Solution NewsIssue 4.0 | Fall 2017 |
Scroll down to read Issue 4.0.
In this issue
- Customer Spotlight
- Technology News
- How To
- Enter to Win
- Did You Know?
- Insider Tip
- Read Past Issues
Customer Spotlight Medical Processor Integrates 3 Separate Systems
Radley recently helped a leading biological tissue processor integrate three separate business systems. The company has quickly grown to become a global premier processor, marketer and distributor of human amniotic tissue. Their products are used in a variety of reconstructive surgical procedures including durable soft tissue grafts and unique ophthalmic, spinal, orthopedic, and dental implants.
As they grew, the company had implemented three separate database systems: QAD ERP, FedEx shipping and a stand-alone labeling system. With data separated between the three systems, they were seeking a way to integrate the data while also streamlining inventory tasks and adding validation to their picking process.
Their ERP, QAD, required multiple steps to process shipments and manual tasks to update data. Shipment information stored in FedEx was isolated from customer records in QAD, so there was no validation for shipments of serial numbered parts, leading to shipping errors. As a medical distributor, they adhered to a number of industry and government regulations that required them to retain very specific data records. Any software solution needed to be FDA validated and all inventoried items were required to have a Certificate of Conformance.
After considering several other software solutions, they selected Radley and our platform of solutions including: Data Collection, Integrated Labeling, and Inventory Control to consolidate their data, fill in gaps in QAD functionality, and streamline their inventory, picking and shipping processes.
“Efficiency is through the roof,” said their Director of Information Technology.
One of the biggest areas of improvement was their picking process. A ten step process within three systems was reduced to just three clicks on one system. Inventory was able to be picked by expiration date and multiple pickers were able to allocate inventory as they were picking, all while updates were automatically made to QAD. Order status and FedEx shipping information could be viewed in real-time. The new system also supports picking and printing of GS1 barcoded product.
After implementing Radley solutions, Radley’s integrated data collection solution allowed them to reduce manual tasks and automate processes to increase productivity in their warehouse. The implementation of Radley’s software solutions helped to eliminate nearly all of the manual data entry for the picking and processing of orders and saved hours of wasted time. Real‐time visibility was gained into inventory, including serial numbers while part and material movement is streamlined using scanning hardware.
Learn more about our solutions for QAD Enterprise Applications here.
Technology News How RFID is Changing EDI
For over 40 years Radley Corporation has worked with manufacturers within various industries to streamline and automate ERP/Business System workflows. We’ve been through the “LEAN” initiatives with our customers, developed one of the first EDI solutions for the automotive industry and built our business around process automation and barcoding. But, as our solution platform has evolved, so too has the world of manufacturing technology.
Everything from 3D printing, Cloud computing and Big Data to intelligent machines and the Internet of Things have all impacted the way manufacturing performance is viewed and measured. With customers expecting lower prices, better quality, faster delivery and access to more data than ever before it is clear that the path to manufacturing competitiveness will be through these emerging new technologies along with the adaptions of older, existing technology such as electronic data interchange (EDI) and RFID.
While many organizations implement EDI to meet the requirements of their trading partners such as large retailers or automotive manufacturers, it also has the potential to add substantial value when integrated with an ERP or business system. Integrating EDI enhances the flow of data throughout operations, helping capture, verify and analyze data. EDI has been a component of various supply chains for almost four decades. Originating with Ford Motor Company in 1983, suppliers have been receiving production schedules and/or purchase orders electronically. Soon afterward, suppliers were required to send back electronic packing slips in the form of Advance Ship Notices, or ASNs, along with electronic invoices. The longevity of EDI technology is due to its ability to dramatically lower the cost of doing business. Automotive Industry Action Group studies in the 1990s determined that using EDI saved anywhere from $.75 to $1 per transaction.
Today, there are over 250 commercial EDI transaction sets, facilitating exchange of transportation, student loans, real estate appraisals, mortgages, customs and healthcare information. 70% of business commerce documents consists of the same data, entered over and over between customer and vendor. When EDI replaces the manual data entry of snail mail, fax, email or even stand-alone EDI transmissions, order processing time shortens, accuracy improves, and fulfillment shortens. Beside the ERP backbone, many supply chains leverage EDI – and more are taking a second look at RFID.
RFID itself is not “new”. Developed for commercial application in the 1990s, by the year 2000 RFID was proclaimed to be “the next big thing” – even making the bar code obsolete. However, early applications of RFID turned out to be expensive, unstable, and lacking reliable ROI. Now many within the industry believe that with the recent enhancements to tag, antennae and reader hardware, RFID has finally emerged as a realistic investment to improve operations and reduce costs. In recent years we’ve seen RFID used more and more to improve manufacturing and logistics processes. And when integrated to a company’s ERP or Business System, has proven to enhance data accuracy and overall productivity.
Today, RFID is finding its place. Tracking high-value assets and/or containers, capturing traceability data, managing quality control and error-proofing shipments are a few examples of the reliability and value that RFID technology can deliver.
