a cornucopia of positive benefits to celebrate as well as avoided headaches for which to give thanks. Here are five reasons to be grateful this season:
1. No more dueling spreadsheets. Remember when the only way to get your latest inventory count was to pull up what you thought was the most recent spreadsheet? That approach worked well—until it didn’t.
Just when your corporate office believed it had an accurate count, someone on the shop floor would open a better spreadsheet and come up with the real number—often causing everyone to scramble to meet promise dates.
With real-time inventory tracking, these fire drills are a thing of the past and you can actually turn your phone off during Thanksgiving dinner.
2. No more guessing about promise dates. Speaking of promise dates, you used to make estimates based on how much product was currently in production. But depending on what you’re building, telling a customer that an order is “in production” isn’t necessarily very specific. The actual delivery date could vary by days or even weeks.
A key element of real-time inventory tracking is serialized barcoding, which captures incremental information on quantity, location, and status at each point during production. This information enables you to give your customers precise promise dates with total confidence.
3. Better lot management. Ever had that nagging feeling that although you have enough stock to fill a customer order, much of that stock is dangerously close to its expiration date? Real-time inventory tracking enables you to know more about your stock, so that you can be sure to have enough of it in the right place at the right time.
With the right technology, you can easily manage inventory lots from the time raw materials arrive on your loading dock through production and shipping. Along the way, you can ensure appropriate segmentation for quality and traceability purposes.
4. Easier audits and recalls. Nobody likes to think about product recalls. But if you’ve established full inventory traceability throughout production, you’ll minimize the amount of product you’ll have to recall. You can track a wide range of inventory data, including heat numbers, operators, quality checks, and even the gauges your staff uses for inspection.
5. No more physical inventory counts. If your company is like most, you started out doing weekly and monthly inventory counts. Those monthly counts probably took up an entire work day for multiple staff members—but they still weren’t completely accurate because as the counting process continued, more inventory was being used for production.
With real-time inventory tracking, you maintain an up-to-the-minute view of your inventory with no need for employees to go wandering around your warehouses with clipboards. You can measure the value of the man-hours you’re saving. But you probably can’t put a price on having accurate inventory data.
We could go on, but we don’t want to miss dessert. Take some time this Thanksgiving to reflect on what real-time inventory tracking has meant to your business—or what it could mean in 2019.
For more information, download our white paper: The Power of Inventory Control: Real-Time Inventory Tracking.