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.

manufacturing barcoding

3 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Manufacturing Barcoding System

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

manufacturing barcodingIf you are considering implementing a manufacturing barcoding system next year, review these three critical questions. Some of these needs are “non-negotiable” and essential to get the most out of your manufacturing automation implementation. Failing to ask key questions can lead to poor results.

Three Critical Questions for Manufacturer Barcoding Systems

  1. Have you received feedback from the entire team? The worst thing you can do is begin speaking with vendors and consultants about automation systems without complete feedback from the entire team who intends to use the system. Input from all areas within an organization is essential to help you choose the best manufacturing automation system for your needs. Invite key managers and support staff to discovery meetings and take copious notes to help you form a “wish list” for a project scope.
  2. Is this system configurable? The ease with which systems can be configured is an important part of your decision-making process. But a system that must be configured to the point of being unrecognizable from the original solution defeats the purpose of shopping for a manufacturing barcoding system in the first place. You might as well build an entirely custom system for the amount of time and money extensive configurations will use. Balance the need for configuration with the need for a solution to meet your requirements as much as possible ‘off the shelf’ without any tweaks or changes. When the balance shifts in favor of an off-the-shelf system, with minimal customization needed, you’ve probably found a worthwhile solution.
  3. Is this system made for manufacturers? Many barcoding systems are made just for warehouse purposes. Manufacturing barcoding needs can be very different. If a system is made for warehouses, it won’t include the functionality that you require to run your manufacturing operations. There are many ERP options made with manufacturers in mind. Don’t settle for a generic option. Too much customization on a manufacturing barcoding system may lead to inefficiencies. It is better to begin with the right solution than to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Scanco Manufacturing Barcoding

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

Are Out-of-Stock Messages Plaguing Your Sage 100 Warehouse?

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

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Here in December, when demand isn’t always predictable, are your customers getting out-of-stock messages when they order? Are you looking for that product that was supposed to be in the warehouse but isn’t? These problems indicate that you may need an improved Sage 100 warehouse management system. Integrated warehouse automation and management tools may be just what you need to prevent those pesky out-of-stock messages.

Predicting the Demand Curve and Order Cycle

It can be difficult to predict your company’s demand curve without historical data. Some industries find that orders fluctuate greatly from year to year, seasonally, or even monthly. That’s where having accurate, real-time data really comes in handy.

When your warehouse management system is fully integrated in real-time with your Sage 100 ERP, you’ll be able to run reports on sales to assess the demand curve and predict future orders. The order cycle can be assessed and analyzed too, and changes made in your stock levels based on predictions derived from data. These systems use accurate, timely data, so you are always accessing the latest information. It makes predicting demand much easier throughout the organization.

Technology to Use the Three M’s: Monitor, Measure, and Manage

Warehousing and distribution managers talk about the ‘three M’s’: monitoring stock levels, measuring current stock and forecasted demand, and managing supplies according to that demand level.

With the right data at your fingertips, each element among the three M’s becomes easier to address. Real-time data accessed through cloud-based systems, Scanco Warehouse, helps you monitor stock levels and react swiftly to increased demand, marketing pushes that create demand, and other situations that may increase orders and necessitate reorders.

Measuring exiting inventory is also easier. Accurate data, transmitted through the swipe of a barcode reader or even via smartphone scan, helps you get a complete picture of what is available within your warehouse.

Managing inventory is also easier with the right systems in place. Stock can be moved from one location to another to fulfill pending orders. Managing bin locations, shelf areas, and other tasks related to warehouse management can also be accomplished quickly with the right data at hand.

Scanco Warehouse Gives You the Knowledge and Control You Need

When it comes to warehouse management, knowledge—specifically, accurate, timely data on your stock situation—is power. Without it, your work is based on guesses.

Accurate and timely data helps you run a more efficient and effective warehouse. Knowing what is in stock, how much is left, how long it will take to replenish key items, and where items may be housed within the company is critical. Sage 100 warehouse management systems make the task easier by synthesizing and collating data from numerous parts of the organization. Access via web-based interfaces ensures that no matter where you are, you can see at a glance the information that will help you run your business. It’s powerful knowledge that will help you manage inventory levels so you rarely run low on anything again.

Scanco’s mission is to transform how companies handle warehouse management. 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

Why Integrated Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation Means Higher Profits

By | Manufacturing Automation, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

manufacturing automationToo many manufacturers have had to implement separate manufacturing and warehouse automation systems. Information may be moved from the production floor to the warehouse, but the systems are not truly integrated. That can now change with the first complete manufacturing and warehouse management automation available on the market. Scanco offers a total solution for your operations. Complete integration means higher profits for you.

