Using paper forms and manual keyboard data entry to collect operational data wastes a lot of people's valuable time and can result in many data collection and operational mistakes. These can be prevented though the use of barcode scanning and mobile data collection technology.
With the use of barcode scanning:
Data collection is point-and-shoot. There is nothing to write down and can be used by people with limited computer literacy. This is much quicker that writing down data on a paper form and manually keying it into a computer. Usually the cost savings from this alone can pay for the cost of implementing a barcode tracking system in under a year.
Users have immediate feedback when data is captured correctly. The scanner beeps when you have accurately captured and rejects all barcodes it cannot read.
Because it is in electronic form, the barcode tracking software can immediately validate that the correct data has been entered. It can validate that the user has scanned a valid location barcode on a bin from which they are picking material rather than a UPC code on the "Twinky" bar that they brought for a snack.
Even more importantly, the barcode tracking software can validate that the correct part has been picked and that it has passed QC inspection. As a result many potentially very expensive mistakes can be prevented by immediately warning the user before they make the mistake.
Because the data is captured in real-time and quickly transferred to a central database, managers, supervisors, customer service people and everyone else in the organization can immediately see the status of customer orders, jobs and inventory.
A permanent record of what materials were used to make which products and who they were shipped to is immediately captured. This data can be used to rapidly produce reports that enable detection of the source of defects and the tracking down of all defective material that resulted from a specific defect or source of contamination.
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