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If you were to hear the phrase “license plate,” you’d immediately conjure up an image of that aluminum slab made up of preprinted and colored reflective and adhesive sheeting and paint which hangs off the front and back of your automobile – and for good reason. We can just envision what you are thinking right now: What else can a “license plate” possibly refer to?
Well, believe it or not, the phrase extends beyond those vehicle registration markers to include uses in the warehousing environment; indeed, if you’re involved in the manufacturing sector, the concept of “license plating” in manufacturing is definitely something you should know about…so prepare to expand your mind beyond what you think you know about license plates.
As a side note, license plating options from third party solutions can be used alongside solutions like Microsoft Dynamics to manage warehouse processes in manufacturing, distribution and retail companies.
License plating in the manufacturing/warehousing arena refers to a method of grouping and managing inventory that can help manufacturers improve operational efficiency (we’ll go into this below a bit more) while overcoming supply chain challenges. What’s more, license plating can help manufacturers speed up warehouse and shop floor transactions, reduce errors and improve traceability.
Further, “license plates” can be used to distinguish each product carton or item with a unique license plate number (LPN) in a warehouse setting. Certain systems store the itemized part numbers, quantity, inventory status, location, lot number and creation date in the LPN record; simply scanning a carton label – which contains the LPN in text and barcode form – enables the user to completely identify goods in transactions such as receiving, moving, production or shipping.
Here’s the kicker for those of you that understand the challenges presented by the typical warehousing/manufacturing environment: Using these “license plates” substantially reduces the number of scans necessary to enter a transaction, being that only one barcode must be scanned to identify all of the production information.
How’s that for making things easier in the warehouse?
Moving product through your warehouse requires a plethora of scanning (if you’re equipped with automated data collection, or ADC), but through the magic of warehouse license plating, you can move product through with less scanning while helping to address errors related to manual input and data integrity. Put simply, license plating allows for efficient transactions which increase your overall warehouse operation efficiency – and that’s what we’re always shooting for in the manufacturing sector.
The license plate knows the item, lot, quantity and location already, so you don’t have to worry about incorrect data being scanned.
An advanced application dubbed “Enhanced License Plating” allows you to extend the reach of the license plate into base distribution and shop floor control – something we here at Insight Works know much about – so products and transactions can be sent to staging areas within distribution systems in one shot. And, of course, reduced barcode scans equates to increased worker productivity, improved inventory accuracy due to less opportunity for errors and faster transactions.
Using license plating in your warehouse operations can also come in handy with seasonal employees, as more and more items will be leaving warehouses and going to other warehouses and consumers as we approach the holiday season. When it comes to seasonal employees, having an automated data collection solution in place simplifies the ERP system and makes it easier for users to stay focused. Through license plates in the warehouse environment, users can simply go to the specified location, scan/grab the item and carry on with their job.
With the Warehouse Insight add-on from Insight Works you get a powerful license plating feature, with the ability to generate labels to reference entire pallets, boxes and more that contain mixed items or mixed lot/serial numbers. This innovative part of Warehouse Insight enables you to combine a number of items, including serial numbers and lot numbers, into one LPN for simplified transaction management – now, you can receive license-plated items with a single scan on transfer orders or inter-company POs and SOs while building LPNs as you receive, output or pick items.
This is just the beginning of what Warehouse Insight with license plating is capable of.
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