RFID vendor managed inventory.
With today’s technology, visibility to inventory within a company’s storage facilities is typically accomplished using a centralized warehouse management system (WMS). The points where errors are typically introduced in these systems are related to having the procedures and trained workforce in place to reliably update the system of record at key touchpoints where inventory is added, moved, or removed.
- In many cases the movement touchpoints are not located where data can be easily entered – a dock door for example.
- The workforce responsible for physically moving the inventory at various touchpoints is typically not trained or expected to perform the data entry function.
- Data entry can be even more onerous and error prone if item-level or lot-level tracking is also required.
As a result, timely and accurate updates to the WMS are not always made. The information it contains therefore degrades over time and may no longer accurately represent the physical state of the warehouse or its contents. Manual labor-intensive cycle counts must therefore be performed periodically to update the central information system of record with the actual inventory on hand.
There may also be missed opportunities to “error proof” key material movement touchpoints where incorrect inventory movement, recalled items/lots, inventory processed out of sequence, or expired inventory can be detected. Detecting and correcting these types of errors immediately at the point they occur can significantly reduce the exception handling and rework processing required to correct them after the fact.