Barcode technology is a proven solution for an endless array of manufacturing and distribution applications, but if those applications are operated in a silo, cut off from the wider business technology environment, then companies are only receiving a fraction of the potential benefit. By integrating barcode technology directly with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, you can generate even more efficiencies.
Barcode solutions provide a real-time or near-real-time view of assets, shipments, work-in-process, inventory, and other items so that the ERP system has the most up-to-date information available to provide clear business insight to management. Imprint Enterprises offers barcode solutions that are compatible with leading ERP software products such as SAP, Microsoft Dynamics, EPICOR, Sage, and others. By providing a direct interface between the barcode solution and the ERP system, Imprint has helped its customers improve their operations. Below are five key benefits of barcode/ERP integration:
- Improved Inventory Visibility
Accurate inventory scans during receiving, putaway, picking, and use/shipping of inventory provides a better view of inventory, and gives ERP solutions the data they need to optimize the use and placement of that inventory.
That data can then form the basis of better production and delivery forecasting, initiative parts order, provide better information for production planning, give the sales team a valuable tool when working with customers, and provide insight to managers across multiple divisions.
- Improved Accuracy
Manual data collection methods that require handwriting numbers or key-entering data are slow and prone to human error. Barcode scanning improves efficiency and accuracy of data collection by eliminating those potential errors. Workers are empowered with better, faster data and can do their jobs in a more productive fashion.
By printing barcode labels directly from the ERP database, users can improve error proofing of labels, reduce misprints, and reduce the data entry required to generate those labels. Using barcodes on the production line can provide the ERP system with a more accurate view of production and work-in-process, as well as labor tracking.
Utilizing scanners and scanner-equipped mobile computers, such as the Honeywell CK3X mobile computer, provides standard platforms and interfaces that enable this type of visibility in manufacturing, warehouse, and transportation/field applications both inside and outside the four walls of the enterprise.
- Reduced Costs
By making workers more productive and efficient, companies can save a substantial amount of labor. Automatically gathering barcode data and making that data immediately available to the ERP solution saves administrative labor as well, as staff are no longer required to key enter data from manually generated reports.
The barcode solution can be configured to automatically generate labels and launch print jobs based on specific ERP transactions, which further reduces user intervention and costs.
With a better view of inventory, companies can also optimize or reduce stock. That reduces both inventory and holding costs, and can eliminate the need for safety stock. A barcode solution integrated with an ERP system enables a company to take a lean and intelligent approach to inventory management that isn't possible using manual methods.
By eliminating errors and incorrect shipments, companies also save on the costs of returns, customer chargebacks, and other handling costs associated with those errors.
- More Informed Employees
With a direct link from the mobile computer and barcode scanner to the ERP system, employees are not only able to send data quickly to the ERP, but can also view information in real-time that can help them do their jobs better. In addition to data collection, employees can perform product lookups, confirm shipment information, and search for inventory in other locations.
For example, field or warehouse employees armed with Honeywell Dolphin 6500 mobile computers can leverage a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to back-end enterprise databases, while also providing robust barcode scanning capabilities.
- Improved Customer Satisfaction
A barcode system that is informed by information from the ERP solution, and that feeds data back into the ERP, can improve customer satisfaction and response times by ensuring timely, accurate shipments. Barcodes improve efficiency and reduce errors, so employees can do a better, faster job of servicing customers. The barcode data also helps populate valuable reports about quality and performance that can be analyzed and acted upon quickly.
Your barcode solution should not operate in isolation. Barcode system and ERP integration allows businesses to improve accuracy, productivity, and efficiency, while extending even better service to customers and suppliers.