mobile warehouse solutions

Express Delivery: LTL, Drones, Mobile Warehouse Solutions & You

By | warehouse management | No Comments

mobile warehouse solutionsPerhaps we’re all really impatient or perhaps we’re not planning well, but as shoppers today, we all expect delivery times that would have been unimaginable a decade ago. Mobile warehouse solutions keep your warehouse workers and systems moving quickly so you can pick and pack orders faster than ever before – but when you combine your warehouse solution with one of today’s hottest shipping methods, your products can reach customers in record time.

Find out how Scanco can help you speed up your warehouse by using mobile warehouse solutions that save time and increase your team’s productivity. Contact Scanco online or at (877) 722-6261 to learn more.

LTL – Today’s Hottest Way to Move Your Goods

Less than Truckload (LTL) shipping is a cost-effective way for smaller businesses to ship their items to customers absolutely anywhere, but this popular, affordable method does have a few drawbacks that make it less than ideal for full customer satisfaction.

  • Long-distance LTL takes a lot of time – Your packages are sent with other companies’ packages, which means that an LTL truck makes a lot of stops. Each stop requires repacking the truck, so an LTL trip may delay your goods.
  • LTL methods can damage your goods – Because packages are shifted, repositioned, and repacked on each stop an LTL truck makes, your boxes are likely to be tossed around more and your goods may get damaged.
  • Costs add up with long-distance LTL – Though Less than Truckload is a lot more affordable than Full Truckload (TL) shipping because you only pay for the space you use in the truck, it can still add up as your distances get longer and longer. If you’re shipping from the West Coast to the East Coast, your LTL costs will climb and your customers may get irritated at the high cost of their slow shipping.

Drones – Today’s Most Exciting Way to Move Your Goods

Although currently crippled under U.S. regulatory restrictions, optimistic large-scale shippers here in the States still view drones as the shipping method of the future. We understand. It’s hard to resist the fascinating idea that small, energy-efficient drones will soon zip across the country delivering orders straight to your door in minutes, even when roads are impassible. Built to handle delicate items safely and easily reach inaccessible areas like small islands, drones have a lot of potential… but just like LTL, drones have a few drawbacks as well.

  • Drone regulations are bizarre – We’re not sure why the U.S. decided to limit drones to operating only within line of sight of their pilots and we’re not sure why each drone requires its own pilot. We’re also not sure why drones can’t fly over people who aren’t part of the delivery process. What we do know is that the laws will have to change before drones accomplish much in the U.S.
  • Weather affects drones – The U.S. Postal Service may deliver in snow, rain, and heat, but drones can’t function in adverse weather conditions. Until weather gets more predictable or drones get hardier, they’re not a feasible option for long-distance deliveries.
  • Long distance and hefty weights don’t work – The average drone is built to carry less than 11 lbs. of weight and can only travel for 12-18 minutes before needing to recharge its batteries. That means that, even if they change the laws, you won’t be able to deliver to long-distance customers until drone technology gets an upgrade.

Mobile Warehouse Solutions – Today’s Top Way to Get Packages Out the Door Faster

LTL shipments and drones both have their own benefits and drawbacks to mobilize your packages outside your warehouse, but the way you can ensure faster package mobilization within your warehouse is to use mobile warehouse solutions that greatly improve your pick and pack process.

Scanco’s mobile warehouse solutions empower your company with smartphone apps and extensions that turn your phones into time-saving barcode scanners. In addition, Scanco also offers mobile-based voice-directed pick and pack solutions that guide your warehouse employees to the right boxes and the right inventory, meaning that you can train, pick, and pack faster than ever before.

If you’re ready to learn more about how you can speed up customer shipments with a highly efficient pick, pack, and ship process, please contact Scanco to get all the details.

Sage 100 mobile

Sage 100 Mobile Sales and Field Service Boosts Productivity

By | Mobile Field Service, Sage 100 Mobile | No Comments

Sage 100 mobileManufacturers and distributors are streamlining operations by offering cloud technology such as Sage 100 mobile sales and field service apps. They are improving collaboration and increasing productivity. Shorter time to market, faster incorporation of customer feedback and improvements throughout the organization ca lead to better productivity, profits, and customer satisfaction.

Sage 100 Mobile Sales

Sales departments have always relied on data to boost productivity. Feedback on sales calls made, calls completed, leads, and sales fuel sales reports. With cloud technology such as Scanco’s Sage 100 mobile sales app you have a powerful ally in your goal to boost sales.

Cloud platforms enable you to manage both direct and indirect sales channels from one dashboard. You can now track individual, group, and divisional progress towards goals and sales quotas in real time. Sales managers can also use cloud-based systems to assess the profitability of each deal. The resulting data gives your sales team the impetus to strive for and achieve their goals.

Mobile Field Service

Not to be outdone, mobile field service also benefits from cloud-based solutions. Cloud applications such as Scanco Service improve customer service and support and integrate customer and product data into one system.

Scanco offers Sage 100 mobile apps for sales and field service as well as for manufacturing and warehouse operations. To learn more, contact us.

manufacturing automation

3 Manufacturing Automation Tactics for Smart Manufacturers

By | Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationThe pace of innovation today means that manufacturers need to constantly stay on their toes to keep up with their competitors … but who wants to just keep up? Pull ahead of your competitors and deliver great customer service to your retail partners and customers with these three manufacturing automation tactics for smart business owners.

Start your manufacturing automation journey now using tips and tricks directly from the Scanco automation experts. Contact Scanco online or call (877) 722-6261 to learn how we can help improve your operations.

What is Manufacturing Automation?

Manufacturing automation is the practice of using computer systems that automatically transfer data for you between your shop floor and your management team, including seamless data transfer between your ERP and your production line.

Often, manufacturing automation is confused with “workforce automation,” which is when manufacturers replace human workers with robots on their shop floor. Manufacturing automation does not use robots, so we won’t be talking about them in this article.

If you’re looking for information on robots, check out this three-part series that explores robot-based workplace automation in depth.

Three Benefits of Manufacturing Automation

Whether you work on a Just-In-Time (JIT) model or a Just-In-Case (JIC) model, whether you have ten employees or one hundred employees – the most important way your manufacturing operations can improve speed and efficiency is by automating your plant to meet industry best practices at all times.

Here are three benefits you’ll see when you automate:

  1. Ensure High ROI Across Your Plant

Large manufacturing automation systems can cost a lot and typically require you and your staff to learn a brand-new system that all your employees are unfamiliar with. This reduces productivity, so often the best-practices model suggests using the tools you already have (such as Acumatica, Sage 100, or Sage 500 ERP), and then building on their capabilities using integrated solutions that help you work faster and smarter.

Using an integrated solution can save lots of money over a full-scale replacement system, resulting in a higher ROI for you.

  1. Perform Faster, More Accurate Data Entry

Staying organized is one of the top techniques for better manufacturing output, but in the heat of a rush order (or a rush week), your organization system may fall through the cracks. With barcoding, you can keep track of your inventory and output effortlessly, and mobile barcoding solutions help save you time because your employees won’t have to wait in line at a shop-floor terminal to enter in data.

Barcoding eliminates the error-filled process of duplicate data entry and saves time by empowering employees to update records without waiting in line at a busy shop-floor terminal.

  1. Gain Better Insight and Flexibility

When used in conjunction with mobile barcoding tools, live validation / real-time data helps your management team plan accurately to meet demand and optimize inventory usage or ordering. That’s because mobile tools instantly enter in data so you have a second-by-second view of your production speed as well as any bottlenecks that may be slowing you down.

Real-time data keeps production on track in a JIT environment by instantly updating connected systems to reflect the most up-to-date inventory numbers.

It’s Time to Save Time

At Scanco, we’ve been working with manufacturing automation software and tools for nearly 30 years, so we’re the first to admit that your company has a lot of options to increase speed and efficiency. We want your business to succeed, so we’re here to tell you the truth about all the benefits and drawbacks in each system you’re considering.

Contact Scanco when you’re ready for the honest information you deserve, from the experts you trust. We’d love to help you determine the best solution for your business.

manufacturing automation

Cloud Technology Speeds Up Product Development

By | Manufacturing Automation, warehouse management, Warehouse Management Software | No Comments

manufacturing automationManufacturing Automation and Mobile Warehouse Solutions Shorten Time to Market

Manufacturers are constantly under pressure to remain competitive. In order to increase accuracy, produce cheaper goods, and deliver faster than ever before, they must turn to the latest manufacturing automation and mobile warehouse solutions to enable them to remain competitive. Cloud technology is one of the best ways to improve business processes and services and stay ahead of the competition.

One area that is enhanced by cloud technology is product development. Developing new products may be the purview of your sales, marketing, or production departments. But freely sharing knowledge and information among these three departments is crucial for successful product development and launch.

Cloud computing is ideal for product development cycles. Not only can information be shared freely, but information is shared more quickly. As sales people visit clients, they can enter feedback into a system like Scanco Sales via their smartphones. This information can be accessed immediately by the marketing and product development teams, who can use it to build better products or enhance existing ones.

According to an article on Forbes, one manufacturer avoided an allocation issue because of the speed with which information was shared during a product launch cycle. This is made possible through cloud technology and mobile warehouse solutions, which uses internet-based services to share information in real-time.

Another benefit to product development from cloud technology is shortening the time to market. A shorter time to market cycle can lead to competitive advantages. Many high-tech manufacturers are using cloud technology for faster, tighter collaboration among their teams so that they can shorten the product development lifecycle.

Lastly, field tests can be conducted with clients using new products, and feedback entered immediately from test locations. Feedback shared on Monday may become part of a product by Tuesday thanks to the rapid sharing of information via cloud-based systems.

Manufacturing Automation and Mobile Warehouse Apps from Scanco

Scanco offers mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. To learn more, contact us.

warehouse management app

3 Voice Picking Benefits from Your Warehouse Management App

By | warehouse management | No Comments

warehouse management appWe all know that speed is of the essence in today’s warehouses, but sometimes it seems impossible to increase speed without a device that slows down time. At Scanco, we certainly can’t claim to slow down time, but we can get you and your employees more of it—with a brand-new voice-picking function on your Scanco warehouse management app.

Today’s article helps explain the main benefits of voice picking in your warehouse, but if you’re interested in seeing voice-picking software firsthand, contact Scanco to see this exciting new tool in action.

  1. Voice Picking Reduces Wander Time

Busy warehouses are packed with goods and new employees have an especially hard time finding what they’re looking for when they’re picking. With voice picking systems, a neutral tone voice will guide each employee through the warehouse, optimizing their path to make their sweep as efficient as possible with no backtracking.

In addition to guiding employees through the warehouse, voice picking systems also direct employees to complete various tasks in a specific order, including preparing the right size box, printing and attaching the right label to the box, and verbally confirming the goods they’ve placed in the box, ensuring that your employees always move with purpose through your warehouse.

  1. A Warehouse Management App with Voice Picking Increases Accuracy

Not only does the voice-picking functionality in our warehouse management app cost far less than a full automation system, it’s also more accurate than a full automation system! Although the sales brochures for full automation warehouse management software (WMS) suggest that their systems can’t make mistakes, their systems’ automated, machine-based pick processes mean that a single faulty barcode could mess up an entire day’s or week’s picking process because the picking software was unable to identify that the product they were packing didn’t match with its description.

It’s true that humans are slower at picking than machines are, but they do have common sense and can verify that the item they’re picking matches its description. Voice-picking software can be programmed to ask workers for verbal confirmation that items match their descriptions, which increases order accuracy.

  1. Less Training Time Is Needed with a Voice Picking App

Because voice picking walks employees step by step through the entire pick and pack process and also walks employees step by step through your warehouse, they help you decrease the training time needed to make brand-new employees fully operational. In fact, because voice picking doesn’t require voice training to understand your employees, and because the warehouse management app works intuitively on a familiar smartphone, it’ll be extra easy for your employees to learn and use.

In addition to lower training times, voice picking helps create uniform work procedures throughout your warehouse. By directing employees in predictable, step-by-step methods that follow industry best practices, voice-picking functionality helps your employees develop solid work habits that will make it easier for you to run your warehouse on a daily basis.

Would Your Warehouse Benefit from a Voice Picking APP?

Clearly, voice picking provides a wide range of benefits, but many companies don’t realize the varied circumstances in which voice picking can help reduce training time while increasing productivity effortlessly. A few situations in which training time can help include:

  • Each/split case packing
  • Mixed case pallet packing
  • Cross docking
  • Inventory/cycle counting
  • Quality control inspections
  • Pallet building
  • Transfers
  • Receiving/put away functions
  • And more…

Ready to learn more about the voice picking system that offers you high ROI and can get new employees working throughout your warehouse within as little as ten minutes of training? Get in touch with Scanco to learn more about Scanco Voice and how it can help your warehouse.

warehouse operations

High Turnover in Your Warehouse Operations?

By | warehouse management | No Comments

warehouse operationsFollow These 5 tips to Stop Employee Turnover

A big part of your warehouse operations costs may be labor. Increasing productivity through warehouse automation can help cut those costs, but another area that increases labor costs is employee turnover. The cost of employee turnover is staggering. Not only do you need to recruit and hire new workers, but you will also lose time to employee searches and interviews, lost productivity, and lost knowledge as workers exit without transferring information to newcomers. High turnover also hurts employee morale.

So what can you do to stop high turnover? With some adjustments, you can turn around high turnover rates over time and improve employee retention for better productivity.

  1. Set and manage expectations: Make sure that your job descriptions are up to date and that hiring managers and anyone interviewing candidates know they should be open, honest, and transparent about the job, company, and working conditions. Expectations are set through honesty and facts given to candidates during the interview process.
  2. Allow work-life boundaries and balance: Don’t intrude on your employee’s personal time. Make sure that they take vacations, weekends off, and holidays. Offer flex time for employees caring for dependents so that they never have to apologize for driving Mom to the doctor or caring for a little one home sick from school. Taking the stress off of people’s lives makes them happier about their workplace.
  3. Offer plenty of feedback: Train your managers and staff to give and receive feedback. Make sure that criticism is always tempered with praise. Regular reviews, employee training, and other methods of employee motivation are important and a part of giving and receiving quality feedback to improve job satisfaction and performance.
  4. Train your managers: Managers need training in management skills. They need to learn how to delegate fairly, provide clear directions, and manage workloads without favoritism. Rude employees must be dealt with immediately to prevent workplace issues from escalating.
  5. Give regular reviews and raises: Rather than freeze wages, try to at least give some increase so that people don’t have a financial incentive to go elsewhere. Schedule regular performance and salary review periods and make sure that salaries are both commensurate with experience and fair for the jobs and levels of employees.

Streamline Your Warehouse Operations

Having the right tools for your employees is another way to keep your employees happy and motivated. If you’d like help setting up your warehouse operations to be employee friendly, contact Scanco. Our warehouse management team has helped to increase our clients’ productivity and efficiency for nearly 30 years, and we’re happy to help you sort through your warehouse options and requirements for your growing business.

warehouse management app

How to Choose the Right Warehouse Management App for Your Business

By | Warehouse Management Software | No Comments

warehouse management appWhen you’re looking at upgrading your warehouse, one of the biggest choices you’ll have to make is if you want to use a standalone warehouse management solution (WMS) or an integrated add-on warehouse management app. In today’s article, we’ll help you determine how you can focus your business needs for warehouse software, so that you can find the right solution at the right price for your company.

