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Barcoding - Beyond Retail

Barcoding is well known in the retail sector – nearly every store now relies on barcodes to track merchandise and complete sales.  As technology advances, manufacturing companies are also embracing the benefits of barcodes as a method to streamline processes and track inventory. How can barcoding benefit your manufacturing company?

In the manufacturing environment, efficiency, cost control and quality are paramount.  Even small errors can wreak havoc, eating up time and resources to track down and contain problems.  These errors can come in the simplest form – as common as putting a part in the wrong place.  Piece barcoding offers a solution.  As parts are manufactured, each part is given a specific barcode and serial number as a unique identifier, making each individual part traceable throughout processing. Combining this with the right Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system greatly improves accuracy and reduces downtime. The individual parts can be followed throughout the production process, greatly reducing risk.  When moving through production processes and inventory storage locations, parts can be located quickly and easily.


When it’s time to ship, individual items are scanned and placed into serialized shipping containers.  Unique numbers allow specific parts to be identified within specific shipments and containers.  Using the right ERP software, operators can be signaled that the correct shipment quantity for each container has been reached.  If a part is scanned twice or an incorrect part gets scanned, the ERP system will flag the container and disable shipping functions until errors have been fixed. This unique combination of part number prefix and suffix coding forces correct parts and correct quantities to be placed into containers, eliminating many of the frequent errors that waste time and money.


Supply chain control is problematic for every company in any industry, and having a robust containment process for components is crucial.  Moving serialized items and shipping containers throughout your enterprise and beyond its walls, dramatically improves tracking and traceability throughout your supply chain.  As your company grows, it’s easy to manage inventory and business partners because you have a firm grasp on traceability.


But, traceability isn’t the only benefit of barcoding.  It’s only a small step to carry barcoding over to the quality control department.  Each piece is marked and tracked individually, so quality issues can be easily identified and traced. When combined with a robust ERP solution, manufacturers are able to trace a finished product all the way back to its source materials.  Quality compliance reporting becomes far easier and recall issues can be addressed quickly.  Applying barcode technology to Quality Management decreases errors, increases speed, and improves traceability.


Automotive manufactures find this barcoding application particularly beneficial because it is now possible for them to see where every part originated in their supply chain.  They can trace even the smallest component back to its origin.  In the food and beverage industry, it is now possible for manufacturers to quickly determine what lots of source ingredients were used to create a batch and produce finished goods.


Using barcode technology throughout a manufacturing or assembly facility makes sense.  Every manufacturer’s dream is to run an operation that eliminates waste and errors.  Barcoding allows manufacturers to come closer to making that error-free environment a reality.  Call us today at 614-212-1111 or fill out the form below to learn more. We’d love to change the way you think about ERP.