Leveraging Technology to Increase Productivity in Manufacturing

Updating your use of technology in a manufacturing environment can improve workflows, resulting in increased productivity and output.

There are a number of rugged mobile devices that can be deployed in even the harshest manufacturing environments, ensuring accurate data and streamlined processes across production and distribution. Personal mobile devices with integrated barcode scanning capabilities or rugged tablets that can be easily mounted to a forklift or used on the shop floor can make a big difference in optimizing your manufacturing environment.

Zebra Technologies provides a wide range of rugged devices and tablets that can be leveraged to optimize your manufacturing environment. Some of the ways that mobile devices can improve productivity and workflows in a manufacturing environment include:

1. Work-in-progress tracking
Mobile devices enable you to track the status of work in progress on the production line. Having a clear view of the current pipeline is essential in any manufacturing environment. By providing a clear inventory of where products and components stand throughout the production process it is possible to easily assess the manufacturing needs

By using mobile devices to scan components as they get used, and track the various stages of production, it is possible to accurately account for the status of all materials, items, and products in the production pipeline.

2. Accurate inventory
It is important to have an accurate count of finished goods to ensure that all customer orders can be fulfilled. A lack of visibility around stock availability can lead to missed orders, disappointed customers, and costly delays.

Handheld scanners can be used to easily track and itemise products as they come off the production line. This enables an accurate count of stock holding and easy communication with downline processes of order fulfilment and shipping.

3. Order Picking
Without a streamlined system in place, order picking can cause serious bottlenecks in operations. Manual picking that still relies on physical paperwork is extremely prone to human error that can result in inventory inaccuracies and errors on customer orders. This in turn results in increased returns and unhappy clients causing lost revenue and time to correcting mistakes.

Using a mobile devise to scan items as they are picked eliminates physical paperwork and can greatly increase picking accuracy. Requiring items to be scanned ensures that each item is accounted for, keeping the stock count accurate, and reducing lost and misplaced stock.

4. Shipping visibility
Real-time visibility and tracking can be just as important to customers as it is to internal processes.
In an increasingly digital first world, customers have become accustomed to being able to see the status of their order through the entire fulfilment process.

By scanning the product at every stage of the fulfilment process, all the relevant parties can get a clear view of where the product is and track its journey. Mobile devices can also provide fast and accurate proof of delivery, through both scanning and image capture.

Technology is constantly transforming the way that companies do business. In a manufacturing environment you need end-to-end visibility of your operations and mobile devices can assist across the entire workflow, from the back office to the shop floor. Being able to see the process flow from production line to loading dock enables real-time business decisions. With easy ubiquitous wireless connectivity and ever-increasing processing power, handheld devices and tablets can be incorporated into any number of business workflows to increase insight, accuracy, and productivity.

Give employees the tools they need to work with greater speed and accuracy. Improve supply chain efficiencies and deliver a competitive edge.

Contact us if you would like to learn more about how smart mobile technology can be leveraged in your manufacturing environment.

Some of the key devices that could improve your processes and workflows include the Zebra TC26 Rugged Smartphone and the Zebra L10 Rugged Tablet.

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