ERP with Module or Standalone WMS?

When choosing your warehouse management app, your first step is to decide if you want an add-on warehouse management module for your ERP, or if you want a standalone solution that doesn’t require ERP. There are benefits and drawbacks to either solution, and only you can decide which would be better for your business.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you need to seamlessly integrate with your existing ERP? If you’re looking to connect a new WMS to your ERP, you may want to consider an integrated add-on module because your warehouse management app developers will deeply understand your existing ERP solution capabilities.
  • Is a shorter training time a requirement? An integrated add-on solution will offer a shorter training time, since your staff will already understand where the software can enhance operations, whereas a standalone solution will require all-new training and explanation for your staff.

What’s Your Budget?

In addition to the prior considerations, you’ll also want to give some thought to your budget (though I don’t think we need to remind you about this!). Oftentimes, standalone solutions will come with pricey extras that your business doesn’t need or want, whereas an integrated add-on can deliver just the services you need—at a price tag you can handle.

Questions to consider:

  • How are you managing your warehouse now? Sometimes fulfillment speed has less to do with your technology, and more to do with the fact that your warehouse fosters productivity bottlenecks arising from poor processes or paper-based systems. Eliminating data entry with an affordable integrated add-on often solves the problem.
  • What are your future plans? Companies looking to make large-scale distribution their main focus may want to consider a standalone option, because they’ll need the bells and whistles that enterprise WMS products provide. However, those same bells and whistles may be overkill if you plan to maintain a manufacturing business and simply want to deliver better customer service or faster order fulfillment times.

Are You Wanting to Save Time?

This seems like a dumb question at the outset (after all, what kind of business doesn’t want to save time?), but it’s an important consideration. The truth is, salespeople are salespeople, and they’re likely to paint you a lovely picture of time savings, without addressing important issues such as setup time.

  • Do you need a new system up and running soon? A standalone solution typically takes longer to implement and set up, because the system is starting from zero. In standalone WMS, all your warehouse information will need to be painstakingly loaded into the system, which takes more time than the synchronization process of an integrated add-on. Plus, as we mentioned earlier, training is faster with an integrated add-on.

Learn More About Warehouse Management Apps

Warehouse management software is hard to figure out – and with the speed required to meet today’s customer demands, it’s unlikely your business has the time to carefully pick through all your options. At Scanco, we’re here to help.

When you’re ready for friendly, expert advice in a free consultation, contact Scanco. Our warehouse management team has helped to increase our clients’ productivity and efficiency for nearly 30 years, and we’re happy to help you sort through your software options and requirements for your growing business.

mobile warehouse solutions

How to Attract Baby Boomers to Your Warehouse Operations

By | Mobile Apps, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

mobile warehouse solutionsAttract the Next Generation with Mobile Warehouse Solutions

Are your warehouse operations struggling to find and keep the younger workers?  As Baby Boomers retire from the workplace, manufacturers and distributors will need to find ways to attract Millennials to their manufacturing and warehousing operations. The question is:  How do we do this?

How Do Millennials Differ from Baby Boomers?

The Baby Boomers are more traditional in their thinking.  They start a career and may stick with it until retirement time.  Baby Boomers tend to be hands on, have a conservative approach, and work well with direct supervision.  They value the relationship they have built with their company.  They like stability and advancement in their careers.  You could say that a Baby Boomer would thrive working 9-5 with a clear path for the entire future.

Millennials, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, are often characterized by their more flexible and fluid approach to work and home life. While Baby Boomers were most comfortable with traditional planning models in the workplace, Millennials are generally more comfortable with flexibility and unstructured workspaces. They want a balance between work and home life.  They may change careers several times in their lifespan. Millennials like collaboration, partnerships and social connections.  They are comfortable with learning and using technology to help grow the business.  Millennials are willing to try new technology. The Millennials aren’t scared to try new technology such as mobile warehouse solutions.

Attracting the Next Generation of Employee

In order to attract the next generation of employee to your warehouse operations, you have to find ways to offer what is important to them.  Technology and flexibility are huge selling points.  Finding ways to add new technology and flexibility into your operations is a great way to attract the new generation of employee.

When you are looking for mobile warehouse solutions, look to Scanco. Scanco is dedicated to providing all of the cost-effective, mobile tools that you require to streamline your operations and provide the flexibility and technology that the Millennials are looking for.

Scanco offers mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse operations as well as sales and field service. To learn more, contact us.

manufacturing automation

Work Order Integration and Manufacturing Automation for Sage 100

By | Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationAs a manufacturer, you have constant questions. “What stage is that rush job at? How long has it taken so far? Will it be done in time to ship today? Where the heck is Ben, and is he really the most efficient worker on the floor like it seems? How are my materials levels doing today – and do I have enough materials for next week?” Questions like these are distracting and can turn your day into a time-consuming, stressful ordeal. Luckily, there’s a way to get answers to all these questions immediately: manufacturing automation.

Learn more about how work order integration for Sage 100 can help you get instantaneous, up-to-the-second information in your warehouse. Contact the manufacturing tech experts at Scanco and ask about WO Scan.

Work Order Helps Speed Up Manufacturing

If you’re not using the Work Order module for Sage 100 yet, you’re missing out on saving a lot of time. This powerful tool is the cornerstone of the manufacturing abilities for Sage 100, and it helps you:

  • Issue work orders
  • Develop schedules
  • Track costs associated with manufacturing
  • View up-to-the-minute work in progress info
  • Generate paperwork for work orders, including travelers, picking sheets, dispatch sheets, and operation tickets
  • Identify and evaluate costs and cost variations as you analyze your capacity and the status of your orders

As you can see, the Work Order module for Sage 100 can help you take care of a lot of your manufacturing activities quickly and easily… but there’s a way you can speed up Work Order too.

WO Scan Speeds You Up Even More

WO Scan from Scanco helps you take care of work orders faster and easier than ever before, and this great manufacturing automation tool integrates seamlessly with your Work Order module and your Scanco barcoding solution.

WO Scan is an automated, real-time tool that increases manufacturing efficiency by providing comprehensive, at-a-glance information about your shop floor and manufacturing activities.

With WO Scan from Scanco, you’ll have the power to track your:

  • Labor cost and efficiencies (including non-productive time such as setup)
  • Material issues
  • Outsourced projects’ efficiencies
  • Quality control checks
  • And more

If your manufacturing operations require product tracking by serial or lot number, WO Scan can take care of that too. You can even combine your lots with quality control certification steps so that you can verify QC for each lot you create.

In addition, WO Scan offers error-reducing one-time data entry with online and offline capabilities that auto-sync your data if you lose connectivity in your plant, as well as live dashboard reporting that can be displayed with a giant monitor on your shop floor.

What Are the Benefits of Manufacturing Automation?

Though larger plants discovered the benefits of manufacturing automation a few years ago, smaller manufacturers are now starting to realize how much they can gain from using automated systems in their operations.

Some of the benefits they’re experiencing include:

  1. Time savings – no more waiting at workstations to enter updates
  2. Efficient ordering – always up-to-date materials inventory information
  3. Offline data capture – reduces materials issue surprises and maintains efficiency
  4. Remote data capture – keeps track of outsourced or alternate locations
  5. Better work completion – using prompts that employees respond to throughout their workday
  6. Delay-free production – Predict labor needs, materials needs, tool scheduling, and more

It’s Time to Grow Your Manufacturing Business

Today’s ever-longer supply chains, faster product turnarounds, and direct-to-consumer transactions are creating great opportunity for smaller manufacturers, but companies that want to keep up with their increased options may end up with more work than they counted on. And if there’s anything worse than no business, it’s too much business at once.

Keep your manufacturing operations on an even keel and get the insight and tools you need to increase your work – without increasing your workload. Contact Scanco today to learn more about your options for manufacturing automation tools such as WO Scan.

warehouse barcode system

5 Tips for Warehouse Barcode System Implementation

By | Barcode Software, Barcoding, Warehouse Management System | No Comments

warehouse barcode systemAre you new to warehouse barcoding? Or do you have a warehouse barcode system that you would like to replace. Here are some great tips to make your selection and implementation a success.

  1. Find an executive sponsor or champion: An executive sponsor or champion can help you secure buy-in for your warehouse barcode system project throughout your company’s executive team. An executive sponsor not only ensures that you have the budget you need for your project but removes potential roadblocks to project success. Their enthusiasm and open support for the project sends a powerful signal throughout your company that this is an important project not just for your warehouse operations, but to the entire organization.
  2. Assign a project lead: A project lead is someone within the organization who takes responsibility for developing the potential scope of work, vendor selection, and project coordination. Choose someone for the role who is organized, thorough, and a good communicator.
  3. Form a representative project group: It’s important to have members from every department on the project team that will be affected. A warehouse barcode system can impact more than just the warehouse floor; consider the effect on accounting, manufacturing, sales, and others.
  4. Create a project plan with ROI: A project plan with detailed ROI metrics, milestones, and measurements will help management understand the benefits of the warehouse automation project and how to measure its success.
  5. Work with an experienced vendor: A vendor with experience in warehouse automation has the benefit of past projects to learn from and guide your implementation. Experience, good product and warehousing knowledge, and a strong training and service component are also important for success.

For the past 28 years, the Scanco team has dedicated themselves to making warehouse work easier using barcoding systems. Contact the warehouse automation team at Scanco to learn more about how Scanco can help you no matter what level of expertise you start with.

manufacturing warehouse

Complete Your Quest for Effective Manufacturing & Warehouse Automation

By | Manufacturing, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

manufacturing warehouseIf you’ve come across this blog post, we can assume that you’re on a quest. Your quest is to find out how you can take advantage of direct-to-customer sales as well as increased order fulfillment—and, thus far, all you’ve been able to determine is that manufacturing & warehouse automation tools will help in some way.

As time has passed, you’ve begun to regret your choice in taking on this quest. Like Frodo and his lengthy challenge to destroy the Ring of Power, your quest has begun to span too much time and you feel hassled and harried at each new obstacle. These obstacles include software integration headaches, customization problems with upgrades, and constant phone calls with too many integration software vendors.

That’s all about to change, because your quest has brought you here. Read on to find the answer you’ve been seeking.

The Riddle of Manufacturing + Warehouse Success

In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins the hobbit first obtained the Ring of Power by winning a riddle contest with the loathsome Gollum. This may sound like a familiar action in your own quest.

We get it: Sometimes trying to get information about pricing and integration capabilities for manufacturing & warehouse automation software can feel like you’re battling a loathsome software vendor while trying to make sense of pricing and implementation riddles.

While Bilbo Baggins presumably had nothing better to do with his life than sit in an underground cave talking riddles with Gollum, you have work to do. Real work. You have customers to get back to. Right now. You need a solution that integrates seamlessly and makes sense.

The ONE Solution to Rule Them All …

If you waste your time with riddles, your competitors, like Sauron (the evil villain in The Lord of the Rings), will have time to amass armies and crush your business. What you need is a magic tool that helps your business:

  • Increase manufacturing speed and efficiency
  • Provide at-a-glance shop-floor analytics
  • Keep production and materials issue data up to the minute in real time
  • Plan and schedule materials, labor, equipment, and tools for delay-free production
  • Take care of complex inventory tracking, such as multi-bin and pallet tracking
  • Control and manage all devices on your shop floor

But where could such a magical tool exist, and who are the keepers of this tool?

Discover the Fellowship

If you’re ready to complete your quest, you can trust the partnership of two leading manufacturing & warehouse automation experts, forming the ONE solution to help you succeed.

Advanced Computer Solutions Group (ACS)

Since 1989, ACS has been helping businesses succeed with Sage 100 ERP programming and now they’ve partnered with Scanco to bring you multi-bin warehouse management and pallet tracking. Not only will this feature seamlessly integrate with your Sage 100 system, it comes with warehouse automation and manufacturing automation tools.

Multi-bin and pallet tracking from ACS helps you:

  • Track pallets in work order issues and completion
  • Validate against existing pallets
  • Create next synchronous pallet number
  • Create any pallet ID on the fly
  • Work on desktop and mobile

Scanco

Also in 1989, Scanco was born. From the dream of one man who founded Scanco to simplify people’s work lives by adding barcoding capabilities to warehouse operations to the warehouse and manufacturing automation powerhouse that the company is today, Scanco helps you with work order automation and warehouse barcoding convenience and automation.

WO Scan from Scanco helps you:

  • Automate the eight Work Order transactions for the Sage 100 module
  • Access real-time raw materials inventory, transfers, or lookup
  • Empower your shop-floor personnel to capture materials issued, labor, materials completion, and warehouse changes on desktop and mobile
  • View real-time shop-floor performance analytics while maintaining materials issue visibility
  • Control and manage all transactions on all devices throughout your shop floor

Warehouse Automation for Sage 100 from Scanco helps you:

  • Automate your warehouse with barcoding
  • Manage your warehouse in the cloud on iOS, Android, and Windows devices
  • Ensure accurate inventory levels in real time
  • Voice activate your barcoding activities
  • Live validate your pick, pack, and ship process

Your Journey to Find Manufacturing & Warehouse Automation

Part of the excitement of an adventure is the journey, but when adventurers have reached the finale of their quest, they feel a sense of relief due to a task well done.

Then they celebrate.

It’s time for your celebrations to start because you’ve finally finished your quest; you have found the ONE solution that answers all your needs in your manufacturing and warehouse operations, a solution that integrates seamlessly, provides diverse functionality with a single point of contact, and works perfectly with your Sage 100 solution and your mobile devices.

But before you start that celebration, you’ll want to set up your consultation. Contact the integration experts at Scanco so you can learn more about what ONE by Scanco and ACS can do for you.

mobile warehouse

How to Move Toward a Mobile Warehouse

By | Warehouse Automation | No Comments

mobile warehouseDespite what you may imagine, moving to a mobile warehouse management system is easier than you think. It just takes a little bit of planning and the right information. Below are 6 steps to help you with your plan:

  1. Choose an application that will support your business goals and integrate easily with your existing solutions. If you are currently using Sage 100 ERP, make sure the warehouse management application you choose configures easily with the system. Remember, mobile should not be a hefty investment. You are implementing the technology to save costs – not add to your costs. Find a mobile warehouse management app that is specific to the software you already use (like our Sage 100 mobile warehouse management apps).
  2. Choose the right device and implement a company policy about the devices that can and cannot be used. Will you allow employees to bring their own device (BYOD), or will you be providing the device? Will you use smartphones, tablets, or something else?
  3. Create a mobile business strategy. What are you hoping to obtain by going mobile? Write down your goals and a realistic outline for accomplishing them. Track your progress quarterly to see how you are meeting your mobile goals.
  4. Find an educated mobile software partner. Not all mobile applications are the same, and you are going to want to find a vendor who can guide you to the right solution and help you create the right strategy.

Once you take these steps you will find that the transition will go smoothly and you’ll be up and running in no time.

Mobile Warehouse Apps from Scanco

Scanco offers mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. Learn more.  To learn more, contact us.

: inventory barcode system

Voice-Activated Inventory Barcode System for Acumatica

By | Acumatica, Barcode Software, Barcoding, Inventory Management | No Comments

: inventory barcode systemIn the past, we used to interact with computers using DOS. Then we got pretty icons and menus (thank goodness!), then we got touchscreens … and now we have voice. And since voice-activated software is so convenient, user adoption is skyrocketing. Learn how your business can take advantage of the hottest voice-activated inventory barcode system for Acumatica.

