An International Specialty Chemical Company Benefits
From Transaction Automation for QAD MFG/PRO®
“...The ability to eliminate the sheets of paper and track our inventory with a single IntelliLabel number has reduced errors and man-hours, and increased timeliness. The IntelliLabel license plating now allows our employees time to focus on other necessary job duties.”
An international specialty chemicals provider of high-quality carbon black additives specifically designed to meet the needs of rubber, plastics, inks, and coating manufacturers was experiencing problems associated to the cost of employee overtime and customer complaints due to labeling.
Manual data collection caused the company to lose time, product and data.
The chemical company tracked transactions manually on a sheet of paper. This sheet of paper changed hands numerous times before being passed to the office for data entry. The manual paper method caused significant delays in data entry, inventory inefficiencies, lost product and data errors. In addition, their shop floor is a very harsh environment. Fine black dust in the air combined with high temperatures made the use of this paper system quite difficult.
Their Quality Department determined that incorrect product labeling was a primary cause of customer complaints. At the time, label information was manually transcribed from QAD MFG/PRO Sales Order resulting in undetected data entry errors.
Their Operations Department determined that undocumented placement of finished product in its warehouses contributed to significant workforce inefficiencies. The time warehouse personnel spent searching for materials that were not in the location indicated in QAD MFG/PRO resulted in significant overtime costs.
Customer requests for bar codes also presented challenges of consistency, timeliness, and accuracy when managed outside a standardized system.
In addition to the paper process, Production Reporting and Inventory Transfers required one employee several hours per day to input the data into the system. They also required traceability of certain unique data elements such as Temperature, QC Classifications, QC Comments, and Reject Reason. These unique data elements do not have a place to be stored in QAD MFG/PRO solution, so employees would record these data elements in a separate Excel spreadsheet causing a lack of synchronization.
These were the key reasons they undertook the initiative of improving product labeling and traceability in the warehouses through the use of a bar code system.
The Radley Solution
The chemicals company chose Radley’s data collection solution, to automate their shop floor and increase productivity.
Labeling complaints and costs due to overtime reduced significantly.
Since implementing the Radley data collection solution, the chemical company now tracks each pallet with a single IntelliLabel bar code. The paper process is eliminated and instead each unique IntelliLabel number now identifies each pallet. This single IntelliLabel number tracks each unique data element that was previously recorded in Excel, in addition to all the inventory transactions. The IntelliLabel has also given them the ability to track production related issues such as which employees have worked on what products, and when they were worked on. The automated Production Reporting process allows them to monitor their employee productivity more closely and make adjustments as needed.
Since developing a system to automatically transfer Sales Order information onto the Shipping Labels, instead of manually re- typing labels their complaints have been reduced by more than 90% over the past nine months.
Their Cycle Counting efficiency has significantly increased by automating Inventory Transfer transactions. When scans of inventory are completed the location is instantly updated in QAD MFG/PRO, allowing for a more accurate inventory reporting. Radley’s data collection solution has also allowed them to automate the Quality Assurance department. QA now has the ability to classify each product and update the system automatically thereby moving graded products quickly into finished goods for shipment to the customer.
In addition, the time associated in locating lost product was reduced considerably. They have projected the annual costs savings to be $287,000.
The chemical company gathers all this data and updates QAD MFG/PRO in real-time using Cisco’s radio frequency backbone and Intermec’s CK31 touch-screen mobile computers. These computers are accessorized with special plastic covers to protect them from the harsh environment. The touch-screen implementation greatly simplifies use and shortens the time for operators to become proficient.