There are things to consider outside of configuration when getting started with ERP inventory management for SAP Business One. Real-time inventory management helps streamline the supply chain and gain visibility into inventory status at any time. Real-time ERP inventory management is the process of keeping track of inventory sales and purchases using software to trace them as soon as they occur. SAP Business One is ERP software your company can use to realize the benefits of real-time inventory management.
Many benefits come with real-time inventory management. Businesses that have not considered venturing into the practice should consider SAP Business One first since it is a viable solution. Real-time inventory management enables the company to prepare for unexpected events, timely restocking of items, quickly respond to demand, and efficient management. If you have SAP Business One and are looking to streamline warehouse operations implementing a ERP solution is a way to fully realize the benefits of real-time inventory management. The following are things to consider when getting started with inventory management.
Before setting up ERP inventory management for SAP Business One it helps to think about how raw materials and finished goods flow through your facility from receiving to shipping. Consider each touchpoint in that workflow and when the business system transactions need to occur. Consider space available in each key area. Maximize your square footage – are ceilings high enough for pallet racking or is floor storage the only option?
A Bin is the smallest available unit of space in a warehouse. It describes the position in the warehouse where goods are stored. Bins are necessary for warehouse organization so you know the actual quantities of what’s in your inventory and exactly where it is located in the warehouse. Bins also allow you to validate your inventory quickly because you are able to count at the bin level.
To be efficient, a logical numbering scheme is needed. A common pallet racking scheme is:
Aisle – Bay– Level – Bin
Consider making the floor bin a picking bin for each item. Floor bins can be replenished from positions directly above.
A common floor scheme is:
Aisle – Bay – Bin
Lines can be painted on the floor to denote each bin location. A WMS can direct pickers through the aisles in a logical sequence to maximize efficiency.
Marking is a barcoded visual representation of the bin numbering scheme as seen in the examples below.
By barcoding bins, transactions can be done using a handheld scanner for data entry. This maximizes productivity and improves data entry accuracy. It also minimizes opportunities for mistakes.
When deciding on the placement of bin barcodes, consider how employees will interact with the inventory (forklift, cherry picker, pallet jack, picking cart, etc.). How they interact with inventory will determine what type of equipment is needed (see the section about mobile device selection) as well as where scanning needs to occur. Considering these things will help with the placement of the barcoded bin labels.
Placing a barcode at the exact inventory location will reduce scan errors. The picture below with five barcodes stacked on top of each other denotes all five levels of pallet racking in one spot at eye level. This is an example where an employee can put inventory away in level five and accidentally scan the barcode for level four. To avoid this you can use long-range barcode scanners discussed later.
Wireless infrastructure in your warehouse is necessary for transactions with mobile devices. Wireless networks require careful planning and execution in order to achieve optimal results. This is not an area to cut corners in budgeting.
A wireless site survey is strongly recommended. The survey will provide:
When choosing a mobile device, consider the type of transactions required and the person performing the transactions.
Below are some of the most common mobile barcode scanning devices.
This type of mobile device is good when long-range scanning is needed. Long-range scanning is up to 45 feet. Standard scanning is up to 15 feet. Extended range is most common because it supports 3 inches to 70 feet.
The handheld with pistol grip can read both 1D and 2D barcodes. 2D barcode readers are becoming very popular because they read both 1D and 2D barcode formats.
The ring finger scanner allows for both hands to be free at all times without laying the device down.
Tablets are not as rugged and can be just as expensive as the devices above to make rugged. However, they are ideal for certain applications, such as production areas.
When choosing a printer, it is important to consider the type of printing you are doing and by whom it is being done.
Think about locations such as receiving, production and shipping. Identify the number of printers by location and think about how the users will interact with the documents being printed:
Network printers are always recommended.
ERP Inventory Management for SAP Business One is a powerful software to help you integrate real-time inventory management into your business. It has a lot of innovative features to facilitate your organization in running operations smoothly. Call us today to deploy WMS for SAP Business One in your company for scalability and high returns.
As the most experienced SAP Business One Gold Partner in North America, we help scale and support your business, every step of the way. Our expertise extends beyond SAP Business One and ERP. Our customers enjoy having a single provider for all their needs. No matter how your business system requirements grow and change, we are there to assist you.
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