Don’t feel like reading? Want to use your voice to get the details? Makes sense to us! Contact Scanco directly to speak with one of our friendly, knowledgeable experts.

What Is Voice-Activated Software?

If you thought “Dragon Dictate” when you heard the words “voice activated,” we wouldn’t blame you if you cringed a little. While Dragon is a lot better these days, many of us remember the hours of voice training the dictation program used to require before it was usable.

That’s all changed.

Now, not only do software programs have extremely high accuracy levels in listening to and interpreting voice commands, there’s a strong possibility you’ve used voice-activation software today.

Have you talked to Siri on your iPhone? Called out for information from Google on your Droid? Perhaps you have a Google Home or an Amazon Echo? It may surprise you to learn that these are all voice-activated technologies, and Americans are adopting these solutions at astronomical rates.

In fact, according to a recent article by the Economist, 20% of Google searches on Android are input by voice and Apple’s Siri handles more than two billion voice-activated commands each week.

Does Voice-Activated Software Have a Business Use?

You betcha. Not only am I typing this article right now using the voice-activated dictation features in Microsoft Word (hit the Fn key twice to access them on your Word program), voice activation can also come in handy in your warehouse and manufacturing operations. If you’re running Acumatica Cloud ERP, you’ll be pleased to learn that they’re taking advantage of voice-driven computing in a big way.

This past winter at Acumatica Summit 2017, Jon Roskill, the CEO of Acumatica, co-presented an astonishing information lookup session using Amazon’s Alexa (Echo). After integration, Alexa was able to access ERP data within a sample business run by Acumatica, providing real-time inventory data by voice in answer to the question: “Alexa, ask Acumatica how many laptops do we have in stock?”

The Alexa integration example is a huge advancement in the world of voice activation… but it only works if you’re willing to carry the rather sizable Amazon Echo around with you through the warehouse.

If you want voice-activated integration with your handheld, mobile inventory barcode system, Scanco has you covered.

That’s right, Scanco has rolled out voice-activation for our industry-leading inventory barcode system that works with iOS, Android, and Windows devices, which means that your employees will now have the power to receive and send up-to-date information, hands free, from anywhere on the warehouse floor.

In addition, since your employees’ voices will be captured by the impressive “deep learning” AI technology modern voice recognition software employs, spoken voice commands won’t require any training and each device will be able to understand and respond to any employee.

Supercharge Your Inventory Barcode System with Voice Activation from Scanco Voice

Say goodbye to the days of text-based data entry and access, and say hello (literally) to the exciting new world of your ERP-integrated voice-activated inventory barcode system. Scanco Voice features work with all integrated Scanco ERPs, including Acumatica Cloud ERP, Sage 100, and NetSuite ERP.

For the past 28 years, the Scanco team has dedicated themselves to making warehouse work easier using barcoding systems. Contact the warehouse automation team at Scanco to learn more about how Scanco Voice can help you.

If you’re a Sage ERP user, you can see Scanco Voice in action this year at Sage Summit, happening May 9-11, 2017 in Atlanta.

Improve Your Warehouse Operations Session

Special Sage Summit 2017 Session by ONE from Scanco and ACS

By | Sage 100 | No Comments

Improve Processes, Streamline Operations and Lower Your Operating Costs

Improve Your Warehouse Operations SessionAre you a Sage 100 user looking for ways to increase efficiency in your manufacturing or distribution operations? If so, don’t miss this special session offered by ONE Software Solution from Scanco and ACS. ONE from Scanco and ACS is a complete manufacturing, warehouse and barcoding solution for Sage 100.

In this session, you will learn how mobile automation solutions play a key role in streamlining your manufacturing, warehousing, or distribution processes as well as allow you to:

  • Better serve your customers
  • Keep up with demands of big box retailers
  • Reach ISO/QSF certifications
  • Gain supply chain visibility

Session ID: SP-116

Day: Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Time: 5:15 pm – 6:00 pm

Speaker: Ross Allen, Scanco Accounts Manager

It’s not too late to register for Sage Summit in Atlanta! Register here.

Scanco is in the business of making your job easier. Our warehouse management team has helped to increase our clients’ productivity and efficiency for nearly 30 years, and we’re happy to help you sort through your manufacturing and warehousing automation options for your growing business. Contact Scanco.

warehouse operations

Warehouse Operations and Disaster Preparation

By | Warehouse Management Software, Warehouse Management System | No Comments

warehouse operationsDoes your warehouse operations strategy include a disaster recovery plan or are you crossing your fingers and hoping a disaster will never happen? Ignoring potential disasters could be devastating to your business. Most companies are committed to safety in every day warehouse operations, but you also need to prepare for the unexpected.

You must be prepared with a warehouse operations response and recovery plan, which includes these steps.

  • Planning: The best thing to do first is recognize that you need a plan. Make disaster preparedness a priority in your facility. If you already have a plan, have you looked at it recently?
  • Implementation: Make sure that you have the necessary physical, financial, and labor resources to support your warehouse operations procedures. These resources, or the arrangement for them, should be in place before an incident occurs.
  • Testing: A plan on paper won’t be effective unless you test it. Conduct exercises to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness based on realistic scenarios.
  • Program improvement: Disaster plans should be reviewed to adapt to changing technology, operations, and equipment. Be sure to regularly review your plan to make changes such as updating and verifying emergency contacts.
  • Recovery: Recovering from a disaster is often a long-term process. But with the right advance preparation, you can reduce the time it takes to recover from a disaster and resume business as usual.

By following these steps to create and implement a disaster recovery plan you will be saving your company time and money if a disaster ever does strike.

Streamline Your Warehouse Operations

When you are in charge of warehouse operations, there are many moving parts. Scanco is in the business of making your job easier. If you’d like friendly, expert advice in a free consultation, contact Scanco. Our warehouse management team has helped to increase our clients’ productivity and efficiency for nearly 30 years, and we’re happy to help you sort through your warehouse options and requirements for your growing business.

warehouse management app

Strange but True: How a Warehouse Management App Could Save Your Company

By | warehouse management | No Comments

warehouse management appThe American logistics sector is facing an unprecedented labor shortage. The industry, which comprises 8% of the GDP (gross domestic product), is more important than ever now that consumers expect more options to purchase their products. For the businesses in the logistics sector, the industry’s upswing, paired with a continued decrease in unemployment rates, may turn out to be a curse.

How can you avoid the looming curse of a worker shortage? Consider a warehouse management app.

The Warehouse Workers’ Curse

Decreased unemployment rates are already making seasonal hiring difficult, and studies show that 79% of 3PLs are worried about the negative impact the coming worker shortage will have on their supply chain.

In essence, though the warehouse and logistics industry continues to need employees, Baby Boomers are retiring at alarming rates, and no one is stepping in to take over.

Fact: If your company doesn’t focus on hiring now, that labor shortage may take a large chunk out of your company and put you out of business.

3 Ways a Warehouse Management App Can Stop a Curse

It may sound melodramatic to call a labor shortage a “curse,” but warehousing operations that can’t hire enough employees will certainly feel as if a malignant force is plotting against them. As the breakneck-paced industry runs ever faster, they’ll experience continually slower fulfillment speeds, which will push their customers toward well-staffed competitors.

The great news is that you can avoid all this curse nonsense entirely. How? By getting the #1 fastest-growing workforce sector to work for you. Yup, I’m talking about Millennials. And one way you can get them interested is to give them access to the technology and work processes they love to use.

Attract Millennials with warehouse management software that:

  1. Works with a smartphone. It’s no secret that Millennials get unhappy fast when they can’t use smartphones. It seems that no matter what they’re doing, Millennials prefer to do that task on a smartphone. Over the next decade it will become increasingly important to offer warehouse management and inventory technology that runs on a smartphone, such as mobile-based inventory software and smartphone-based barcoding solutions. 
  1. Provides a handy warehouse management app. If smartphones are the most important thing to a Millennial, apps are the second-most important thing. After all, well-made apps are easy to use, easy to navigate, and let Millennials get right to the task at hand without wasting time. Warehouse management apps, like other apps, provide relevant information at a glance, anywhere and any time. 
  1. Helps you automate your warehouse. Of course, the best way to combat the upcoming labor shortage is to reduce your reliance on labor. Though warehouses and fulfillment centers are traditionally very labor-heavy operations, especially around the holidays, new automation tools can streamline your warehouse’s pick, pack, and ship process, as well as other complex inventory management tasks so you can get more done with less people.

Build a Stronger Workforce with Warehouse Management Apps

Though Millennials suffer a bad reputation in the workforce, the truth is that once you’ve got them on your team, they tend to be extremely loyal, hardworking employees who are skilled with technology and interpersonal communication, and who constantly seek better, faster ways to do their jobs.

It’s time to overcome the looming labor-shortage curse by giving those talented, young, motivated Millennials a chance. And when you offer them technology they love to use, such as warehouse management software on smartphones, they’ll be happy to give you a chance too.

*This article originally appeared in Bellwether Magazine.

Acumatica

Join the Multi-Cloud Universe with Scanco and Acumatica

By | Acumatica, Cloud Computing | No Comments

AcumaticaThe cloud has changed the dynamic of business software forever. What once required a heavy upfront investment in technology and staggering future upgrade costs now costs a fraction of that amount. Even more important, the cloud provides powerful capabilities far beyond what legacy systems have ever provided.

Scanco’s warehouse and manufacturing automation tools utilize the cloud to offer great benefits. And now, we’re part of a multi-cloud solution with our integration to Acumatica Cloud ERP.

Benefits of the Multi-Cloud Environment

It seems as if everywhere you turn these days there’s an article touting the benefits of the cloud. There are many benefits that end-users can derive from moving their systems to the cloud. From automatic software updates, enhanced security, automatic backups, and easier data access, multi-cloud systems offer considerable cost savings. This is money that you can pour back into your business. Instead of spending money on servers and employees to manage them, you can spend it on tasks that enable you to grow and make more money. With little ramp up needed and less time spend creating something that’s already been made, you don’t have to spend countless hours building up your data center. You simply tap into the systems, servers, and software already available.

Scanco’s Cloud-Based Acumatica Apps

Scanco offers cloud-based apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. To learn more about our new integration to Acumatica Cloud ERP, contact us.

inventory barcode system

Avoid These 3 Inventory Barcode System Sins

By | Barcode Software, Inventory Management | No Comments

inventory barcode systemWarehouse managers understand that managing the constant juggle of distribution every day takes skill and talent, as well as warehouse expertise. Many managers, however, are finding that the pace of warehouse management has increased so much recently that they’re now considering inventory barcode systems to increase their order-fulfillment speed and efficiency.

Choosing the right solution is important, and if you’re in the process of selecting an inventory barcode system, we recommend you take a moment to read this article so you can avoid common problems.

Sin #1. Choosing an Unknown Vendor

When you first start looking into barcode system vendors, you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of options you have, as well as the varying price structures. Because there’s so much variation in this industry, we recommend you start, not with a Google search, but by asking your ERP reseller.

Your reseller knows your ERP and your specific needs, and they truly understand the strengths and weaknesses of various solutions and vendors. They’ll suggest a good vendor that they’ve personally worked with, and with whom they have a personal connection. That personal connection between your reseller and your inventory barcode system vendor will benefit you greatly during the implementation process.

Sin #2. Choosing an Untested Developer

If you start your search by asking your ERP reseller about their recommendations, you won’t run into this problem, but we understand that sometimes people don’t like their resellers, or they bought their ERP directly from the developer. If you’re conducting the search on your own, you may be tempted to turn to a vendor you personally know, who implemented another add-on for you at a previous time and who mentioned at some point that they can do inventory barcoding too.

Be aware when you contact independent software vendors that there’s a difference between “we’ve done this for a few of our clients” and “this is what we do.” A vendor who has developed a one-off solution for a few of their clients is unlikely to have the skillset or flexibility to get you a system that does exactly what you want on the deadline you prefer.

Sin #3. Choosing a Non-Integrated Inventory Barcode System

Some barcode systems connect to your ERP, some don’t. The fact is an integrated system is extremely important. The point of inventory barcoding systems is to save time in your warehouse, in terms of inventory management and the pick-and-pack process.

If you save time on scanning, but spend all that saved time on data export and import, you’re spending the same amount of time you were previously and you have the same likelihood of data-entry errors—but now you’ve spent money to be in the same place you were before. Oops.

Who You Choose and What They Do Matters

As in all of your business decisions, your choices matter—and it’s important to make the right choice because the wrong choice can impact your profitability for years to come. At Scanco, we’ve been providing barcoding systems, warehouse automation, and warehouse management solutions for nearly 30 years. It’s what we do.

We’re not going to suggest that you shortcut this process or commit any of the sins we listed above, which means that we don’t want you to contact us without recommendations. Instead, you should get in touch with your reseller and ask them about their experience with Scanco solutions. Once you hear glowing reviews from your reseller, you can contact our Scanco team online to set up your free consultation. We look forward to meeting you.

Sage 100 sales

Oops! Another Sage 100 Sales Data Mistake

By | Sage 100, Scanco Sales | No Comments

Sage 100 salesAre any of these problems familiar? If so, it may be time to clean up your Sage 100 sales data. It may also be time to check out Scanco Sales to help you manage your sales process and customer information.

  1. Your records are incomplete or you have duplicate records. Perhaps you have duplicates like this: Katherine P. Brown at XYZ Company, Katherine Brown, and Kate Brown may all refer to the same person. In this case, you can run basic reports to find incomplete files and records in your database. You can also review customer files and compare names to find potential duplicates
  2. You have no idea how customers prefer to be contacted. If you do not already track customer communication preferences, it may be wise to add fields now to do so in the future. Customers increasingly expect companies they interact with to remember and utilize their chosen communication preferences. If someone prefers a phone call over an email, it is both courteous and good service to place that phone call. It is also wise, since they may not answer emails swiftly. To update customer preferences, consider sending a short, simple email out to your customers asking them to confirm their choices and offering them the option of changing any at this time. A little courtesy goes a long way to improve customer service.
  3. You have defunct businesses in your records. Customers come and customers go, and some companies go out of business. Managing and storing defunct business data costs money. Designate someone at your company to update records annually, and collect information on companies that have stopped ordering, stopped doing business with you, or who have gone out of business.

Scanco Sales

Scanco Sales is a Sage 100 mobile sales app that integrates seamlessly with Sage 100. It places the power of Sage 100 onto your sales team’s smartphone so that they can better manage customer data and the entire sales process. Everything is synced in real-time, so everyone is working from the same data. Check out all of the other great features by contacting us.

manufacturing automation

Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths – Part 3: Pricing

By | Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationLast year’s election campaigning proved that Americans are passionate about the prospects of the American manufacturing industry—and it also proved that there’s a lot of fear surrounding the so-called “rise of the machines.” Americans fear that warehouse automation tools will take their jobs, but those fears are based on a lot of widespread myths.

At Scanco, we’re here to set the record straight. If you’ve been curious about the real story behind how manufacturing automation stands to change the economy and our American workforce, this three-part series will help explain the facts. In our first article, we talked about how automation stands to benefit the economy and the real numbers behind the “job-stealing” myth. Last week, we talked about the real reason why the economy is struggling. This week we’ll talk about automation. Enjoy the last installment in our series of Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths.

