03 Apr Barcode and RFID technology and automation
I. Declare. War.No, this isn’t a thumb war or even a battlefield by any means. However, we see numerous companies living in the historical past, and we’re talking very LARGE enterprise organizations, still using pencil and paper to take inventory, track deliveries, and other areas of the business where automation would transform the way they operate.
We want to end the manual pencil and paper tactics and improve automation processes to transform your business, not to mention, save the environment and our trees.
Where the battle begins
Barcode technology remains the place to begin. If you are not labeling items with barcodes to identify, track, and manage this would be your first tactical play. Keep in mind; there are opportunities to future-proof your business, say for example you have the vision of taking inventory in a matter of seconds versus days. In this case, RFID tags and readers would be your goal, but you may have to walk before you run, there are intelligent investments you can make now to prepare for this next step. Our technology partners develop products and software that allow you to start with barcode and move to RFID when you’re ready. We’ve seen it and worked with companies that take this initial step to get away from pencil and paper, moved to barcode, and are now up and running with RFID technology, breaking down barriers and holding the competitive advantage in their industry.
A necessary element for successful barcode technology is the proper label. This is not a minor decision. Labels can be the glue that holds your empire together. If your items, parts, products, etc. go through a rigorous manufacturing process, must withstand chemicals, harsh temperatures or conditions finding the right label is critical. Labels are available in various materials, colors, sizes, and there are adhesives for those complex applications or requirements your business may have.
Arm yourself with the right equipment
Before you add your barcode labels to products, you need to be able to print them, in most cases, it’s best to select your printer and label types at the same time. Doing so reduces any risk of labels not being scannable. When you are reviewing the applications where labels are needed it’s best to identify the type of label required and the best printer to do so all at the same time. Once you’ve selected your labels and printers, you’ll need some hardware that will allow you to scan the barcodes and barcode labels.
Devices today have form factors similar to smartphones. They can have touch screens, scanning capabilities for short and long-distances, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi allowing you to be mobile, all with various sizes and drop ratings to handle tough environments. Have issues with temperature controls (going from hot to cold or freezing?) or vibration/shock (forklifts are an example of where vibration can come into play) There are devices to withstand all of these situations with some of the coolest technology to keep your teams working inside and outside the four walls efficiently. Windows CE and Windows Mobile End of Life (EOL) concerns are growing. Don’t be ashamed to jump on the Android bandwagon. Android provides a path for security, and our best partners are now releasing easy-to-use migration tools to take those green screens to the modern day look and feel on our smart devices.
Software, Middleware, and Integration is powerful ammunition
Not all businesses choose to integrate their barcode technology into business systems; however, we have several clients that would not wish to use barcode and RFID technology without integrating. There are so many software choices, with so little time. There is no one software, middleware, or business system that can meet all of your needs out of the box, but with the right solutions provider that understands software integration and has an experienced project management group, your move from paper and pencil will surely be a more successful transition.
Our experiences and expertise at AB&R have led us to listen to the goals of each organization and design a solution that is uniquely going to solve challenges and exceed expectations. Technical support, training, warranties, maintenance, and service are all additional areas to take into consideration as you evaluate new technology, products, and solutions.
If you’re ready to improve your supply chain, get a head start by scheduling a 30-minute discovery call with AB&R®. It’ll give us a chance to learn more about your goals and is the initial step of our Solution Process.
Click below to schedule a time that’s most convenient with your schedule.
*Final note: Thank you to all of our service men and women. We support our troops and appreciate your service!*