Supply Chain Optimization via Improved Automated Data Capture (AIDC) Technology Analytics

Automatirfid-scannerc Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) is now being used by many companies who are searching for new ways of cutting costs and driving efficiency. Since its inception and growth, AIDC been developed to work effectively across a whole range of applications. These include things like barcode scanning, radio-frequency identification, wireless networks or a combination of other solutions. It can be used to create a chain of custody across any supply chain, or to validate various supply chain processes and to track various assets in terms of achieving supply chain optimization.

But it’s one thing having technologies in place, and quite something else to make best use of them and keep on course towards supply chain optimization. They can be used to help with cost cutting, to assist with automating certain manual processes, or to maximize productivity. But that’s not all. Some manufacturers are able to obtain more from their AIDC investments to manage labor and to police how staff actually utilizes the new AIDC technology.

Where Just in Time (JIT) methodology has been put in place, personnel and resources will have been cut back to the minimum. In other words manufacturers must therefore make sure that they have the necessary tools to achieve the required volume for end users. The landscape is further complicated by maintaining the appropriate skill sets whilst experiencing difficulties with recruiting, and maintaining a steady and reliable workforce.

The Analytical Challenge

But the challenges that proponents of supply chain optimization face are not due to lack of data. With the coming of “Big Data” there is plenty of information around. The problem is that the data emanates from so many different sources. It means that many manufacturers don’t really know how to effectively gather and analyze all of this material.

The solution to the problem lies in good supply chain analytics. With the right analytics in place within the supply chain, it means that manufacturers can filter out meaningful data that can be actioned and used to support insights that will lead to better decision-making. At the end of the day, as far as supply chain optimization is concerned, best use of AIDC can be brought about with the right supply chain analytics, focused on the analytical technology itself, and the staff managing it.

Using AIDC to Drive Supply Chain Optimization

By making best use of supply chain analytics, manufacturers can obtain the necessary feedback about the way their AIDC is performing in terms of promoting supply chain optimization. With this feedback, manufacturers can begin to make a better understanding of the underlying causes of any inefficiencies, and can highlight areas that need continuous treatment. They can also use the technology for predictive analysis.

With the right dashboards and reporting tools in place, manufacturers can more easily monitor take-up data to determine the adoption rates of end users. They can also monitor performance throughout the supply chain in order to minimize downtime. The tools can even be used to report on themselves, making sure that the right tools are available in the right place, at the right time. It’s all part of the supply chain optimization process. It means that manufacturers are able to optimize their mobile deployments in order to gain a better ROI.

Optimizing the Management of Labor

With the correct use of supply chain analytics as you work toward supply chain optimization, it is easily possible to align the right tools with the right people, and conversely, the right people with the right work. AIDC platforms manage this by measuring the achievements of the labor utilizing the technology, against bench-marking and agreed engineering labor standards. The tools can compare production volume with the labor employed, the cost of that labor and also materials, customers expectations, and time constraints.

By achieving supply chain optimization in this way the information gained through AIDC best practice can be used to provide answers to such questions as:

  • Are staffing levels correct?
  • Is the correct number of hours being worked?
  • Is production consistent throughout the week?
  • Does the business employ enough full-time staff?
  • Would it be appropriate to employ part-time staff?
  • Is over-time necessitated or productive?
  • Does staff have the necessary skill sets?

Good labor management can be used to bring about supply chain optimization by determining the impact of costs in terms of early and late deliveries, as well as the effectiveness of specific pay policies. The insights gained through this type of analysis enable manufacturers to manipulate worker productivity to achieve optimum results; lower operating costs, and remove any business inefficiencies that detract from lean operations while ensuring that the environment complies with JIT parameters.

The Importance of Fact-based Decision Making

Utilizing the best analytical tools in a supply chain can provide solid information that substantiates fact-based decision-making, helping to achieve the supply chain optimization from both an AIDC point of view, and a human capital point of view too.

Used alongside the right AIDC and with the right support structure in place, supply chain optimization can bring about more revenue, helped to bring about reduced costs, and improve the experiences of both in-house staff and end users.

The Ever-present Challenges to Supply Chain Optimization

As technology marches on, the challenges to achieve supply chain optimization will be ever present. The huge potential of the Internet of Things with all of the associated increased data and data points, will open the horizons further still, delivering new challenges along the way

AIDC is just one part of the supply chain jigsaw puzzle. Supply chain optimization is born of good analytics, but all aspects of any supply chain must be proactively managed too, in order to achieve sustained optimization.

How do you measure your company’s supply chain optimization, and why is it so important that you should continue to do so?

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