Fact: Automation May Create Jobs

If our production levels have gone down and our spending habits favor inexpensive imports, we have two options we can leverage to price American-made goods competitively for consumers:

  1. Raise the prices on imported goods so that an American-made product is similarly priced to a foreign-made product.
  2. Lower the prices on American-made products so that we can compete with the prices of imports.

Option #1 is what the Republicans have suggested to President Trump. They’re proposing a border adjustment tax, which would impose additional taxes on imports. This may increase the number of plants, sales, and jobs in America because it would penalize companies who manufacture overseas, but it would also increase our costs here in the States. Experts say that unless our dollar increases in value by 20% (a highly unlikely scenario), we, as consumers, would be stuck paying more for the things we buy because a border tax would raise import prices to the same rates as domestic prices.

Option #2 can happen with automation. If we’re able to increase production to a faster pace, we can keep up with existing consumer demand and therefore increase our profitability. Higher profitability leads to more opened plants, more opened plants leads to more jobs, and more jobs leads to a better output. It’s a good cycle.

Wait … That Sounds Too Easy

Option 2 sounds like pretty impressive news, but if you’re properly listening to what I’m saying, you may be thinking, “That’s a nice idea, but if the machines are making all the products, then we humans are still out of jobs.”

You smart cookie, you.

The reason why the machines won’t steal our jobs is because they can’t do them. Yes, automation tools can perform very specific job tasks very efficiently, but they aren’t flexible, and they certainly can’t learn new skills.

It’s true that automation empowers companies to spend less on labor to complete highly detailed, sadly exhausting, or ridiculously boring work. Machines are purchased once, and, as long as you keep them in good condition, they’ll keep performing the same tasks for years.

The key there is that machines perform the same tasks for years. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

  • The good thing about machines – Tasks that are assigned to machines are ones we, as humans, hate doing: heavy lifting, mind-numbing calculations, or frustratingly detailed work.
  • The bad thing about machines – Machines can’t learn new tricks.

Let’s unpack that last one a little. Even if you can reprogram automation machines to perform new, more relevant tasks, they’re not going to reach the same levels of productivity in those new assignments because they’re specifically built and designed to complete a single function only.

To make an analogy, reprogramming automation tools for different functions is like deciding to use an old smartphone as a digital photo frame. The smartphone probably did well at its assigned task (being a handheld computer), but as a photo frame it would need constant recharging. In it’s new assignment, it would spend less time being a digital photo frame, and more time being a device with dead batteries that happens to be stuck to your wall.

If you want an effective digital photo frame, you’re either going to have to program the phone to use less battery power, or you’re going to have to buy a different, highly specific tool (a digital photo frame).

And that’s the key: Humans are the only ones who can reprogram machines, and humans are the only ones that can design new machines to perform different functions. Sure, those are jobs for programmers and designers, but that’s job opportunity. We’ll also need people to oversee and fix the machines, we’ll need people to sell and manufacture the machines, and we’ll need people to think for the machines.

And don’t forget that the machines will help us create more products, which increases jobs in the retail industry, too. As humans, we have the ability to envision new possibilities, imagine new futures, and create new businesses—and automation tools can help us make our dreams a reality.

Automation may increase the production capacity of our nation’s manufacturing companies, but humans come up with the new products to sell, and the new ways to sell them.

The real fact: Machines simply give us the tools to succeed in the modern world.

Learn More About How Manufacturing Automation Can Increase Your Competitive Edge

If you’d like to see the real numbers behind manufacturing automation ROI in companies and industries like yours, Scanco can help.

Since 1989, we’ve been providing tools and solutions that help manufacturers and distributors do their jobs better and faster, so they can increase their sales and grow their businesses. We’re happy to lend a hand toward your business growth as well—for free!

Contact Scanco online to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how automation tools for Sage 100, Sage 500 and Acumatica can help your business reach new heights.

Sage 100 mobile sales

3 Reasons You Need Sage 100 Mobile Field Service and Sales Apps

By | Mobile Field Service, Mobile Sales, Sage 100 Mobile, Scanco Sales, Scanco Service | No Comments

Sage 100 mobile salesThere are so many benefits of using a Sage 100 mobile app, like Scanco Sales or Scanco Service, that narrowing them down to the top three took us some time. Companies using mobile field service and sales solutions rave about the ease of access, better features, and time-saving benefits. Other benefits include:

  1. Real-time synchronization: With Sage 100 mobile apps, data can be entered anywhere that your business takes you. Mobile field sales staff can enter orders while they are at a customer’s location. The data immediately feeds into the Sage 100 accounting module, updating the company’s projected sales for the quarter. The warehouse and fulfillment center can also see that a new order has arrived and hurry to expedite it if the customer needs it. Real-time data synchronization through cloud-based mobile field service or sales systems ensures that no matter where you are, data that’s entered through one device can be seen and reported throughout the organization. The entire business can respond more quickly to needs.
  2. Improved data accuracy: Companies using Sage 100 mobile apps also report improvements in data accuracy. Mobile makes it easier for employees to key data once into the system and share it easily. This reduces manual data entry, which can lead to mistakes.
  3. Enhanced customer satisfaction: Employees are very satisfied with their Sage 100 mobile apps, but it may be surprising to read that it also enhances customer satisfaction. Data shared across an organization helps prevent customers from getting mixed messages every time they call for an update or information. Because the same data keyed into one part of the system appears elsewhere, customers receive consistent information no matter who they speak to within the company. Sage 100 mobile sales apps, like Scanco Sales, added to the ERP can also provide tailor-made messages and updates that enhance and build customer relationships.

Sage 100 Mobile Apps from Scanco

Scanco offers Sage 100 mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. To learn more, contact us.

manufacturing automation

Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths – Part 2: Offshoring

By | Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationFor nearly two decades, the manufacturing industry has been taking a hit. A 30% decline in employment has eroded American optimism about their continuing job prospects, and now the new threat of manufacturing automation is looming as the next terrible evolution in this previously robust industry … or is it?

If you’re ready for the facts about how automation stands to change the economy and our American workforce for the better, this three-part series will help. In our last article, we talked about how automation stands to benefit the economy and the real numbers behind the “job-stealing” myth. Read on to learn the truth about offshoring in part two of Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths.

Fact: Offshoring Is Taking Jobs … But Not in the Way You Think

If last week’s article made you suspect that our manufacturing jobs are being shipped overseas, you’re right. But the prevailing myth is that American companies are to blame for the outsourcing issue. The real problem is the strength of the dollar and the export cost of our products, versus the cost of imported goods. In other words, we need to take a good, hard look at our own habits.

The Problem Isn’t in Our Work Habits, It’s in Our Spending Habits

It’s only natural that, as consumers, we want to scoop up the best deals, but these days the best deals aren’t American-made products, they’re imports. Pop quiz: If you go to the store to buy a television and you have three similar TVs with similar functionality, but they’re priced differently, which one will you buy? Of course you’ll buy the least expensive one. That makes the most sense.

But in terms of the economy, the TV that you buy matters. Most imported products are cheaper than domestic products because the American dollar is a strong currency. Sure, we complain a lot about the cost of the dollar versus the cost of the Euro or the Pound, because those currency exchanges make it hard for us to vacation in Europe. However, it’s actually quite affordable for us to vacation in many places in Asia, Africa, and South America. In general, everything in those places just costs less.

Globalization May Be Hurting American Industry

Because the average cost of living is lower in Asia, it costs less (in American dollars) for Asian companies to pay their workers well. It makes sense: if a house and a beer are 1/3 the price in Beijing as they are in the U.S., then a full-time manufacturing job in Beijing can pay 1/3 the salary that we would make. And if their overhead costs are 1/3 of ours, overseas companies can sell their product for 1/3 the price that an American company would have to charge.

Unfortunately, there’s no reciprocation in these numbers. The low currency rates in other countries means they can profit off of what we see as low prices, but it also means that when we sell them something we’ve manufactured in our country, our prices seem astronomical to them.

To sum up: We can’t profitably export to other nations, and we can’t sell in the U.S. because imports are usually cheaper than domestic products. What are we to do? Find out in next week’s installment of this three-part series.

Learn More About Manufacturing Automation

If you’d like to see the real numbers behind manufacturing automation ROI in companies and industries like yours, Scanco can help.

Since 1989, we’ve been providing tools and solutions that help manufacturers and distributors do their jobs better and faster, so they can increase their sales and grow their businesses. We’re happy to lend a hand toward your business growth as well—for free!

Contact Scanco online to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how automation tools for Sage 100, Sage 500, or Acumatica can help your business reach new heights.

inventory control

Improve Inventory Control by Understanding Order Cycles

By | Inventory Management | No Comments

inventory controlYou already know that accurate inventory data matters. But if you need another reason, take a look at how data can help you understand order cycles to improve profitability.

If your business is typical, you have 45 to 90 percent of your capital tied up in inventory. Lowering this percentage through better inventory control, means that you have more cash to invest in new products and strategic initiatives. Inventory control can be improved by understanding your customers’ order cycles (the time between orders) and using that information to establish better inventory levels.

Let’s take a look at the impact that order cycles have on inventory control, and how understanding this impact can help you improve inventory levels.

Evaluate Product Demand

No two products sell exactly the same in a given period. Assessing the demand for your products can help you establish order cycles. When you know the times of highest demand for each product, you can ensure that you have enough on hand to meet orders. Conversely, you can also control stock levels during downtimes in the order cycle to prevent waste.

Negotiate Better Rates

Another way in which understanding order cycles can benefit your business is by examining the relationship between order cycles, inventory management, shipping, and cost of goods. If you know your order cycles, you may be able to negotiate better terms with your vendors to reduce cost of goods ahead of time. Not only will you have less items in your warehouse during slow times, but during business times you may be able to order in bulk with a negotiated price.

Balance the Cost Versus the Benefit

Consider whether or not inventory control efforts are worthwhile for all products in your warehouse. Some high-cost products may justify the effort of tight management, while others cost so little or take up so little space that spending time on ordering cycles and inventory management isn’t worthwhile. You must balance the costs versus the benefits on every aspect of inventory control.

Eliminate Out of Stock Messages

Sometimes, improved inventory control methods are helpful simply to reduce the number of “sorry, we’re out of stock” messages your customers see online or hear from their sales representatives. Nothing is so frustrating for your customers as learning that a part or product is out of stock just when they need it. “But you know that I always order that in January!” they may say, and they’re right. If you know your order cycles, you can have that item in stock and avoid too many frustrating “out of stock” messages.

Great Inventory Control Starts With Great Data

Great inventory control starts with great data. Scanco provides world-class inventory data collection systems that can set you on the path to greater profitability. Contact us for more information.

manufacturing automation

Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths – Part 1: Industry Output

By | Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationWe recently published an article talking about how manufacturing automation was only going to reduce jobs by 5%, but then the Canadian government started worrying people with their statement that a whopping 40% of the Canadian workforce would be replaced by machines. Then Bill Gates started talking about how we needed to tax robots like humans to offset the extreme upcoming job losses … so clearly there’s a lot of confusion right now.

If you’ve been curious about the real story behind how automation stands to change the economy and our American workforce, this three-part series will help explain the facts. Read on for part one of Manufacturing Automation: Debunking the Myths.

Fact: Automation Creates Opportunity

Though the McKinsey Global Institute just completed an exhaustive, 148-page study of workplace automation in January of 2017, which clarified exactly how many job tasks would be replaced by automation (5%), the myth that machines will take our jobs is still prevalent. It’s time to banish this myth.

Consider your smartphone or your computer. Back in the day, before computers and smartphones, we were able to complete less work in a day. Paper-based calculations were slow and error-prone (and dull!), and communications with clients had to be done over a landline or through the mail. Orders were slower, manufacturing was slower, distribution was slower … everything was slower.

With computers and smartphones, the pace of life and the pace of business have increased exponentially. The dull paper-based calculations of yesteryear are now both accurate and lightning fast, and communications are mind-bogglingly quick. These days, a customer may hear of your company for the first time ever at 12:32 PM, and make a purchase from you by 12:35 PM.

The internet and computers have opened up entirely new markets through globalization and have expanded customer accessibility and business exposure at rates we never thought possible. Why? Because using computers is faster and cheaper than the way we used to do business.

Computers, however, are only part of the solution. They can help us complete more transactions and run more reports, but sales potential is still limited by inventory counts. In other words: computers can sell product all day; but if there’s nothing left to sell, your customers won’t pay you. Automation helps solve this part of the problem because it helps companies keep up with consumer demand by creating more product—faster. And more sales naturally lead to more jobs.

But this doesn’t answer the whole question. After all, if manufacturing now has access to all these new markets and opportunities, and if automation helps meet increased customer demand … why are there job losses in the industry? Shouldn’t there be job growth?

Fact: As a Whole, Manufacturing Is Losing Money

Unfortunately, though consumer demand is higher, sales are not higher. One of the reasons that pundits keep saying automation is stealing our jobs is because of skewed statistics. These inaccurate statistics are perpetuating their own myth and adding to the fear that automation is stealing jobs.

The skewed numbers: Since 2000, manufacturing employment rates have dropped 30%, but manufacturing output has increased sharply. How can manufacturers produce far more with fewer people? We all assume the answer is due to automation.

The real numbers: In fact, since 2000, manufacturing employment rates have indeed dropped by 30%, but manufacturing output is currently 5% lower than pre-Recession numbers. Low output and low sales leads to low employment rates.

Why is there such a difference between the skewed numbers and the real numbers? Ironically, we can blame that on computers.

The skewed numbers come from the extreme output of the computer industry, including semiconductors. Computers only comprise 13% of the total manufacturing industry, and their output is measured in a bizarre way that has nothing to do with reality: their “output” is measured on computing performance. In essence, a computer that’s faster than last year’s model can technically do the job of last year’s computer, plus some.

To put that another way, if this year’s consumers are willing to pay 15% more for a computer that offers faster speeds and higher processing power than last year’s computers, those computers would be worth 115% of last year’s computers. In the computer industry, “output” is calculated based on perceived value of each comparable unit, not on number of units produced or sold.

Since it doesn’t take any more or less time for a worker in a computer factory to manufacture this year’s faster computer—the parts are still the same, but the chips are faster—the computer industry’s numbers are flawed. If we measure the output of the computer industry based on units produced, their production has actually dropped 7% since 2001.

Yet in that same time period, we’ve all bought far more computers. If we’re not making new computers, where are they all coming from? Got any guesses? Find out if your guess is right in the next installment of our series on automation.

Would Manufacturing Automation Create Opportunity for Your Company?

Find out real, relevant numbers behind manufacturing automation ROI in companies and industries like yours with help from the automation experts at Scanco.

Since 1989, we’ve been providing tools and solutions that help manufacturers and distributors do their jobs better and faster, so they can increase their sales and grow their businesses. We’re happy to lend a hand toward your business growth as well—for free!

Contact Scanco online to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how automation tools for Sage 100, Sage 500 and Acumatica can help your business reach new heights.

 

ERP Trends

Are You Ready for These ERP Trends?

By | Sage 100 ERP, Sage 500 ERP | No Comments

ERP TrendsYour operations probably depend on a solid ERP system. We don’t expect that to change but with all of the new technologies available, you can expect the systems to evolve. Take a look at the six ERP trends we will be watching and think you should too.

