Updated: Oct 8, 2021
In this post we review the topic of "setting up scanning properly"; as this is one of the most frequent issues encountered in operations that want to move forward.
⚠ Key towards the usage of "scanning" is the proper setup within the process. Many operations are not or only partially leveraging scanning due to a incomplete setup of scanning.
👉Therefor its vital to do the setup completely. In this post we want to share information and help in building the knowledge related to this topics. But before diving into the topic lets first set the theme by listing the benefits of scanning.
1️⃣ What are the advantages of scanning ?
In many case the first relevance lies in raising the quality and efficiency in processing by the use of scanning. Ie the replacement of manual noting and/or manual entry of information.
The comparison with someone that notes information and then enters into a system compared to direct absorption by the system through scanning does not only generate a gain in time, but especially the possible increase in quality is huge. This not only directly, but also in a later phase. Think in this of all the hours lost in search of stock, causes of problems, etc typically a while after the original administration. The less errors made; the less time lost downstream... Potentially there is an additional investment in timing for some do executed the scanning, but the return is almost there be it not immediately then in the longer run.
An additional - in many cases forgotten - element is the "real-time" update that often follows from using scanning. An extreme comparison is the entry of information next day versus the immediate update of the system. Again this drives many benefits as in extra sales, shipping earlier, less searching, etc.
2️⃣ What is important towards a good functioning of scanning?
💡 Essential is the ease of use of scanning!
Following elements play a role in this:
✅ the scanner used to scan
✅ the code that is being scanned (1D, 2D, etc)
✅ the IT-hardware (RF-scanner, acces-points, network, etc.)
✅ the IT-system in which the scanning functions (WMS, ERP, etc)
The better these elements are "together" setup the better the "scanning" will work.
👉 An enormous advantage towards leveraging scanning is the recent surge in developments within all of these elements .
- E.g. 1: the last years the scanners have improved drastically (incl. towards scanning distance, dealing with light, functionalities, etc.)
- E.g. 2: the codes have with the arrival of the 2D codes have very much improved (incl. towards quality and ability to scan incl. placement of smaller labels then before and still getting the same result).
3️⃣ What to focus on during the setup of scanning?
As indicated before the "proper" setup of scanning is a real challenge. In many occasions the proces has been created and validated only within a testing environment and/or for a simplified scenario. But once the real world situation needs to be tackled the operations faces many different types of issues.
Not systematically foreseeing and or addressing these issues will open the door to less, in-proper or even not using scanning and possibly even the entire system; this with all consequences.
Typical problems that can be evaded:
💡 The remark "Its not practical"!
Make sure - it's the absolute number one thing to do - that its practical. Not only the scanning itself, but everything that goes along; e.g. charging, transferring information, placing the device when not used, etc.
- Many projects have come to a halt due to uncharged devices or the team that was not able to log in due to forgetting their codes.
- An RF device can have a build in scanner, but when the scanning is very frequent, very specific (long distance etc) it can be interesting to have an additional gun.
💡 The remark: "The connection drops all the time"!
All the connection be it wired, BT, Wifi, etc. needs to be adequate. Testing this physically over the entire work-area is a proper thing to do.
A couple of additional tips to help roll out scanning:
- Before go-live: execute additional tests en address change management enough
- Go-live: follow-up and address systematically all issues. Go step-wise towards the roll-out of scanning. Go for a first proces in one area, then for a next one,
✅ Now you should be able to address scanning in a more effective way.
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