Symptom or Root Cause?
Managing a business can be a cross between science and art. As business managers or owners we know there are certain key problems that cause us to lose productivity and ultimately to lose money. The key question isn’t “do we have a problem?”; it’s “what is the root cause of the problem and what do we do to solve it?”
Example #1: We are getting charge-backs from customers who claim we are shorting their shipments.
Taking the complaint at face value, we might assume our shipping department is poorly run. However, it is possible that it’s the customers receiving department that is in error – so how do we prove this? Our SIMBA users avoid this problem by using the “Van Loading” feature (SIMBA Logistics), which verifies every carton and/or pallet that is loaded for shipment. The packing slip and bill of lading is automatically produced by the software, eliminating human error.
Pack verification applications are another way to address this issue.
Example #2: My inventory is never accurate and my shippers make mistakes.
We worked with a jewelry wholesale company that couldn’t keep an accurate inventory. Some of their items were small but expensive (for example a loose diamond). It turned out the root cause was mistakes made by their order pickers who were picking the wrong items for sales order shipments.
We wrote a stand-alone barcode application that required their workers to verify the inventory picked against the packing slip. The picker scans the item number on the packing slip and then the item number on the inventory package. If they don’t match, a warning message appears. Time to pick was reduced by 30% and shipment accuracy increased to over 98%.
We have many similar stories. Our application engineers to help our customers solve their core problems every day. Call us with your greatest challenge – we’ll help you determine the root cause and a solution.
CheckMate – Not Just Check In & Out
There are a number of Check In/Out applications on the market today, so what makes CheckMate from Dynamic Systems different? Besides being an easy to use and rock solid program, CheckMate is incredibly flexible. Case in point:
A commercial construction company recently wanted to track subcontractors’ workers as they came onto the job site. While CheckMate is most often used to track equipment, this company is using it to track people. The prime contractor takes a photo of all subcontractors’ workers using a webcam and uploads this photo into CheckMate as an “item”. The next step is to print a photo ID badge from the CheckMate file that is then clipped to the worker’s shirt as well as a color-coded barcode identification label that is affixed to their hard hat. These two items were printed directly from CheckMate in order to make sure the right badge and label go to the right worker. Then, as the subcontractor’s workers come onto the job site each day, this barcode is scanned by the prime contractor’s security guard. If the worker (1) doesn’t have a color-coded barcode; (2) isn’t in the CheckMate database; or (3) if the photo doesn’t match – this worker is not allowed on the job.
The main purpose for this process was to adhere to union rules, but the additional benefits are a secure job site and screened workers – less theft and increased safety.
CheckMate has been used for tracking inventory as it’s loaded onto trucks for delivery, work orders moving through a manufacturing plant and large custom molds and dies in an airplane engine facility. Give us a call if to step through your tracking application.
My Manual Process to Too Fast for Automation – True or False?
Every day we hear “your system can’t possibly keep up with our process”. This often comes from companies that use paper and pencil to keep track of their production, inventory and shipping. They think because there are multiple data entry steps in a computerized process or because their line workers will be adding a step, it will be slower than manual recording and too slow for their conveyor lines.
The second comment we hear is “I’ll have to hire more people to keep up with your process.” This comes especially from potential SIMBA users who view keeping detailed records as very time consuming.
The reality is a well-designed automated process is faster than a manual process when all the steps including the manual data entry time is taken into consideration. And it’s 99+% accurate, which can never be said of a manual process.
A well-designed manual process translates well to automation and often results in fewer labor hours. Check out our ROI (Return on Investment) Calculators to determine your time and cost savings.