Integrated Operations and Real-Time Data = Higher Profits

What could your company do with better data integration? That’s the question many manufacturers are asking themselves this year as they consider investing in integrated operations automation solutions that will help each of their business areas work together efficiently.

The ever-increasing competition among global manufacturers has caused a revolution in how information is used in the industry. Today, manufacturers must produce quality goods at the lowest costs just as they did yesterday. But in order to achieve this objective, they must have accurate, timely data, and an easy way to get it. This better information enables companies to make better decisions and improve the bottom line.

Manufacturers Face Daily Data Challenges

Research shows that most manufacturers find collecting operational data in order to make better decisions is one of their biggest challenges. Data has always been the lifeblood of the manufacturing process. Knowing costs at each level of the product cycle, understanding fixed and variable costs, and calculating supply chain variables that can increase profitability are all part and parcel of the manufacturer’s world.

But today, manufacturers want more than just the cost of the components of their widgets. They want to know not just the numbers, but how changes in one part of the system impact the whole. They want the flexibility to run models that help them gain insights into how costs impact profits. More importantly, they demand accurate data that can be used to inform decision-making.

The Ramifications of Unsolved Product Integration Challenge

Unsolved system integration challenges pose many risks for manufacturers. As more components are added to a system, there’s greater potential for error. Mistakes in data entry (and re-entry), for example, can lead to incorrect data. This data, if used to make decisions, can lead companies into poor decision-making that can negatively impact profits. Beyond poor decision making, every time data is re-entered into the system, it costs more money that could be much more useful invested elsewhere.

Integration Shouldn’t Be Painful

Today manufacturers are placing a priority on system integration so that they can gain a comprehensive, single view of the entire business. Although such investments may be substantial, they do pay off. Manufacturers who invest in systems integration see improvements as a result of the investment. Clearly, when product integration is comprehensive and accurate, it offers useful information that can improve business.

Integrated Systems That Work Improve Decision Making

Many manufacturers are now integrating new technology with legacy systems so that they can gain a comprehensive, single view of the entire business. These investments in integrated automation pay off. Clearly, when system integration is comprehensive and accurate, it offers useful information that can improve business.

Integrated Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation Investments Pay Off

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

Scanco Sales

Upgrade to Sage 100 Mobile Field Service and Sales

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

Scanco SalesCustomer relationship management (CRM) systems have been a great boon to help companies track customer data across the organization. As many companies have implemented CRM systems, they had great dreams of providing greater customer service and more efficient sales. But now, many of these companies are realizing that something is missing.

Many companies who invested in site-based, networked CRM systems are only just discovering that such systems can become outdated. Worse, when they add new components to their IT services, such as upgrading accounting or HR systems, their current CRM system won’t “play nice” with the new systems. What should have been a simple upgrade or a new solution added to the company then becomes a nightmare as the CRM system refuses to “talk” with the new accounting or human resources software and so on.

Upgrading your CRM system may be the best way to solve this problem. When you use Sage 100 for your ERP, Scanco offers mobile field service and sales solutions that integrate seamlessly. Not only will this system communicate with other systems in your company, but it may improve customer satisfaction. Here’s how.

Scanco Sales: Not Just an Address Book

When CRM systems first hit the market, many companies treated them like glorified address books. The sales team had their uses for the CRM system, of course, as did the marketing department, but the rest of the company shrugged and wondered what all the fuss was about.

Scanco Sales offers so much more than what you may have now, if you’re working with an older system. With the Sage 100 mobile system, you can integrate accounting, shipping, and warehousing data with sales and marketing. The system becomes a comprehensive tool instead of a glorified address book, thus becoming what it was intended to be from the start.

Scanco Sales is a Sage 100 mobile app that can take your sales automation to the next level. This app is available for both iOS and Android and can be used both online and offline. With seamless integration to your Sage 100 ERP system, your sales representatives can get a real-time view of inventory levels, connect to the product catalog, create quotes and sales orders, gather customer invoice information, and so much more.

Improving Customer Satisfaction with Mobile Field Service

Scanco Sales and our mobile field service tool, Scanco Service, run from any device that has internet access. You aren’t locked into accessing the system from the office. Anyone with approved access can get into a customer’s file to look up information or add to it.

Think of the improvements in customer service with this one simple change. What happens now if a service call comes into your company? If you hear about customer frustration levels rising because a call must be transferred among many departments before customers get the answer they’re seeking, then you know what can happen when data isn’t shared.

