How Barcoding Helped a Chemical Manufacturer Dramatically Improve On-Time Delivery
A U.S. specialty manufacturer that produces an array of chemical compounds lacked data automation, automated workflows and product inventory visibility. Following an acquisition and consolidation of facilities, its on-time delivery had slipped to 50 percent.
“Product inventory management was a real challenge initially,” said the company’s director of supply chain operations. “Some raw materials were in warehouse racks, some on floor locations – and it was hit or miss on the locations being accurately recorded and updated in our systems. Records for many items were defaulting to a single location, which wasn’t close to being accurate.”
“In addition to huge boosts in speed and efficiency, the impact on warehouse workers was equally noticeable. Employees enthusiastically supported the company’s commitment to improving inventory management, product delivery and worker productivity.”
– Director of Supply Chain Operations
To improve inventory management, the chemical manufacturer barcoded and inventoried its products and parts in the warehouse; it labeled and identified warehouse locations with an improved workflow; and it added new barcode scanning technology.
The Solution: Barcoding System to Improve Inventory Management
With its year end approaching, the company needed to perform a full inventory of its manufacturing facility and warehouse, including weighing each of the thousands of containers in the production and warehouse areas. Yet it lacked barcoding and proper inventory management software to accomplish the task in a timely and effective manner.
“It was difficult and time-consuming for our workers to find the materials they needed,” the supply chain director said. “Unfortunately, this meant manufacturing and delivery deadlines were routinely missed.”
Working with an experienced supply chain consultant and ID Label, the manufacturer implemented a new barcoding system and durable, custom labels. It barcoded and inventoried its products and parts in the warehouse; it labeled and identified warehouse locations with an improved workflow; and it added new barcode scanning technology.
Leave It to the Experts at ID Label
The manufacturer asked to have the new inventory management system, including label and sign installation, in place to start its new fiscal year, which was only three weeks away.
ID Label was up to the task, designing and producing high-quality, durable barcode labels and signs via its two state-of-the-art digital manufacturing facilities. Meanwhile, the installation team prepared the customer’s data files, facility layout and project plan.
“ID Label’s installation crew was fantastic,” said the company’s director of supply chain operations. “They worked seamlessly in our live operational environment without any disruptions to the manufacturing process.”
He added: “ID Label impressed me with their expertise, product knowledge and consultative approach. Even with the incredibly short project timeframe, their attitude was ‘we’ve got this for you.’ And they delivered just like they said they would.”
“ID Label’s installation crew was fantastic. They worked seamlessly in our live operational environment without any disruptions to the manufacturing process.”
– Director of Supply Chain Operations
Immediate Operational Improvements
On conclusion of the inventory process, just three weeks after its start, the company had a fully labeled and lined-out warehouse, with barcode labels on all the material and workers capturing data via handheld mobile scanners.
“This gave us immediate improvement in the quality of data capture, while we worked out what was needed to implement the full integration with our MRP system,” said the company’s director of supply chain operations.
Errors and Costly Inventory Down, On-Time Delivery Way Up
Additional benefits of the warehouse barcoding solution included:
- Established a production environment in which employees became accustomed to use of the handheld scanners and transaction tracking
- Reduced errors by eliminating hand-written data recording and transcription
- Minimized time for finding and handling materials
- Reduced frequency of materials-related changes in production schedule
The manufacturer was able to turn its inventory management challenge into a true competitive advantage.
“On-time delivery increased dramatically,” said the director of supply chain operations. “With other improvements to processes and systems, and full integration to our MRP system, we now operate at close to 100 percent on-time delivery, with a 22 percent reduction in inventory.”
In addition to huge boosts in speed and efficiency, the impact on warehouse workers was equally noticeable. Employees enthusiastically supported the company’s commitment to improving inventory management, product delivery and worker productivity.
The ID Label Advantage
ID Label manufactures extremely durable warehouse rack and bin location labels. Our materials have been tested and used in warehouse operations around the globe.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today.