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Poised to potentially be one of the most disruptive technologies in history, AI is set to revolutionize many complex tasks once the sole domain of humans. This is expected to escalate, and will impact the way a business operates into the future. Imagine a scenario where a sales rep speaks their order telephonically to an ERP system. An invoice is immediately generated and sent to the customer, as is a purchase order to procurement to replenish stock levels. Easy, quick, accurate and secure.

  1. Big Data

The love affair between Big Data and ERP will grow even stronger in 2017, and looks set to become a rock-solid commitment. Big Data will continue to enable companies to gain greater visibility into smaller and more subtle changes in their business, helping them discover new market opportunities, revenue trends, and customer requirements for new product applications. Big data also simplifies the decision-making process, allowing management to be more agile and efficient.

  1. Rapid Innovation

Like with anything, the future requires simpler and faster technology, especially where users are concerned. The quicker a company can go from ideation to market adoption, the better it can disrupt and possibly influence markets and business models. With ERP, this translates to simple and clean applications that support users through quick and easy data entry and access to information.

  1. Continued growth of IoT

With an estimated 50 billion IoT sensors by 2020, companies face the daunting challenge of integrating and analyzing all this new data, as well as monetizing the functional use of sensors and applications required. ERP solutions with flexible inventory management will enable companies to develop and monetize new revenue streams, as well as to process this abundance of data.

  1. Mobile availability

Today’s professionals are constantly on the go, and mobile devices will continue to spearhead connectivity in the field. The demand for ERP solutions to deliver increased capacity and amplified output cannot be ignored. Employees must easily be able to access everything from dashboards to in-depth charts and displays.

  1. Social Media

Social media’s integration into ERP continues to evolve in 2017. ERP solutions connect users to all and any data they may require, but social networking is what allows them and their client to discuss these points in real time.

Scanco Stays on Top of the ERP Trends

We don’t sell ERP, but we integrate with these systems. Our goal is to automate and integrate all of your operations from the warehouse to manufacturing and into the field. Check out Scanco’s expanded manufacturing automation solutions for Sage 100 and Sage 500. Combined with our respected warehouse automation systems, your entire operations can be optimized for greater productivity. Contact us for a free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

warehouse automation

5 Ways Warehouse Automation Improves Your Warehouse

By | Warehouse Automation | No Comments

warehouse automationIf you’ve been reading the Scanco blog for a while, you’ve been hearing a lot about warehouse automation. That’s because we truly believe automation is the wave of the future for distribution companies that want to maintain their competitive edge.

Read this post to find out why it’s worth it to prioritize your automation strategy sooner rather than later.

What’s Warehouse Automation?

Warehouse automation helps your distribution company reduce operating costs while improving your speed, accuracy, and efficiency—and it’s something you can succeed with now. Though full automation (machines and robots doing all of our work for us) is a long way in the future, savvy companies are starting to automate now in smaller ways that help humans do their jobs better and faster.

What Distributors Stand to Gain from Automation

  1. Fast Product Movement

Insight into your warehouse inventory levels offers a lot of benefits, but the top one is that you always know your stock levels up to the minute, instead of the next day. With automation, you’ll have access to the real-time updates you need to ensure that when your customers want a rush product you have it in stock—and can move it faster with order allocation.

  1. Increased Accuracy

People get tired or they don’t see the details. In warehouses that sell a lot of small things, or that sell the same things in various colors, sizes, or kits, it can be easy for your workers to make a mistake and choose the wrong item. They may even think they’re choosing the right item, since it comes from the right item bin, but was put back incorrectly. Automation eliminates those problems, because it uniquely identifies your stock in a way humans can’t.

  1. Better Decision Making

Labor is expensive. When your warehouse automates processes such as pick and pack or shipping, you can free up labor costs to focus on acquiring great talent, or moving your already-existing great talent from a babysitting role to a strategic role. They say that two heads are better than one, so having your top minds on more strategic decisions could increase your company’s value in ways you never thought of before.

  1. Improved Efficiency

Just as with point #2, people get tired and they slow down or they make mistakes. With an intelligent warehouse that delivers real-time information, you can track efficiency in a way that makes sense, and you can optimize on your findings as well.

  1. Higher Profits

It should go without saying that companies with increased accuracy, faster product movement, improved efficiency, and better decision-making capabilities stand to make more money and grow faster—but we figured we’d mention it just as a reminder.

It’s Time Distributors Reclaimed The Respect They Deserve

These days, competition is tougher than ever. Distributors are being treated as commodities instead of like the trusted partners you are, yet you’re still breaking your backs to ensure that all orders from your warehouse are accurate and on time. Retail partners have started to keep scorecards that measure your overall behavior as a distributor … and if your company doesn’t get a great grade all the time on your scorecard, you can say goodbye to a highly lucrative contract.

It’s time to change all that, and the way to do so is through warehouse automation. Don’t wait until all your competitors have implemented this great, time-saving tool. Maintain your competitive edge and differentiate yourself with outstanding service, incredible speed, and impressive accuracy when you automate your warehouse.

Get Your Free Consultation

We understand that you have lots of questions about automation. We have answers. Even better, our answers take your specific situation into account, and our insight draws on our 26 of experience in the distribution field, so the answers we give make sense. Contact the Scanco experts online to schedule your consultation, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1.

How to Automate Your Mobile Field Service

By | Mobile Field Service, Scanco Service | No Comments

mobile field serviceWhen you rely on mobile field service to keep your customers happy, it’s important to be sure everything runs smoothly. One way to do this is to use a mobile app that is integrated with your ERP. Scanco Service connects with Sage 100 so that you have one source of data but many ways to use it.

Cloud-Based Automation

You’ve probably heard of “the cloud”, but how does it help service management? Think of cloud computing like many of the services you access online on any given day. Most of the services, like your favorite social media sites, operate on a cloud-based system. You can access them anywhere, or from handheld devices like tablets and smartphones. You don’t need to download complex software to use them; you simply log in from any web-based device. This makes it easy to log onto the system from work, home, or while waiting at the doctor’s office.

Cloud-based service management takes it one step further and puts the power of your entire system onto the cloud. Anyone on your team can see at a glance where the issues lie, what service calls have been scheduled, and other information entered into the system. It facilitates communication and makes it easier for field-based reps as well as office staff to get the big picture of the work schedule and more.

Scanco Service

Scanco Service is a mobile app that integrates seamlessly with Sage 100. You can track inventory on your truck, track your fleet with GPS, track job numbers and cost codes, and transfer goods from your inventory to your truck and back again. Check out all of the other great features by contacting us.

drop shipping

How to Manage Warehouse Inventory for Drop Shipping

By | warehouse management, Wave and Directed Picking | No Comments

drop shippingIn the past few years, warehouses have changed. In fact, the entire logistics industry has changed. The advent and increase of customer-driven e-commerce has turned what used to be a straightforward, relatively predictable business cycle and distribution model into a constant balance between picking speed, delivery speed, and, of course, those dreaded small parcel and LTL shipping logistics. Every warehouse is different, but here’s what the warehouse experts at Scanco say about how to manage warehouse inventory for increased customer orders that require drop shipping.

At Scanco, we’ve spent the past 26 years helping warehouses stay on the cutting edge of the latest fulfillment trends, and we’re always happy to share our insight. Contact us for a free consultation if you want to learn more about how you can optimize your warehouse for those ever-increasing e-commerce orders.

It’s Time to Rethink Your Pick-and-Pack Strategy

I’m going to come right out and say it immediately: It’s time for distributors to rethink the traditional wave picking method. I don’t say this to be argumentative. After all, I know wave picking is time-tested, highly effective, and very easy to organize. However, it’s just not efficient. (In case you don’t use wave picking or call it something else, I’ll clarify: I’m talking about the method of batching picks in “waves” that send their employees scurrying across the warehouse floor to find goods and pack them.)

The reason why this method is effective is because by keeping initial pick numbers manageable, it’s easier for both employees and supervisors to ensure that packed orders are accurate and complete before they go out the door. It also ensures that a stream of orders is always being completed, which helps keeps warehouses on schedule; however, its effectiveness is based on an old model of distribution.

Why Wave Picking Is Inefficient for E-commerce

Wave picking helps companies easily organize large, diverse orders—the kind of orders you’d typically send to a retail partner or other B2B contact. However, the small order sizes that direct-to-consumer (D2C) transactions usually create can waste your employees’ time by having them literally walk to the same area over and over to repick a popular or trending item again and again.

Wave picking won’t help you solve this problem, because batch queues tend to be relatively inflexible, meaning that more than one of your employees could be returning to pick up that same item over and over again throughout the course of a day.

Not only is this inefficient and wasteful of resources, it also irritates your employees, which, in turn, makes them less productive.

How to Manage Warehouse Inventory for E-commerce

The current e-commerce growth is not expected to slow any time soon—in fact, its popularity keeps increasing each year. According to eMarketer, online sales growth in 2016 reached a total of $1.915 trillion, which was a 19% increase over the 2015 numbers. It’s time you updated your systems to meet demand.

One popular way to manage inventory these days is to employ an “order streaming” method, which provides flexibility to warehouse supervisors in the way they:

  • Assign orders
  • Prioritize orders
  • Manage order-fulfillment speed

However, order streaming requires real-time alignment between your systems and your on-the-floor productivity, which takes in-warehouse order tracking and insight into your employee efficiency. A system like this may sound super futuristic, but we’re proud to announce that it’s here. Dashboard by Scanco helps your Sage 100 warehouse perform better, faster, and more flexibly so you can optimize your warehouse inventory management in our e-commerce age.

Choose a Better Warehouse Management Method

The times certainly are changing and, unless your distribution company changes right along with the times, you’re bound to fall behind. It’s time you rethought how to manage warehouse inventory so that you can keep pace with how businesses and customers have updated their shopping in the e-commerce world. Contact the Scanco experts online to learn how you can meet current purchasing trends easily, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1.

Press Release

Scanco Announces XScan for JAMS/Acumatica

By | Press Releases | No Comments

Press ReleaseNew product is the next frontier of mobile scanning for manufacturing and all-in-one warehouse management for Acumatica ERP users.

 

Sarasota, FL – Wednesday, March 15, 2017 – Scanco, a leader in barcoding solutions and

warehouse management technology, announces the expansion of its product line for Acumatica ERP users. Integrated, mobile manufacturing and warehouse automation will be available from one source, Scanco, when the product is rolled out in the second quarter.

“We are pleased to expand our products to include integration with Acumatica,” said Tess Boros, Partner at Scanco. “Acumatica Cloud ERP is growing rapidly and has received multiple awards including the 2016 CODIE award for the Best Supply Chain Management Solution. Pairing Acumatica with Scanco’s leading cloud-based automation solutions is a natural fit. This integrated manufacturing and warehouse automation solution will offer Acumatica ERP users a complete solution from production to shipping.”

XScan for JAMS/Acumatica will be available in Q2, 2017. XScan works on iOS and Android devices allowing labor tracking, material issues, production entries and more all on the production floor. “What separates Scanco’s manufacturing solution from other products is that it works online or offline,” commented Joe Bisaha, Director of Manufacturing at Scanco. XScan can work on the floor live, mobile live, mobile sync mode, or batch. This allows manufacturers to scan and validate, even when there is no Wi-Fi connection, and seamlessly sync without user intervention. “XScan was developed by manufacturing people working in the trenches,” added Bisaha. “Our manufacturing barcode solution works the way manufacturers really operate.”

Scanco Warehouse for Acumatica is an all-in-one warehouse management solution introduced at Acumatica Summit 2017 in January. Acumatica ERP users will be able to automate receiving, physical counts, cycle counts, warehouse and bin transfers, and order fulfillment on a mobile iOS or Android device. “We’ve provided warehouse automation solutions to manufacturers and distributors for nearly 30 years.” stated Shaun Boros, Partner at Scanco. “Over that time, we have continually improved our products to take advantage of the latest technology has to offer. Today, Scanco Warehouse can run in the cloud and on mobile devices.”

 

# # #

 

About Scanco Software LLC

Scanco Software LLC meets the needs of thousands of distribution and manufacturing operations with an extensive line of warehouse management solutions designed to integrate with ERP solutions. Scanco, a Boros Enterprise Company, has been providing top tier barcoding applications to businesses since 1989. To learn more about Scanco Software LLC visit http://www.scanco.com or call (330) 645-9959.

Press Contact(s):

Tess Boros

Scanco Software LLC

(330) 645-9959

tess@scanco.com

www.scanco.com

Sage 100 mobile sales

3 Tips to Keep Your Customers with Sage 100 Mobile Sales Apps

By | Sage 100 Mobile, Scanco Sales | No Comments

Sage 100 mobile salesAre you looking for strategies to improve customer retention in 2017? When you integrate your Sage 100 ERP with mobile sales apps, you have a wealth of customer data that can be used to encourage repeat sales as well as boost loyalty among your customers. The following three retention strategies can be implemented using Scanco Sales and achieve great results.

  1. Build a VIP system: You may know which of your customers are VIPs or you may need the help of your sales database to identify them. Establish criteria for your VIPs, whether it’s sales volume or frequency. Then think of ways to reward them for their patronage. Perhaps expedited shipping, free shipping, or a bonus may be a great way to reward them. Use your Scanco Sales app to communicate your thanks for their business and be sure to let them know you appreciate them.
  2. Personalize follow ups: Personalize follow-up communications with customers. Personalization goes beyond using their name in the salutation field. Use the information contained in the ERP system to reference previous orders and check on their satisfaction with their orders, to inquire whether a problem was resolved to their satisfaction, or simply to ask about their business needs in the next quarter. The more you can personalize your interactions with your customers, the better they respond and the more likely you are to keep their business.
  3. Scheduling sales calls: Use your Scanco Sales system to schedule sales calls, training calls, and check in calls with your customers. Record the information and make it a point to connect with valued customers at least quarterly, if not sooner. Include notes about each visit so that if someone else connects with them, they’ll have more information to prepare them for a successful visit.

Retaining existing customers and ensuring their continued satisfaction helps you build your business. With a base of happy customers, you can then continually expand and add more while maintaining a profitable business. Using your Sage 100 mobile sales app to boost retention rates is a smart business practice that will help you increase revenues.

Sage 100 Mobile Apps from Scanco

Scanco offers Sage 100 mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. To learn more, contact us.

Acumatica

How Acumatica ERP Users Can Automate Order Fulfillment

By | Automation | No Comments

AcumaticaCloud ERP has the potential to save companies massive amounts on operating costs while increasing their flexibility and mobility. Powerhouse cloud options like Acumatica connect warehouses all over for seamless logistics planning. For distributors, this sounds like just the breath of fresh air we’ve all been waiting for—but how can distributors take advantage of highly efficient, easy-to-use cloud ERP while maintaining the speed and efficiency they need to ensure on-time, 100% accurate order fulfillment? Easy: They automate their warehouses.

Learn about the benefits of integrating Scanco, StarShip, and American Payment Solutions for an automated order fulfillment process that can’t be beat and—when you’re ready—contact Scanco for a free consultation for your warehouse.

Why Automate Your Pick and Pack in Acumatica?

Flexible, easy-to-use warehouse management systems aren’t just a time saver; they’re a necessity in today’s world of ever-shorter fulfillment time frames. Gone are the days when customers would order in advance, and gone are the days when they “understood” about shipping delays. Also gone are the days in which a five-day shipping speed was acceptable.