With cloud-based systems, not only is the data available to all, it is available to people traveling outside the company itself. Sales people who make frequent calls on customers throughout the day are no longer tethered to their desk. Mobile field service personnel can look up inventory information or make notes on a customer file about a potential problem that must be solved. It makes the entire process more streamlined and efficient.

Using Scanco Service, a Sage 100 mobile field service app, your customer service team can have access to current inventory levels both in the warehouse and on the truck. It has job tracking, item inquiry, and warehouse transfers—all perfectly integrated with your Sage 100 warehouse system. Accurate inventory counts not only improve profitability, but also increase customer satisfaction.

Sage 100 Mobile Apps from Scanco

If you would like to get all the details of Scanco Sales or Scanco Services, contact us. We would be happy to demonstrate these Sage 100 mobile apps for you.

Sage 100 JobOps

Optimize Manufacturing Automation with JOScan and JobOps for Sage 100

By | Manufacturing, Sage 100 | No Comments

Sage 100 JobOpsAs a manufacturer, your business success can be determined by pennies. Every opportunity to improve the productivity of your operations is a way to be more competitive and successful. Scanco now offers manufacturing solutions that can help you further optimize your operations.

Streamlined and Synchronized Labor and Material Tracking

Our powerful barcode solution for manufacturers, JOScan, can eliminate data entry errors and save time and money by providing expanded real-time visibility of your manufacturing labor and materials. JOScan is a flexible, mobile solution that lets you track labor and materials on the production floor. This Scanco system is completely integrated with Sage 100 JobOps and the data JOScan collects is immediately available to Sage 100.

JOScan offers seamless integration with existing Sage 100 manufacturing processes. JOScan for Labor Tracking puts the functionality of JobOps Time Tracker Time Entry wherever you need it on your manufacturing floor. Using JOScan, you can track the time spent on each step by scanning the employee number and the step of the job. You can then track labor against jobs, track non-productive time and other costs, including machine downtime, breaks, re-tooling, setup, and training. You can also collect payroll punch times, and transfer that data to Sage 100 for use in payroll.

JOScan for Parts Usage gives you the functionality of JobOps Time Tracker Parts Usage with the flexibility of a mobile barcode solution. You can track all parts used by step for a work ticket, issue material to jobs, and more. Once you scan the job and the part, the information is available in Sage 100 JobOps.

Scanco’s Manufacturing Automation Solutions

JOScan’s manufacturing automation and integration to Sage 100 is a solution that pays for itself in productivity improvements. 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.

supply chain management

Supply Chain Management Trends for 2017

By | Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

supply chain managementReturning to the Roots of World-Class Manufacturing and Distribution Operations

Manufacturing and distribution operations are coming home in 2017. After a couple decades of outsourcing supply chains in locations like India and China, the trend is to take a more balanced approach that includes local operations.

This trend is discussed In an article entitled The Case for Supplier Development. Here, top manufacturing consultant Paul Ericksen called for a return to the roots of good manufacturing through the development of a world-class supply chain.

Ericksen, who started in the world of manufacturing and supply chain development 20 years ago, remembers how, when he began his professional career, companies cultivated and nurtured relationships with their suppliers. These relationships led to long-term contracts, good prices, and quality materials.

However, starting in the 1990s, upper management pushed for outsourcing supply chains to India and China, where cheaper prices and salaries meant lower prices and increased profits for manufacturers. If you can get the costs down in your supply chain, you can increase profits.

The pendulum has swung again in the opposite direction, according to Ericksen.  Problems inherent in the overseas model include lengthy MCTs (manufacturing critical-path times) which can lead to delays in receiving goods. The “90-day” firm delivery date is laughable when many overseas companies deliver in six months plus six weeks of shipping time. Building up inventory is one solution, but that can be costly, both to build and house.

Enter the Role of Supplier-Developer

Ericksen suggests the role of supplier-developer added to manufacturing and distribution businesses. The supplier-developer finds both global and national suppliers who can provide products at the lowest cost but potentially long lead time, as well as local suppliers, who may be able to turn around an order quickly but must charge higher rates. Cultivating relationships with both can ensure uninterrupted delivery of materials, albeit with some price variations. If the price variations aren’t too extreme, they can be smoothed out and averaged without too much of a hit to profits.

Benefits of Supplier-Developer Networks

Price is just one aspect of the supplier-developer network. World-class supply chain management also ensures that the quality of the finished products is superior to those produced by competitors. When the best components are added into the manufacturing of a product, the end result can be better results.