The basic components of an RFID deployment include RFID tags/antennae, readers/portals and middleware. An RFID tag consists of a tiny chip and antenna called an integrated circuit. This tag may also be part of a barcode label that may be attached to or inserted in a product, asset or containers such as bins & pallets, for example. Some tags store static information such as a container ID value; other tags may be assigned variable information such as electronic product code, GS1 data, and so on, that can be read, tracked or appended to by RFID readers. Readers or portals are fixed or mobile network-connected devices, with antennae that send power, data and commands to the tags. Often overlooked, RFID middleware filters, manages and communicates the data between the tag and the back-end system.
EDI has been mandated by various supply chains for many years, and more companies are evaluating EDI technology to streamline and error-proof their processes. What might it look like if EDI and RFID were to collaborate, and further improve a manufacturer’s operations?
Incorporating RFID within an EDI process can further eliminate manual efforts, automate processes and enhance compliance between supplier and customer, such as:
- • Ensuring the right containers are loaded on the right trucks headed for customers
- • Automatically printing labels and shipment documents
- • Updating EDI ASN’s with verified serial shipping container codes
- • Tracking containers and RTI’s
- • And someday RFID tags could even generate EPCIS events to be tracked globally
Taking this idea a step further, if the customer were utilizing RFID and EDI they could receive as ASN and the data cross referenced to their Purchase Order. Upon receipt of a shipment, instead of manually scanning in and counting the order they could receive the pallets through an RFID portal and the materials would automatically be verified within their system against the PO and ASN before being entered into inventory. After this successful triple verification, their system would generate an EDI 820 payment notification.
Our industry is going to continue to evolve and new technologies will emerge. But if we’ve learned anything it’s that there are some tried and true legacy solutions that can be taken advantage of right now.
Enter to Win Win one of 10 gift cards
Do you love your Radley solution? Spread the word and be rewarded! For a limited time, be entered to win one of ten $25 Amazon gift cards when you complete a review through the links below.
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How To Get Your Support Issue Resolved Quickly
We take any downtime or interruption in your business very seriously. Here are a few tips for how to get your issue resolved as fast as possible. The more information you can provide in the request, the more quickly it can be resolved.
- • Know the actual date and time the issue or problem took place. This helps us narrow down the event logs and better pinpoint an error.
- • What environment did the issue occur in? Test or Production?
- • Know the hardware device or printer’s details. Be sure to know the type, model, serial number, “name” or IP address of the device or printer you’re reporting an issue on.
Download the Triage Checklist here to have on hand should an issue arise.
Did You Know? Radley Solutions are Available in the Cloud
Radley customers know that our solutions automate processes, streamline workflows and reduce errors. But did you know you can get these benefits through deployment on the Cloud? You may have heard about the “Cloud” (insert a confused look up into the sky here), but what is Cloud deployment and how can it benefit your company?
Cloud deployment has existed for several years. In fact, many of Radley’s EDI customers are already enjoying its benefits. In contrast to on-premise deployment which is installed and licensed on your own server, the Cloud does not require an infrastructure investment. You simply rent space on Radley’s hardware, accessing applications as if they were on your own server—including complete application integration to your ERP. Deployment on the Cloud offers cost-effective flexibility and control, but with no software maintenance fees or hardware purchases. A true Cloud deployment, not a hosting service, Radley's Cloud environment expands as you grow with no interruption to your daily activities.
Benefits of Radley in the Cloud:
- • Always have access to the current software version
- • No costly hardware maintenance
- • Secure data storage behind state-of-the-art data center firewalls
- • Free up your IT staff
- • Flexible environment grows with you
Are you interested in the Cloud but already use on-premise deployment? No problem! Radley professionals will move your database to the Cloud with no costly reimplementation fees. To learn more about Radley’s Cloud deployment option, ask your account manager for details or contact a product specialist today!
Insider Tip iCARaS users can streamline shipments using Radley QuickShip
Automotive manufacturers may have complex shipping processes complicated by customer labeling requirements and the need for tracking capabilities to ensure you ship the correct parts to the right customers. Your process is prone to errors and time consuming manual tasks. These manual procedures slow down your shipping process and can lead to costly shipping mistakes. How can you streamline and simplify shipping to boost productivity?
Radley’s QuickShip Shipment Scanning solution adds accuracy, eliminates manual tasks and decreases errors in your shipment process. QuickShip captures and validates shipment information, verifying the accuracy of the product being shipped against the Shipper data in iCARaS EDI.
- • Capture & Validate Shipment Information
- • Create Master/Mixed Labels & Pallet/Container Relationships
- • Integrate End-of-Line Labeling Capabilities
You can complete the QuickShip shipment scanning solution with the latest Honeywell scanners and devices, printers and labels. Learn more about how Radley QuickShip Shipment Scanning can help to streamline and simplify the automotive shipment process at www.radley.com/icarasshipmentscanning.htm.