Automating the ins, outs and ‘others’ of inventory management
Written by Will Thomas
Have you thought about using your MIS solution to automate the inventory management process in your print business? We’re huge advocates of automation and so wanted to provide you with a little bit of inspiration for how to go about this. Every MIS will do this differently, of course, but this article will use the Tharstern MIS as an example, along with a mobile device such as a phone or smart barcode scanner.
Let’s have a look at three different tasks that you can automate.
Automating the ins
To receive goods into your warehouse, you just need to scan the barcode on the goods with your barcode scanner (or enter the PO or supplier number manually if you don’t have a scanner).
Hopefully your MIS will already recognize this barcode, but if the supplier provides new ones each time, or the delivery is from a brand new supplier, you’ll have to assign the new barcode to the purchase order number or supplier.
Next, you confirm receipt of the material by entering the quantity received and warehouse location. It’s worth noting that if you enter a quantity which is less than the MIS is expecting, it will assume that it’s only a part delivery, but if the full expected quantity is entered, it will assume a full delivery.
Once delivery is confirmed, the status will be automatically updated in the MIS as either ‘partial delivery’ or ‘full delivery’.
Automating the outs
You can also automate the issuing of stock for jobs that are due for production. In Tharstern you would simply need to enter your job number and select the desired material from the list. As you can see in the screenshot below, you will then be shown a list of all the warehouse locations for that material, along with quantities.
Now all you need to do is head over to the relevant warehouse location, scan the stock barcodes AND location barcodes and enter the quantity of stock that you’re issuing.
Your MIS solution now knows the cost of the stock that has been issued to your job, which is essential for job costing reporting. It will also update your inventory levels so you know when you need to order more.
Automating the “other”
Stock-taking is another function of inventory management that can be automated using your MIS. This is a simple process that just requires an operator to go round the warehouse, scan the barcode of both the location and the stock, and then confirm the quantity they’ve counted for each.
If there’s any discrepancies between the quantity counted and the quantity recorded in the MIS, you’ll be able to review these by logging into the main MIS system (as shown below) and take the relevant action.
So that’s how you can automate the ins, outs and others of inventory management using your MIS solution! If you’d like to see more details on how the Tharstern MIS does it, take a look at the video below where our experts show you this process in action.
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