Timely delivery also means a lot to customers. Customers who are kept waiting for weeks or months because you are still waiting for a shipment from China may take their business elsewhere. Having a local supplier, willing to work with you on timelines, may help you meet unexpected demand.

Returning to Supply Chain Management’s Roots May Be the Future

We often look to the future as if the success of a business relies upon the next, best, greatest invention. Sometimes, however, returning to the roots of manufacturing and distribution may be the answer. Within those roots is the role of supply chain development, of cultivating long-lasting relationships with trusted partners. The benefits of such relationships extend to your own customers, who can then rely on you to fill orders promptly and accurately.

There’s still a place for low prices, and companies worldwide who can provide both continue adding value to the supply chain. But for the best model, a return to the mixed model of both local and global suppliers, with the help of a supply chain development person, may be a smart choice.

New Options for Manufacturing and Distribution Automation

Scanco has expanded to offer manufacturing automation solutions for Sage 100 and Sage 500. Combined with our respected warehouse automation systems, your new locations can be more efficient than ever. Contact us for a free consultation about automating your manufacturing and distribution operations.

Sage 100 mobile

Scanco’s Sage 100 Mobile Apps Take You to the Cloud in 2017

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

Sage 100 mobileScanco’s Sage 100 mobile apps for sales, service, and operations use the cloud because of the tremendous benefits it brings in mobility and flexibility. With so many systems now turning to the cloud, let’s look at what this technology holds for the future. Here are a few predictions for 2017.

More Manufacturers and Distributors Migrating to the Cloud

Despite the prevalence of cloud-based software, some manufacturers and distributors still aren’t in the cloud. As more businesses catch on to the many benefits of the cloud based approach—better data access, real time analytics, less cost—more will join the cloud. Fortunately, the cloud can expand to accommodate these and many more businesses. Shared servers, easier partitioning, and other cloud resources will help fit these late adopters onto the cloud along with the others already reaping the benefits.

Security, Automation, and Legacy Systems Remain Challenging

Throughout the cloud computing world, three areas have consistently remained challenging: security, automation, and legacy systems.

  1. Security remains the top concern for cloud computing providers. They take great care to secure their clients’ data, but sophisticated hackers continue their work, too. New security measures continue to grow out of the challenges faced by cloud companies.
  2. Automation is also important. Automating tasks, especially routine tasks, can save businesses a great deal of time. Automated backups, for example, can ensure that your data is safely stored in case of system failures or other problems. These and other automated tasks can add great value to your cloud system.
  3. Companies that are entrenched in custom-built legacy systems may find it difficult to transition to the cloud. The good news is that Scanco’s cloud-based automation tools can integrate with traditional, on-premises ERP.

Hybrid Cloud

In the past, companies touted an all or nothing approach that focused on an all-cloud strategy. Today, many cloud computing companies recognize that some businesses still need to keep one foot in legacy systems and one in the cloud. These so-called hybrid systems blend traditional technology with cloud solutions so that businesses achieve a flexible model that suits their needs. Gartner predicted that 50% of all companies will use a hybrid cloud model by 2017.

Growth of the Public Cloud

Clouds are divided into public and private spaces. Private clouds are hosted by companies (usually large companies) to provide cloud-based software to their own users. Public clouds are those shared by many users. A good example of a public cloud is Google Docs; this storage facility welcomes millions daily to work on documents and store them in a public cloud.

The public cloud is expected to continue to grow throughout 2017, with both businesses and individuals driving demand for cloud space.

Ease into the Cloud with Scanco’s Sage 100 Mobile Apps

If you are interested in moving into cloud systems, Scanco’s cloud-based manufacturing and warehouse automation tools are a great place to start. You can gain all of the flexibility and mobility without disruption to your core business systems. We also offer cloud-based sales and field service tools that can integrate with your Sage 100 or Sage 500 ERP. Learn more.

supply chain

How to Stop Small Supply Chain Errors That Add Up to Big Headaches

By | Manufacturing, Supply Chain Management, Warehouse Automation, warehouse management | No Comments

supply chainHave you ever seen one simple data error multiply in magnitude until it creates major headaches? Most supply chain managers will probably say “yes” to that question. One mistake may mean that a shipment is late, an order is wrong, or you don’t meet your margins. Eliminating data error is the one thing you can do next year to take back control of your operations.

Scanco offers manufacturing and warehouse automation tools that can eliminate operational errors, streamline your supply chain and maximize profitability.