These days, far more companies seem to be operating on the just-in-time (JIT) model of inventory stocking, intentionally keeping their retail locations or manufacturing operations barely filled so they can stay agile. Their lack of inventory levels puts the pressure on you to maintain stock for them and, if they can’t replenish their levels from you in record time, they’ll find another supplier.

In addition, the rise of e-commerce and the increase in the e-fulfillment model mean that now you’re responsible for coordinating small, one-off orders drop shipped directly to consumers which can kill your margins if you’re relying on fast employees with small carts to run through your warehouse for single, low-price items.

Clearly, with the speed and agility your warehouse needs to meet these many demands, it’s time to start considering warehouse automation—but if you only automate one part of your process, you’re missing out on significant time savings.

Why Automate Your Payment Solution in Acumatica?

We don’t have to tell you that getting paid faster is a good thing. However, we may have to remind you that Acumatica’s flexible system offers plug-ins for a whole ecosystem of vendors, which means you have the power to work with the same vendors you know and love, or to choose great new vendors to meet your pressing needs.

American Payment Solutions can be just the new vendor you’re looking for, with:

  • Some of the lowest American Express fees in the entire industry
  • PCI-DSS compliance assistance at no additional cost
  • Access to the Level III Gateway for lower interchange rates
  • Next-day funding available (American Express included)

With low rates and great customer service, American Payment Solutions offers your distribution operation the freedom to accept payment immediately for online orders (and more), so that you can process payments before you start picking a single thing.

Why Automate Your Shipping in Acumatica?

Though shipping isn’t as time consuming as sending your team marching through your warehouse again and again each day, the shipping process is the last key stage in your fulfillment process and it can be fraught with errors resulting from duplicate data entry. StarShip will help you get orders out the door quicker while delivering the level of customer service your D2C customers expect.

Here’s how:

  • Eliminate error-prone manual re-keying of data into carrier systems
  • Rate shop and ship small parcel and LTL carriers from a single application
  • Streamline international shipments and automatically generate associated documents
  • Create custom emails and labels that strengthen your brand and drive repeat business

Learn More about Your Automation Options

If you’re ready to learn more about how your distribution operations can succeed with automation, we’re here to help. We offer a free consultation to companies that are curious about how automation can help and we can help you get your system set up, too. Contact Scanco online to schedule your consultation, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1.

manufacturing automation

Robotics Continue to Advance in Manufacturing Automation

By | Manufacturing Automation, Sage 100, Sage 500 ERP | No Comments

manufacturing automationRobotics in manufacturing automation isn’t new but it has become more mainstream and more accessible to smaller operations. A study by Price Waterhouse Cooper found that 59% of manufacturers use robotics in some way in their operations. What does this mean for your business’ future?

Enhanced Productivity and Profitability

Robotics are used in industries like automotive, food, beverage, and life sciences manufacturing to perform tasks requiring dexterity that people just don’t have. The new generation of robotics entering the manufacturing scene are lighter, smarter, and more flexible than their predecessors. These new robots can work independently on tasks or perform partial tasks so that people can finish them.

Humans are great at problem-solving and creativity, but when it comes to manipulating tiny objects or keeping an environment sterile, it’s nearly impossible for people to compete with robots. In such cases, robotics adds to a manufacturer’s capabilities. People, and machines, can work together for enhanced productivity and profitability.

New Job Opportunities in Manufacturing Automation

As newer, robotics-fueled systems are added to the workplace, more jobs will be created, according to PwC. People will be needed to program, troubleshoot, and engineer robotics and robotics-powered systems. One-third of U.S. manufacturers agreed that more jobs will be created thanks to the surge in robotics in the manufacturing environment. Manufacturing automation is creating new jobs in addition to those companies have grown accustomed to filling.

Are Robotics in Your Future?

Of course, robotics may be at your plant already, or it may be in your future. Each manufacturing facility must make smart decisions about when it makes sense to upgrade and when it makes sense to continue using manual labor.

If you are looking for other ways to automate your manufacturing facility, check out Scanco’s mobile manufacturing automation tools that integrate with Sage 100, Sage 500 and Acumatica. Contact us for more information.

Sage 100 warehouse management

Dashboard: The Modern Sage 100 Warehouse Management System

By | Sage 100, Warehouse Management System | No Comments

Sage 100 warehouse managementAs a distributor, you’re in a constant battle to keep up with demand, maintain stock levels, and ship out the door. With the old wave method, you had predictable dips and spikes in productivity based on what stage of the batch each member of your team had completed, but with the advent of the e-commerce era, we need a new method for Sage 100 warehouse management. Now, it’s here.

Contact us to find out more about Dashboard, the new dashboard management application that helps you manage your Sage 100 warehouse—only from Scanco.

Faster Order Fulfillment

With Dashboard, it’s easy to get orders picked, packed, and out the door. Why? Because you’re always maintaining productivity levels.

The fact is that some of your employees are super productive … but others aren’t. Of course you want to assign more complex orders to the more effective people on your workforce, helping increase order fulfillment speed all around, but with the older wave-picking methods, your batch queues were largely inflexible.

Dashboard gives you the freedom to assign more work or more complex work to your more productive individuals, and you’ll also have instant insight into the up-to-date, real-time stats you need regarding productivity for all your employees. With high flexibility and unprecedented insight, you can ensure that your orders get fulfilled faster than ever.

Sage 100 Warehouse Management for the Future

Dashboard offers your warehouse a range of tools that’ll take the pressure off your distribution plate while maintaining high levels of efficiency. These tools and features include:

  • Real-time status per employee – See how each employee is doing on overall productivity, efficiency, and work completion rates, and see where they are in their task-completion cycle so you can start planning your next steps.
  • Flexible assignment options – Assign any orders to any active warehouse users so you can maintain productivity levels, prioritize super-important orders, and manage your labor time in the most efficient manner possible.
  • Live insight – Stay up to date with completely up-to-date numbers about the percentage of orders assigned and the percentage of orders in process, then drill down into those numbers to get more information instantly.
  • Full customization – Don’t waste your time on data or numbers that don’t match your warehouse needs, layout, or size; instead, customize your dashboard to get only the information you need so you can stay on top of your Sage 100 warehouse management, literally with a single glance.
  • Chat – Keep in touch with your team so you can check in on work status or delays, no matter where you are and no matter where they are. This will help you deliver important messages in a jiffy, as well as motivate lagging employees.

A Whole New Way to Stay Balanced

In the distribution world, especially after the introduction of e-commerce and small, direct to customer (D2C) orders, the pace of business has increased, but the requirement for 100% accuracy has also increased—it’s become essential to maintaining your business reputation and clients. With Dashboard’s flexible, manager-driven Sage 100 warehouse management model, your distribution business can finally get that well-deserved breather you’ve been waiting for.

Get a Deal on Dashboard

Normally, to get access to Dashboard, your warehouse would have to upgrade to the Enterprise level of your Scanco management solution. However, from now through the end of March, Scanco is offering Dashboard to current Scanco users with no upgrade needed!

Schedule your custom online demo to see Dashboard in action, and to see how this enhancement can save hours of your time and increase your fulfillment speed. Contact Scanco online to set up your demo, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1.

manufacturing automation

Why Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation Integration Matters

By | Automation, Barcode Software, Barcoding, Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationAccounting software, warehouse management systems, manufacturing automation, sales software—in many businesses these are separate systems that rarely talk to one another. While choosing individual software systems may meet departmental needs, having separate systems often creates more problems than they solve. The fact is: integration matters.

When systems don’t talk, far more time and money is spent in reconciling the systems and re-entering data. It’s like the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing. Inventory may be out of stock or over-stocked because sales and order information is automatically updated in the warehouse. Manufacturing may be creating items but they are entered incorrectly into the warehouse.

This disconnect can be eliminated with integrated ERP and manufacturing and warehouse automation. Scanco provides the warehouse and manufacturing automation tools along with apps for sales and service that are fully integrated with your Sage 100 ERP. Using mobile barcode scanners, Sage 100c users can automate data collection and processing from accounting, bill of materials, manufacturing, distribution, and shipping.

Our goal is to automate and integrate all of your operations. Check out Scanco’s expanded manufacturing automation solutions for Sage 100 and Sage 500. Combined with our respected warehouse automation systems, your entire operation can be optimized for greater productivity. Contact us for a free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

ACS and Scanco Software announce free Multi-Bin Standard Edition for all Sage100 and Sage100c users

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Sarasota, FL – February 22, 2017 – ACS Group, the creators of the Multi-Bin enhancement for the Sage100 ERP solution and Scanco Software, a leader in Warehouse Management and Manufacturing Automation barcoding technology, announce Multi-Bin Standard is now available for free for both Sage100 and Sage100c customers. ACS Group created the Multi-Bin enhancement for Sage100 over 20 years ago and today it continues to offer the most advanced solutions available for Sage100 and Sage100c users. In 2015, ACS and Scanco partnered to develop ONE Software, combining the ACS Multi-Bin functionality and Scanco barcoding Management and Automation technologies into a single, unified solution. ACS and Scanco service thousands of customers in the Sage100 market and have over 60 years of combined experience in Warehouse Management and Manufacturing Automation.

“The decision for us to make Multi-Bin Standard free for all Sage100 users goes back to our commitment to the Sage ecosystem and all of the current users.  We will continue to provide the best customer service directly to our customers and provide the most advanced feature set available on the market today.  We have over 20 years of user feedback and successful installations, which help guide our product enhancements moving forward. We didn’t want to leave any Sage100 user without an option to add Multi-Bin at no cost,” comments Ron Chompf, Partner at ACS.

“Scanco and ACS will continue to provide top-tier products and services to the Sage100 community.  We are the only provider with the experience and Sage Certified consulting teams to serve basic operations- to the most complex and automated warehouse and manufacturing floors.” Says Joe Bisaha, Director of Manufacturing at Scanco.  “This gives all of Sage’s customers access to the latest in technology for both distribution and manufacturing from the pioneers in this industry.”

“It was very important to all of us at ACS and Scanco that we provide the best solution available to all Sage100 users,” comments Tess Boros, Partner at Scanco. “We have been leading in this space for almost 30 years and continue to innovate both Warehouse Management and Manufacturing Automation technology for our Sage100 users.  This is just one more first from the companies that started it all for Sage.”

About ACS Group, Inc.

With over 20 years of experience with Sage, ACS Group offers state of the art expertise for the entire family of Sage100 products. Our Gold Development Partner status with Sage allows us to customize any Sage management software to meet the specific needs of each and every industry. www.acsg.com

About Scanco Software, LLC.

Scanco Software, LLC. created the first Warehouse Automation solution for Sage100 in 1989 and now meets the needs of thousands of distribution and manufacturing operations with an extensive line of warehouse and manufacturing management solutions designed for Sage100, Sage500, Acumatica, and NetSuite. To learn more about Scanco Software, LLC. visit www.scanco.com or call (330) 645-9959.

Press Contact(s):

J Letendre
Scanco Software LLC
(330) 645-9959
J@scanco.com
www.scanco.com

 

mobile warehouse solutions

10 Top Benefits of Mobile Warehouse Solutions

By | Warehouse Automation | No Comments

mobile warehouse solutionsIn the distribution industry, it seems there’s never enough time to get everything done, and savvy distributors understand that if they want to stay ahead in today’s consumer-demand-driven environment, they’ll have to keep putting in longer and longer hours, unless they plan smart.

Learn how mobile warehouse solutions can help your distribution company not only keep pace, but pull ahead of the competition with these top 10 benefits:

  1. Eliminate Data Delays

With connected mobile devices in your warehouse, your team won’t waste time duplicating each other’s efforts because they’ll always have access to the updated order status information they need.

  1. Increase Productivity

Mobile solutions help your team instantly move from one order to the next without pausing to enter data at a workstation—their mobile handsets will automatically enter the data for them!

  1. Get Real-Time Insight

A mobile-based warehouse solution not only keeps your team on track picking orders, it also keeps you on track managing orders because you’ll constantly have real-time insight into the exact status of your inventory.

  1. Answer Customer Queries

Since mobile warehouse solutions keep your inventory numbers up to date at all times, you can trust that the numbers you see in your office are the numbers you’d see on the floor. You can deliver customer satisfaction with fast answers to questions and orders shipped right when you said they’d be.

  1. Keep Employees on Their Toes

Stop your workers from wasting time while they’re moving from bin to bin when you give them helpful access to real-time statistics regarding your warehouse’s overall and detailed productivity stats.

  1. Make Job Completion a Breeze

Employees who are used to spending time entering tedious data at various workstations will be amazed at how quickly their work tasks go by when they don’t have to worry about data entry.

  1. Find Inventory Fast

Locate inventory items in record time, either on foot for packing purposes, or on screen for query purposes—no matter what bins they’re stored in. Finally, you’ll be able to find inventory wherever it was placed because mobile solutions leave no room for data-entry error.

  1. Pick, Pack, and Ship Faster

Your workers will literally be speeding through the warehouse because they’ll know where inventory is, and their pick, pack, and ship process won’t require any time-consuming paperwork to finish. They’ll simply have to collect, scan, pack, and scan again. Easy.

  1. Avoid Gaps in Data

Mobile solutions help your warehouse floor wonderfully, but they need to seamlessly connect to your ERP so they can help your front and back offices view and access necessary, up-to-date information with no missing or delayed data.

  1. Enjoy Business Growth

Because mobile warehouse solutions grant you real-time access to data and speed up your operations, you’ll be able to take on more work in less time, which will help you grow your business faster than your competition.

Put It All Together with Mobile Warehouse Solutions

From employee management, to fast accurate data and happier customers, the benefits that come from a mobile warehouse solution help your distribution company deliver better service in record time so that you can grow your business with confidence. But these are only the top 10 benefits. There are many, many other benefits that mobile-based solutions bring to your warehouse operations.

Learn how your warehouse can benefit from mobile solutions when you contact the warehouse experts at Scanco. Since 1989, Scanco has been helping companies like yours streamline operations to enhance efficiency, and we’d love to meet with you to identify and repair the main workflow delays you face. Contact us online or call us at 1-877-SCANCO-1 to schedule your free consultation today.

warehouse efficiency

Increase Warehouse Efficiency by Ditching the Paper

By | Barcoding, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

warehouse efficiencyPaper documents are a huge source of inefficiency in the warehouse. Think about how much time your staff spends sorting, filling out, and filing paper. What happens when a document can’t be found? Recreating it is both expensive and time-consuming.  If you want to increase your warehouse efficiency, the place to start is ditching paperwork and moving toward complete warehouse automation.

Paper often slows down warehouse processes. In an automated warehouse, orders can be viewed on handheld devices. Barcode scanners can track items and packages. The work can be processed anywhere with mobile devices and handheld scanners.

Scanco’s Sage 100 barcoding software can eliminate extra paperwork and let your staff collect and receive data from incoming and outgoing shipments quickly and easily.

Inventory counts, item quantities, lots, and serial numbers can all be automated, virtually eliminating the cost of manual data errors. Barcoding can also automate procedures for many routine tasks. It takes guesswork out of your system, and makes it easier to keep track of items, record them accurately, and locate items within your warehouse system.

