A manufacturer of corregated materials needed a way to track their raw material usage from the time they order a product through storage until use. They wanted the process to begin with the receipt of materials from vendors, put-a-way, continuing through all raw material usage; even tracking partially used items, until they were consumed. With that in mind, Current Directions stepped in and developed a software and hardware solution for their problem.
Intermec Janus JR2020RF and JR2010RF hand-held computers were placed at each receiving dock with the material handlers. An Intermec 9181 base radio was controlled by a networked computer station already in place via a Intermec 9180 RF concentrator. This would receive communications from the Januses. Unique bar-code identification numbers were given to each factory, factory storage location, and package of product.
The employee uses a Janus hand-held computer to scan the product and destination within the factory. If raw material is left after a particular job is completed, the remainder is scanned as available inventory as it is returned to a storage location. The operator need only enter the new quantity. All information is verified by the program as it is entered, then the inventory master file on the network is automatically updated in real time.
The home office now has immediate access to all raw material inventory and its use in real time. They now have a new accuracy in controlling production needs and inventory status. The company has complete control of all raw products, from purchase to consumption, as use occurs. The 'guesstimations' previously used to decide raw product needs have been totally eliminated. Even partially-consumed product documentation is readily available. Handwritten or key-entered information has been virtually eliminated, saving man-hours as well as increasing accuracy.
A tighter control now exists on ordering supplies. The chances of running out of materials mid-production are gone, and over-orders are a thing of the past. They can maintain a smaller inventory overhead, and regulate production directly proportional to use. End Result? A firmer control on production, on inventory, and, most importantly, the bottom line.