Here’s a new inventory management idea for your manufacturing shop! Combine the automation of barcodes and scripts. Try these steps in Standard Time® • Scan your Bill of Materials to deduct every item from inventory • When inventory drops, items are automatically reordered • Now scan them as they arrive at the back door • Inventory levels spring back like magic!
You probably know that Standard Time is a time tracking application and you can barcode projects, tasks, work orders on the shop floor. Did you also know that you can barcode inventory and bill of materials and deduct from quantity in stock? Let’s take a look at how it works.
Let’s start by going into tools, inventory and bill of materials to see what you can scan to automatically deduct from inventory. It turns out that all of these inventory items are scannable. The names you see over here on the right hand side can be set up on barcode labels. You can scan them to automatically deduct from inventory. Same is true with the bill of materials; if you were to scan panel assembly that would deduct all of the items from inventory in this entire bill of materials.
Let’s switch over to Microsoft Word where we can actually see the labels that would be printed out and scanned on the shop floor. We’ve got a simple name of bill of materials, you recognize the panel assembly. I’m going to remove this front, go back to a normal text font, you can see there is real no magic here.
You’ve got the asterisk before and after which is normally necessary for most barcodes. In this case we have an equal’s character to substitute for the space. This is the name of the bill of materials that we saw over at Standard Time or an inventory item. Here we’re actually adding 100 of these items back into inventory. Adding 200 panel assemblies and down here we’re subtracting 5 of these in 7 panel assemblies. You can add and subtract using this special notation with the dashes and quantity. Let’s undo you can see then the normal font that we would use for printing out barcode labels. Print those out and scan those on the shop floor or the receiving dock.
Back to Standard Time, we’ll go back into tools, inventory. It turns out you can scan more than just the name. You may remember that pn1 from the barcode label. Turns out you can scan the name or the SKU or a code or a part number. You can scan the vendor SKU or the manufacturer SKU. If you already have these barcodes printed on boxes, coming in off the receiving dock, you can then scan those put them back into inventory. And that would affect the quantity in stock whether we’re subtracting or adding.
When the quantity in stock drops below the reorder quantity this will kick off a script to automatically reorder those items; or replenish if you’re building them in-house. Now that’s a topic of another video but that is a way to automatically reorder or replenish those items.
When we’re in the bill of materials you’ll notice bill of materials do not have quantities. Instead each of the items in the bill of materials has a quantity. In this case we have two wood panels, 24 nuts, 35 screws and 12 weldment assemblies. When you scan the panel assembly bill of materials you’re actually deducting all of these items in this quantity from inventory. Go ahead and set up your barcodes and begin scanning inventory items in addition to the time tracking that you get in Standard Time.
In this video we have some inventory management techniques to use scripts to automatically re-order or replenish inventory items when they drop below a certain level.
You have a certain scenario where you’ll scan a bill of materials and all the items on that bill of materials would be reduced from inventory. With certain inventory items get below a certain level you want to kick of a script to automatically reorder them or to create a new work order to build them on the shop floor.
In either case whether you reorder or build-when the items are finished or they arrive on your shipping dock. You want to scan them again and that would replenish the inventory. Let’s look to see how that works in the software.
Here in the software I’m going to go through this typical sequence of events that would automatically reduce inventory when a bill of materials is scanned. And then also automatically reorder inventory when it falls below the quantity to reorder. I will be using these two barcodes when I do.
The beginning of this step would be when you scan a bill of materials. We’ll press F4; that opens the barcode window. Then I would scan the bill of material’s name. You can see that the items from that bill of materials have automatically been reduced from inventory. If the quantity for any one of those items in stock falls below the quantity to reorder then a script would be triggered to automatically reorder that inventory item.
Let’s take a look at where that would be. First of all when you go to the tools menu you see the inventory and bill of materials. I wanted to look at the scripts because that is the automated process by which you could reorder inventory.
There are several ways you could do this. You could enter a new record into a data base somewhere like an order record. You might send an email to someone to have them reorder it; that would be the simplest one. You could insert records using a stored procedure and databases.
Now this is getting pretty technical, you’d have to have your programmer set up some of this stuff. You could call web-services; something like Amazon or other services where you automatically place an order using web-services; contacting website. Standard Time could do that.
You could also replenish, now this is different than reordering. You could replenish by creating a new project task that tells someone to go and build those parts. You could replenish by creating a new work order. That work order would have some tasks, would be assigned to some people who would then build the parts. And then those would be scanned and put back into inventory.
This is another script that does something else. Scripting is used for other purposes other than inventory. But we’ve looked at six ways, at least, you could automatically reorder or replenish inventory using scripting. There’s probably plenty of other ones I don’t have listed here that have different ways to do that.
You simply create a script, you can see the script over here. You would need a programmer to do that, it would automatically go and reorder those parts. The next step in the sequence is that those parts would arrive on your shipping dock a few days later after they’ve been ordered. Then you’d want the shipping and receiving people to scan those.
Let’s pull up the F4 window again, go back to the barcodes that we were using for this exercise. We’re going to add 1,000 nuts to inventory. Scan that and you can see that those were added to inventory. Close this, go to tools, inventory and click on that. The quantity in stock is replenished again. That’s the round trip story of the sequence of events when you scan a bill of materials, reduce the inventory items and then automatically replenish the inventory for the quantity in stock.
Obviously Standard Time is more of a time tracking application but you do have this ability to work with work orders, bill of materials, inventory and scripts.