Scanco’s barcoding software works with a wide range of devices, including Windows, Android, and iOS systems. Choose from among your existing computers, tablets, and smartphones to automate your whole warehouse. With Sage 100 barcoding software, barcode scanning is made easy.

Scanco offers integrated manufacturing and warehouse automation tools that will streamline your operations and generate more profits. If you would like to see what these systems can do for your operations, contact us.

manufacturing automation

3 Steps to Achieving Manufacturing Automation

By | Automation, Manufacturing Automation, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationYou already know that automation tools can help your company become more productive, while also increasing your overall speed and agility. You’ve also recently heard through the grapevine that your competitors are planning to start automating their operations in the very near future. Clearly this year is the year you need to start planning your own manufacturing automation process … but you aren’t sure where to start.

At Scanco, we’ve been in the automation business since 1989, and we’re happy to help you understand how you can achieve the time-saving automation your company can use to stay ahead of the competition. All you need to do is start with these three steps:

  1. Eliminate Duplicates

Saving time and automating your manufacturing operations starts with keeping everyone on the same page, no matter where they are on the shop floor. This will help your company avoid duplicating orders, producing excess inventory, or using extra raw materials, so that you can stay not just on track, but moving forward at all times.

Eliminate duplicates in your own business with easy-to-use mobile technology that keeps your workforce on task as they seamlessly track raw materials usage and inventory, as well as production status, work order stages, and other critical data that helps you plan better. Choosing a system with real-time updates will keep everyone in your company informed at all times—without pesky sync delays.

  1. Apply Automation to Everything

Keeping jobs and production moving fast is only a single facet of your job, but you have a lot more to take care of during your workday. That’s why it’s important to automate all the routine tasks that take up your time, such as labor tracking, time card updates, materials tracking, field service dispatch, production status info, and quality control entries.

With mobile-based automation software, it will be easy to track your labor hours and activity for all your employees, whether they’re on the shop floor or out in the field. Plus, since your workforce will always have their updating tools at hand (literally), automation will get you the real-time data you need to answer customer queries instantly, as well as strategically plan your production based on updated order or supply-chain information.

  1. Integrate with Your ERP

Automating your shop floor is only effective if you use tools that can integrate seamlessly with your ERP system. After all, without ERP integration, you’ll have to enter all the data your manufacturing operations create into your ERP yourself, which increases your likelihood of data-entry error and wastes all that time you saved in automating your manufacturing operations.

Ensure that the real-time updates you get from your production line reach everyone in your company, with data that transmits instantly from your employees’ handhelds on the shop floor into your Sage 100 system. Not only will ERP integration help you plan your time and resources better, it’ll give you reporting capabilities and in-depth insight into how you can improve your operations to become even more efficient.

It’s Easy to Get Started with Manufacturing Automation

Okay, so now you know you need to eliminate duplications, apply automation across your entire shop-floor operations, and integrate your solution into your ERP, but you’re still not sure where you can find a great manufacturing automation solution? That’s the easiest part. You just need to get in touch with the automation experts at Scanco.

When you’re ready to start planning, we here at Scanco will be happy to meet with you so you can determine the exact benefits your manufacturing company would achieve by implementing cutting-edge, mobile-based manufacturing automation tools. Contact Scanco online or call us at 1-877-SCANCO-1 to set up your free consultation.

Sage 100 mobile

Avoid Inconsistent Customer Messages with Sage 100 Mobile Apps

By | Sage 100 Mobile | No Comments

Sage 100 mobileBusy customers want options to communicate with your company and they want every interaction, whether it is sales, order management, or billing to be consistent. Fortunately, businesses have tools available to them to ensure consistent messaging across channels.

Integrated ERP is the key to ensuring that there is one source of data across all departments. Easy access to that data ensures that communication is consistent. Fortunately, for Sage 100 users, Scanco offers Sage mobile apps that open up access to your data in the warehouse, on the manufacturing floor, and out in the field with sales and service.

Sage 100 Data for All

The benefit of integrated software and mobile access is that the data contained in Sage 100 can be made available to everyone throughout your organization. The sales team checking on accounts reports the same customer information as the call center. Call center teams can log customer complaints or concerns into the system so that sales knows what’s going on with their accounts. It’s a seamless way to communicate messages throughout your company as well as throughout the multichannel world your customers live in.

Sage 100 Mobile Apps from Scanco

Scanco offers Sage 100 mobile apps for manufacturing and warehouse automation as well as sales and field service. To learn more, contact us.

mobile field service

Essential Tasks for Your Mobile Field Service Solution

By | Field Service Management, Mobile Field Service | No Comments

mobile field serviceFor many companies, a mobile field service solution doesn’t simply provide great customer service to far-flung clients—it’s actually an operational necessity. It’s also a prime differentiator than can help you pull ahead of your competition. However, you don’t want to differentiate yourself the wrong way by becoming the company known for late arrivals, hassle-filled paperwork, and inaccurate invoices. Whether your clients require help in their homes, offices, or on the road, using the right field service software will help you deliver better, more timely service, making it easy for your clients to add you to their speed-dial list when they need a hand at a location of their choice.

Online and Offline Mode

Access out in the field can be spotty, and you don’t want to keep your clients waiting as your employees stare at their smartphone screens and complain that they have “no bars.” Instead, you should make sure to choose software that seamlessly completes client transactions and offers important data whether your employees are online or offline at the time, and then syncs any updates back to your main system when data connectivity is restored.

Easy-to-Use Software

We know this won’t be a surprise to you, but your field service employees … well, they work away from the office. Yes, we know that’s obvious information, but we often run into companies that don’t take that fact into consideration when purchasing their mobile field service software, and they end up with hard-to-use software that doesn’t work well on a mobile device.

Just as you don’t want your employees wasting time waiting for a network connection, you also don’t want them to look unprofessional in front of your clients by having trouble entering or accessing important data. It’s hard to maintain professionalism and stay on schedule if your employees are all trying (and failing) to operate their mobile device software, and it’s even less professional if they have to call the office for help.

Plus, when they don’t know how to use their software, they’re bound to make critical time and billing errors you’ll need to sort out later. Instead of dealing with all that, help out your team; give them easy-to-use, intuitive software, and they’ll use it well.

Fleet Tracking with GPS

None of us like waiting around for service, and arrival/service times “anywhere from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM” are so ludicrous that they’ve become a joke in modern culture. Predicting arrival times is tough, but your company can rise above your competitors by answering customer queries with narrowed arrival windows and up-to-date fleet locations. To do this, however, you’ll need a solution that offers GPS tracking so you always know how close your employees are to their next destination.

Real-Time Updating

Fleet tracking only provides part of the solution though. It’s a fact of life that field-service work often takes longer than expected. Whether the delays are due to hard-to-reach access points, unexpected problems that went way beyond your customer’s descriptions, missing parts, bad weather, or any of the other countless slowdowns that occur nearly every day, the fact is: you need to know the real-time status of work orders so that you can answer customer queries and schedule your jobs properly.

Help your dispatch team work efficiently with real-time updating options that are built right in to your field service solution.

Learn More About Mobile Field Service Software

Find out more about how you can empower your field-service employees and dispatchers with the information they need all the time, right at their fingertips. Schedule your free consultation with the software experts at Scanco and get the advice and assistance you need to sift through and select the right mobile field service solution for your company. Reach out to our Scanco experts online, or call us directly at 1-877-SCANCO-1.

voice computing

Voice Computing Emerging in Warehouse Automation

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

voice computingVoice computing has finally taken off. Voice has replaced touch screens as the next big shift in the way people interact with computers. One of the hot gifts last Christmas was Amazon Echo controlled by Alexa who can do everything from control smart appliances, answer questions, and tell jokes. Apple’s Siri handles over 2 billion commands a week and 20% of Google searches on Android platforms are input by voice.

Voice has the power to transform computing by providing a natural means of interaction. (Economist)

Voice computing is significantly more reliable than in the past. Computers can recognize almost anyone’s speech dependably without training. This is due to the power of “deep learning,” an artificial-intelligence technique in which a software system is trained using millions of voice examples.

Sage 100 Warehouse Automation Using Voice Computing

Scanco Warehouse 100 now offers hands-free barcoding accessories that can significantly enhance productivity in the warehouse. Voice activation enables workers to complete barcoding projects quickly and while handling other materials, so you don’t have to have someone tied up with a scanner or other equipment. Voice-activation makes it fast and simple. 

To learn more about Scanco’s warehouse automation tools, contact us.

warehouse automation

Will Warehouse Automation Take Over Your Job?

By | Warehouse Automation | No Comments

warehouse automationSince the rise of machines in the Industrial Revolution, humankind has worried that these “infernal contraptions” would take our jobs. However, we’ve come a long way since the Spinning Jenny and the Cotton Gin of the Industrial Revolution—and the machines haven’t managed to take our jobs yet. However, automation is a whole new hurdle. A recent, in-depth report from McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has compiled the evidence and the facts are in: warehouse automation will not take our jobs.

Curious about what the future of jobs is? Of course you are. Read this article to find out how the future’s automated workforce will change our workdays.

The Rise of the Robots

Since the advent of computers, machine learning and artificial intelligence have been a near-constant worry to us humans. A quick assessment of films like The Terminator, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Matrix (as well as an assessment of their long-lasting popularity) show that, no matter what we say, we fear that machines will take our jobs, destroy our lifestyles, and steal our happiness.

We’ve got good news for you. According to the MGI report, unless you want nothing else in life but to spend your days doing hard physical labor, tediously collecting dull measurements, and calculating statistical math by hand, those machines are not going to take your job, lifestyle, or happiness.

Full Warehouse Automation Is Still Sci-Fi

While it’s true that machines and computers will soon be taking a lot of dull, tiresome tasks away from us, we’re still nowhere close to a fully automated environment in our warehouses. Human beings are still the most important element in every single warehouse. After all, only humans can come up with creative innovations that made your warehouse work faster, better, and smarter; our computers’ “thoughts” and actions are limited by the extent of their programming.

If the idea of automation has been scaring you, these facts, taken from the MGI report, will help ease your fears:

  • Machines won’t be able to do any of the interesting parts of your job
  • Automation tools can only do repetitive physical tasks in highly structured environments
  • Only 5% of jobs in the world can be fully replaced by automation
  • Approximately only half the work tasks we do can be automated
  • Global automation-tool adoption isn’t expected until 2055

The best fact of all comes from historical example: Scientists view the Industrial Revolution as the biggest contributor to our modern economy and lifestyle, and they attribute the Industrial Revolution with improving both our quality and length of life. History has proven that machines make our lives better, easier, and more fun. Don’t believe me? Think about all the machines in your home that improve your quality of life and overall happiness.

Trust us. Warehouse automation is not going to take your job—it’s going to make your job better for you.

Start Improving Your Job with Automation Now

Ready to start cutting those tedious, dull tasks out of your warehouse? Even though global automation is a long way off, today’s American automation tools can help you speed up your warehouse and increase overall productivity. All it takes to start automating your warehouse is a few smartphones (iOS, Android, or Windows), and highly effective warehouse automation software.

Scanco’s cutting-edge solutions will help you save time and enjoy your workday more with:

  • Real-time information
  • Accurate bin-location tracking
  • Live validation for shipping and receiving data
  • Reduced data entry
  • Seamless integration with Sage 100, Sage 500 ERP, NetSuite, and Acumatica
  • Flexibility tailored to meet your company’s unique needs

It’s Time to Create the Future of Your Business

At Scanco, our goal is to automate and integrate all your operations, so that you can grow your warehouse and still have time for your own life. Learn more about Scanco’s automation systems so you can start optimizing your operations for greater (dare I say futuristic?) productivity. Contact us to schedule your free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

manufacturing automation

What is the Value of Better Data from Manufacturing Automation?

By | Barcoding, Manufacturing Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationThe right manufacturing barcoding tools not only streamline operations but also collect data to drive better decision-making.

We often feel locked into our typical methods of conducting business simply because we’re focused on the daily needs of our companies. Manufacturers are especially keyed into daily sales quotas, supply chain demands, shipment needs, and so forth. It’s hard to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Using the data generated by your manufacturing barcoding system, you can use business intelligence tools to make predictions about where to expand your company, how to grow it beyond current capacities, how to leverage customer relationships and more. Real-time data, provided to people with the experience, insight, and ability to use it to make decisions, can change how your business performs.

Extra Insights Are Worth the Investment

Typical business insights that you can gain from manufacturing barcoding tools and your ERP include:

  • Real-time updates at every stage of the supply chain so that manufacturers can make informed decisions.
  • Insights into customer relationships, so you can grow and expand your customer base from the knowledge gleaned about your existing customers.
  • Better information on shipments, orders, fulfillment, and returns so you can plan and forecast more effectively.

The right data can help you make better business decisions. With better insight, you can forecast new markets, improve sales in existing markets, predict trends and plan on manufacturing new products. It’s amazing how accurate and timely data can transform your business.

Not only can the right data transform current manufacturing processes, it can also improve forecasting. Forecasting is part art, part science, but it always relies on having an accurate picture of past and current performance. With such data, your management team can improve their forecasting ability, leading to lower costs and greater profits.

Scanco offers manufacturing barcoding with WO Scan. This manufacturing barcode solution can track labor, materials, completions, and quality control quickly and effortlessly. This data will allow you to find areas to improve efficiency and streamline your business.

We also offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software, and label printing that can be integrated with your manufacturing automation system. Learn more about our services online or contact us.

Sage 100 warehouse

4 Warehouse Management Tips to Reduce Fulfillment Errors

By | Sage 100, Warehouse Automation, warehouse management | No Comments

Sage 100 warehouseAre Fulfillment Mistakes Taking a Bite Out of Your Profitability?

Every time you send an order out the door, your company’s reputation is on the line. A few fulfillment mistakes such as the wrong item shipped or the wrong quantity picked can add up to a poor reputation and lost revenue. Your customers count on you for their success just as you need them for yours. If your company needs to establish a better reputation in the eyes of your customers, we have several tips to improve your warehouse management and reduce fulfillment errors.

Tip #1: Automate your warehouse.

Automated warehouses use barcode scanners, warehouse management systems, and other tools to log goods into the warehouse and log them out again during fulfillment. Such systems reduce the amount of manual errors made by failing to count items, incorrect counts, and mistakes during data entry.

Tip #2: Add structure to the process.

If your warehouse doesn’t have a structured process for receiving orders, picking, packing, and shipping, you are leaving the success rate of your order fulfillment to chance. You can reduce mistakes and close gaps in the system by creating a structure and process that details each step for your employees. Make sure that the process is in writing, and train your employees on each step in the process. Don’t leave it to your employees to create the steps in the process or you will end up with many, perhaps competing, processes in place.

Tip #3: Reduce the number of steps in order fulfillment.

Another area that can be problematic for many companies is that the number of steps it takes to fulfill orders is so lengthy and complicated that employees can’t remember them easily. Any process with more than a handful of steps is open to mistakes. Spend some time in the warehouse working alongside your team to actually see what’s working and what doesn’t. Then update the process, reducing redundant steps and making it simple and effective.

Tip #4: Set a baseline to measure improvement.

You may have heard from employees that there are “many” mistakes being made in the shipping process. Just how many mistakes qualify as “many?” Whenever you can, quantify the situation and set a baseline so that you will know for certain whether improvements you make are having the desired effect.

