When you receive an order of any kind you want the correct items and that they are what you ordered, in both quantity and quality. The cartons should then be clearly identified, and placed where they will be readily found when needed. Any slowdowns or problems in the process, and it can be felt throughout the company.
In a traditional, non-automated system, shipments are unloaded, and the content and quantity are verified based on the packing slips. The information on the packing slips and the bills of lading are used to either hand-write the receiving report, or to enter the receipt information in the computer. Load tags or labels are then either printed or hand-written and attached to each package. In either case, there is usually minimal error checking. The rest of the receiving documents are often key-entered onto the computer by clerical personnel. Difficulty translating handwriting is bound to happen. Even with legible documents, keying errors still do occur. Quality checks are performed, then the goods are moved to the stocking areas.
Often tracing the vendor's batch, lot or serial number through production to the final product is difficult and cumbersome.
Benefits of Applied Technology:
Applying automated data-collection technology to receiving impacts your company in four major ways: dramatic manhour savings, increased receiving record accuracy, recording storage locations of goods, and product tracability. Because the new system eliminates virtually all handwritten forms and clerical entry, all the time spent on those duties is now available for other tasks. Additionally, the innate errors that are part of that process no longer occur. The shipment is instantly compared to the P.O. for accuracy of item and quantity. Vendor errors are identified on the spot, and are therefore more easily resolved. Product receipt information is processed and made available to the necessary departments immediately.
One of the benefits of an automated system is the way applying technology to one area can impact a variety of other functions. Each item received is given a unique serial number. Built into the system are features that links the serial number to the vendor, purchase order, and vendor lot, batch or serial number. It provides total tracability for QS9000 requirements, as well as for liability protection in the event of a product recall. That same linking ability aids retrieval of items in storage. It is a simple matter to bar-code storage locations, and scan them as items are being stored.
Technology in Action:
Each material handler is equipped with a hand-held computer with scanner. All received goods are given a bar-coded tag containing a unique identification number, a description of the goods, and the quantity. This number will link the actual goods to the vendor identification, vendor lot batch or serial number, and the P.O. number. All storage areas are also identified with unique bar-code numbers.
When the truck arrives in the dock, receiving personnel are given the shipping documents. The packing slip is removed from the pallet or carton, and the items inspected. Receiving load tags may already be attached if provided by the vendor. If not, they can be pre-printed on the fly, right in the receiving area. The tags are attached to each container received. The goods are then moved to the appropriate quality control audit or holding area.
An optional automated quality control audit system can further expedite the receiving process. At this time the necessary quality checks are made, and the items approved or rejected. Approved items are then moved to storage. The handler scans both the item and the location tag.
All the information is processed immediately, thus guaranteeing daily receipts, order discrepancy reports, and inventory/receiving comparison reports are available right away.
Our applications are designed specifically for the needs of our clients. The above is a general description of a typical situation. For specific case samples please see the Success Stories section of our web site.