Let’s assume that you know that as of today, 5% of orders have a mistake in them. When you examine this data, you see that employees are mixing up packages, placing the wrong packages in the wrong shipper’s bins. This delays orders because the packages are returned from the incorrect shipper.

Given that 5% figure and an understanding of the nature of the problem, you can now take action steps to rectify it. You can reward employees for reducing the error rate. There are many things you can do to reinforce the positive nature of your improvements. Without the baseline, however, there’s no way to know whether changes made any impact at all.

Eliminate Fulfillment Mistakes With Warehouse Management Systems from Scanco

Scanco can help take your warehouse management to the next level and eliminate many of the mistakes that are ruining your company reputation and hurting profitability. We offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software and label printing, and much more. Learn more about our services online or contact us.

manufacturing automation

5 Ways to Maximize Your Warehouse or Manufacturing Automation Investment

By | Automation, Manufacturing Automation, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationAutomating your warehouse or manufacturing floor will streamline your operations and increase profitability. But are you getting the most from your investment? These five tips will help you take your automation investment to the next level.

  1. Make Sure Your System Supports Your Strategic Plan

Your warehouse and manufacturing automation tools and software should support your company’s strategic plans. Examine your annual, five-year, and ten-year growth plans. Make sure that the system chosen for your operation is scalable and supports growth over time. Many cloud solutions, such as Scanco Warehouse 100 and Scanco 500 Manufacturing Automation, are easy to scale up to meet planned or unexpected growth.

  1. Establish and Adhere to Data Policies

Your ERP system is only as good as the data it contains. Warehouse and manufacturing automation systems provide accurate, real-time data. Even so, you should establish data policies. Determine what information goes into the system and how it will be used ahead of time. Select someone on staff to become the “data police” to ensure that the policies are maintained, updated, and adhered to throughout the company. The better the data, the more accurate the reports you will receive from the system.

  1. Build Process Maps

Establish process maps so that anyone coming aboard in your company can follow the map and use the automation system tools and software easily from their first day on the job. Written process and implementation documents ensure that information isn’t lost when someone leaves the company; the information can be easily shared and transmitted to other employees over time.

  1. Ensure Adequate Training

Employees must receive thorough training in your warehouse and manufacturing automation tools in order to obtain maximum benefit from it. Group training sessions are important. Make sure that someone in the company is trained as the system “champion”—the go-to person for onsite trouble shooting. This person can answer questions, help find solutions to problems, and be on call within the company for any problems or advanced issues that may arise with the automation system.

  1. Monitor and Measure Productivity

By choosing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), you can monitor your productivity and identify areas for more improvement. Perhaps you can save time or money, or gain information from the system that helped you improve job functions, processes, or other aspects of your business.

Scanco offers integrated manufacturing and warehouse automation tools that will streamline your operations and generate more profits. If you would like to see what these systems can do for your operations, contact us.

Scanco Service

3 Steps to Improve Your Sage 100 Mobile Sales and Service Data

By | Mobile Field Service, Sage 100 Mobile, Scanco Sales, Scanco Service | No Comments

Scanco ServiceWhen was the last time you cleaned out your customer data? At least once a year, you should clean your files and organize your data. Having inaccurate customer data can lead to lower satisfaction due to misplaced shipments, wrong names, or other mishaps.

How do you clean up your customer data? If your employees have been making changes in the Scanco Sales, Scanco Field Service, or ERP systems on a regular basis, this should not be a difficult task. Sage 100 mobile apps get the customer data into the hands of the employees with regular customer contact. Even so, setting aside time to clean up duplicate, misfiled, and incomplete records is important. Much of the work can be completed internally, but some, such as identifying customers who have moved and updating their forwarding address with post office information, is easier to accomplish using a third-party database vendor or list vendor.

Let’s take a look at some of the essentials of a customer data checkup.

#1: Review customer records.

You can run basic reports to find incomplete files and records in your database. You can also review customer files and compare names to find potential duplicates. When running such records, be sure to manually review any potential duplicates. Some will be easy to spot: XYZ Company matched to XYZ Company may be a clear duplicate. But others, such as James H. Black at XYZ Company, James Black, and Jim Black may all refer to the same person. You may need to do some detective work to ascertain whether or not an item is in fact a true duplicate or whether your company just happens to have a lot of Mr. Blacks as contact people. (Stranger things have happened!)

#2: Update customer communication preferences.

Another task that you can tackle during your cleanup project is to update customer preferences. If you do not already track customer communication preferences, it may be wise to add fields now to do so in the future. Customers increasingly expect companies they interact with to remember and utilize their chosen communication preferences. If someone prefers a phone call over an email, it is both courteous and good service to place that phone call. It is also wise, since they may not answer emails swiftly. To update customer preferences, consider sending a short, simple email out to your customers asking them to confirm their choices and offering them the option of changing any at this time. A little courtesy goes a long way to improve customer service.

#3: Remove defunct records.

Customers come and customers go, and some companies go out of business. Designate someone at your company to update records annually, and collect information on companies that have stopped ordering, stopped doing business with you or who have gone out of business. It will not pay to send marketing or other communications materials to such companies.

Your Sage 100 mobile apps, such as Scanco Sales and Scanco Field Service, add great value to the company’s objectives, but it can only be as valuable as the data it contains. Clean, updated information is one key to customer satisfaction.

Real-Time Customer Information with Sage 100 Mobile Apps

Keeping your customer data up-to-date is much easier when you use Sage 100 mobile apps like Scanco Sales and Scanco Service. Your ERP customer information is instantly accessible and can be updated in the field. Learn more.

Barcode Scanner

5 Traits of Excellent Inventory Management

By | Barcoding, Inventory Management | No Comments

Barcode ScannerYour inventory represents a hefty investment of capital. Products remaining idle and collecting dust in the warehouse are costly. Not only does a business pay to produce laggards, it must also pay to warehouse and maintain them.

Excellent inventory management reduces excess goods, maintains adequate stock, and optimizes warehouse space by thoughtful placement of shelves and bins. Inventory management is both an art and a science, fueled by accurate data from inventory systems married to your company’s ERP systems and more. The right inventory management system can help your company control costs and maximize profits, no matter what industry you are in.

What Makes Excellent Inventory Management?

  1. Well-organized inventory: Inventory that is organized well is placed strategically throughout the warehouse to minimize the amount of time it takes to pick, pack, and ship. Frequently purchased items may be placed near the packing area. Bins and shelves are carefully labeled. If barcodes are used to identify goods in receiving, the bar codes in the shelving areas are matched. All areas are kept clean so that goods look appealing.
  2. Inventory accuracy: Inventory accuracy means that both starting and periodic stock counts are accurate. Barcode scanners enhance inventory accuracy by reducing clerical errors and miscounts. If manual systems are still used, inventory is taken regularly and systems are updated to reflect the latest counts.
  3. Consistent item names and numbers: A good inventory management system uses a consistent nomenclature and/or numbering system for parts, products, and goods. This makes it easy for workers to learn the products and find them quickly in the warehouse and in the systems.
  4. Integration with ERP and business systems: The best inventory management systems integrate easily with ERP systems and other back office systems. Sage products integrate well and can easily add functions for other business areas if needed.
  5. Well-trained workers: A system is only as good as the people using it. Warehouse management and inventory management includes having people trained on how to handle the stock, take inventory, run the systems and equipment, and perform their job duties safely throughout the warehouse. Hire the best people you can afford and invest in on-the-job training to ensure that the people running and working in your warehouse can effectively use all inventory management systems to run the warehouse.

Data Accuracy with Barcode Scanners

You can improve data accuracy with a good system. Inventory management systems with barcode scanners integrated with Sage 100 can be a cost-effective solution to help you manage all aspects of your inventory.

Scanco offers integrated inventory management software and barcode scanning that will streamline your operations and generate more profits. To learn more, contact us.

inventory management in the cloud

Why You Should Put Your Inventory Management in the Cloud

By | Cloud Computing, Inventory Management | No Comments

inventory management in the cloudThe cloud isn’t just for storing photos any more. It has applications throughout the business world, even in your most critical operations. Inventory management in the cloud offers significant flexibility so that you can quickly adapt your operations for growth, or changes in product strategy.

Inventory Management in the Cloud Expands to Fit Your Needs

Think about rain clouds for a moment instead of data clouds. Rain clouds grow according to how much moisture is in the atmosphere. They shrink when the moisture is released, and the “demand” on them is lessened.

Cloud computing is similar. As your company’s processing needs increase, the cloud expands to accommodate it. If you have one user on the system working late at night, it shrinks your usage so that you are using less.

More importantly, cloud computing can scale up as you need more bandwidth for your customers. Manufacturers with heavy seasonal demands may find that cloud computing easily adjusts and flexes to the demands at specific times of the year when order volume is high. During other times of the year, when the volume is low, their computer demands decrease. Instead of investing in new hardware to handle the high volume time periods, cloud computing adjusts with the needs easily and swiftly.

Add More Users, Easily

Another way in which the cloud can expand to fit your business is by easily adding new users onto the system at any given time. A busy warehouse may need to add temporary workers during certain seasons. The cloud can accommodate more logins without adding unnecessary terminals or additional software packages.

You can also add users from multiple locations. Some companies use freelance office workers, marketing or sales people to supplement their workforce. With cloud-based systems, you can add additional workers easily onto the system. They can access the database through their home computers, tablets, or smartphones. All you need is a web connection. It’s an easy way to get everyone working from the same data, and keeping your systems up-to-date no matter who accesses them.

Security Is Excellent

One concern that many business owners have when they consider cloud computing is the security level. Cloud computing works off of shared servers, and companies often worry that their data may be compromised or somehow less secure when it is kept off-site than when it is housed on hard drives within their four walls. If you require your systems to be on-site, you can still gain many benefits from an on-premises cloud. If you choose to have a cloud hosting vendor, you can expect to see some of the strictest security protocols available in place to ward off viruses and hackers intent on damaging or stealing data. You can’t “accidentally” access anyone else’s data on the cloud, so your company’s information is secure. Cloud computing is secure computing.

The Cloud Is Here to Stay

Cloud computing has moved from a “nice to have” to a “must have” as more businesses embrace cloud technology. It’s simple to use, highly secure, and less expensive than older technologies.

Many systems can run off of the cloud, including your operations. When paired with a cloud-based ERP, inventory management in the cloud offers remarkable benefits. If you are on an outdated inventory management system, now is the time to try the cloud.

Inventory Management in the Cloud from Scanco

Scanco’s warehouse automation systems run in the cloud to make your operations more flexible and profitable than ever. Contact us for a free consultation.

Sage 100 mobile

3 Tips for Using Scanco Sales to Improve Customer Retention

By | Sage 100, Scanco Sales | No Comments

Sage 100 mobileDid you know that you can use Scanco Sales, our Sage 100 mobile sales app, to improve customer retention? In fact, it can be a valuable tool to generate repeat business from your existing customer base.

Three Customer Retention Strategies

Your ERP contains a wealth of customer data that can be used to encourage repeat sales as well as boost loyalty among your customers. When your sales team has Scanco Sales on their mobile device or laptop, they have real-time access to that information. The following three retention strategies can be implemented using Scanco Sales and your ERP to achieve great results.

  1. Build a VIP system: You may know which of your customers are VIPs or you may need the help of your customer database to identify them. Establish criteria for your VIPs, whether it’s sales volume or frequency. Then think of ways to reward them for their patronage. Perhaps expedited shipping, free shipping, or a bonus may be a great way to reward them. Use Scanco Sales to communicate your thanks for their business and be sure to let them know you appreciate them.
  2. Personalize follow ups: You can use Scanco Sales to personalize follow-up communications with customers. Personalization goes beyond using their name in the salutation field. Use the information contained in your ERP to reference previous orders and check on their satisfaction with their orders, to inquire whether a problem was resolved to their satisfaction, or simply to ask about their business needs in the next quarter. The more you can personalize your interactions with your customers, the better they respond and the more likely you are to keep their business.
  3. Schedule sales calls: Use Scanco Sales to schedule sales calls, training calls, and check in calls with your customers. Record the information in your system and make it a point to connect with valued customers at least quarterly, if not sooner. Include notes about each visit so that if someone else connects with them, they’ll have more information to prepare them for a successful visit.

Retaining existing customers and ensuring their continued satisfaction helps you build your business. With a base of happy customers, you can then continually expand and add more while maintaining a profitable business. Using Scanco Sales to boost retention rates is a smart business practice that will help you increase revenue.

Learn More about Scanco Sales, a Sage 100 Mobile App

If you would like to learn more about Scanco Sales, click here, or give us a call. We also offer cloud-based field service tools that can further improve your customers’ satisfaction. Contact us.

warehouse management system

3 Tips to Improving Profit Margins with Better Warehouse Management Data

By | warehouse management, Warehouse Management System | No Comments

warehouse management systemThe Dangers of Selling Under Your Margins

Do “fire sales” make sense? When items in your warehouse aren’t moving, do you run sales or specials to move them out and make room for the new? Do you find that your sales representatives offer too-generous discounts to customers to boost sales reports?

These two situations may result in selling product below your required profit margins—a problem manufacturing and distribution companies often face. However, these problems can be avoided with the right warehouse management system and accurate data.

Accurate Inventory Data Improves Decision-Making

At the heart of managing your margins is accurate data. It is only when you know precisely how much the costs of goods are and how much a discount affects the margin that you can make sound decisions. While “fire sales” can clear out excess inventory, are you aware of the cost of these sales? Do you have the data you need to base sales quotas on actual profitability rather than on gross sales?

Data derived from your warehouse management system can go a long way to helping your business remain profitable without sacrificing margin. Here are three tips to help you use your inventory data to improve profitability

  1. Know Your Profit Margin

First, it’s important to know your profit margin. Accurate data from warehouse management systems integrated with your ERP can help you analyze the profit margin of each product and make sound decisions on discounts and sales that won’t cut deeply into margins.

These tools can also be used to set organization-wide pricing and discounting policies. By establishing company policies nationwide, you avoid having one regional representative or one particular sales manager steeply discounting products just to help his team achieve sales.

  1. Reward Good Customers to Engender Loyalty

Accurate customer data can help you track customer loyalty and longevity. Such customers can be rewarded with sales or bulk discounts. Using a mobile sales app like Scanco Sales that is integrated with your ERP can keep you from discounting products too steeply and cutting too much into your margin. It can also help you establish customer parameters for sales that won’t undercut your profits but will help boost the bottom line.

  1. Adjust Sales Goals to Reflect Several Objectives

You certainly want to assess your sales team on how well they sell—that’s a given. But when the focus is solely on the overall sales figures without consideration of how those figures are achieved, it leaves the process open to interpretation and tactics that may cut deeply into your margins.

Align sales goals with both performance-based objectives and company-wide objectives. Scanco Sales and your ERP can help you with this task by assessing customer loyalty and retention. These metrics point to satisfied, happy customers which are also good customers more likely to recommend your business to others. Such customers are more valuable than those “bargain hunting” and for whom cutting deeply into the margins may not be enough over time. You may end up discounting such customers’ orders so much that it’s not even worth pursuing their business.

Ensure Data Accuracy with Scanco Products

Scanco offers manufacturing and warehouse solutions that provide real-time, accurate data on your products.  That information seamlessly integrates your ERP such as Sage 100 and Sage 500. Accurate data and operational controls will go a long way toward keeping your operations more profitable.  Contact us for a free consultation.