Real-Time information Is Key to Better Supply Chain Management

Having accurate information from all points along the supply chain can provide timely data for decision-making. Managing costs, reducing downtime and inventory excess, as well as demand forecasting, requires access to data from throughout the entire supply chain. Without it, you may miss something important, leading to bad forecasts and poor judgment.

Real-time visibility, along with collaboration from all points of the supply chain, provides you with the information that you need to stay on top of the daily changes in your business. Information is power, and with the right system at work for your manufacturing operation, you can use that power to grow your revenues.

Better Business Decisions From Accurate Data

Data, not guesswork, undergirds important business decisions. When your entire supply chain receives real-time data, you’ve got the information you need that eliminates guesswork.

Better business decisions are based on accurate, timely data. With such data, you can:

  • Manage inventory better
  • Optimize turns
  • Reduce overhead
  • Control the order process
  • Communicate order status
  • Procure materials quickly
  • Reduce excess production and related costs
  • Identify and correct inefficiencies
  • Improve staffing by moving workers to key demand spots

All of these benefits are like separate roads leading to one goal: revenue growth.  By reducing costs, selling more, and better managing inventory and shipments, you’ll improve inventory management, order fulfillment, and customer satisfaction. This can lead to repeat business, lowered costs, and higher profits. It’s a winning proposition.

Help Your Managers Get the Right Data

Data by itself, however, is just raw information. It requires interpretation and evaluation before action can be taken. First you need to get that information into the hands of the right people in your organization. Managers who are empowered with data can act quickly and make decisions that can positively impact operations and productivity.

Managing with Confidence

Another benefit from investing in supply chain automation and ERP software is the ability to manage and respond to potential problems with confidence. Recall notice? Not a problem. A centralized system can alert all parts of the supply chain that products must be pulled from inventory and replaced. The same with issues such as product defects, mistakes in packaging, and other typical manufacturing problems.

There is no question that problems will occur, but it’s what you do when they occur.  This is hard to do when you don’t even know that there is a problem.  Finding the right tools—like Scanco’s manufacturing automation and warehouse management solutions—to communicate throughout your supply chain, can alert you to problems as or before they occur.  Putting this information into your manager and key employees’ hands will allow them to respond to problems quickly and efficiently.

Complete, Integrated Manufacturing and Warehouse Management

Scanco offers manufacturing and warehouse automation that integrate with Sage 100 and Sage 500. Our complete system will help you eliminate data error and provide real-time, synchronized information for all of your operations. That’s a lot fewer headaches for you!  Contact us for a free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

Scanco Extends Automation for JobOps/Sage Manufacturing to Distribution Software

By | Press Releases | No Comments

Scanco is the sole mobile application provider that integrates with both manufacturing and distribution

Sarasota, FL—Friday, November 18, 2016—Scanco, a leader in barcoding solutions for
Warehouse Management and Manufacturing Shop Floor technology, announces new automation and integration for Distribution and Shipping with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing. Scanco is taking their current mobile integration technology to the industry forefront with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing to serve both manufacturers and distributors.

Shaun Boros, Partner at Scanco comments. “When we acquired JDB Solutions Group, we were pleased to continue the relationship already built with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing specifically as it relates to the manufacturing integration. It’s exciting to build on our relationship with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing by providing the newest integration of Scanco Warehouse and Distribution. Our mobile application provides integration for Sage 100c users using JobOps to automate everything from accounting, bill of materials, manufacturing, distribution and shipping. We really offer a one-stop-shop solution!”

Before Scanco’s integration with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing, barcoding solutions for manufacturing and the warehouse had to be purchased from separate vendors and didn’t work together. But Scanco now offers completely integrated barcoding solutions that span the manufacturing floor and the warehouse. And this integrated solution, JobOps-Sage Manufacturing, provides real-time data synchronization with Sage 100C JobOps.

“We are thrilled about the relationship that is strengthening between JobOps and Scanco,” said Ryan Rick, General Manager of JobOps/Sage Manufacturing. “Scanco’s integration for distribution is strategic to building a strong foundation for JobOps and expands our solution which allows us to better serve manufacturing and distribution end users.”

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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.

manufacturing barcoding

Manufacturing Barcoding Drives Production Floor Efficiency

By | Barcoding, Manufacturing | No Comments

manufacturing barcodingAre you looking for ways to increase manufacturing efficiency? Do you ever wish that you had more information about what is happening on your production floor?

You can reach your goals with manufacturing automation tools. A simple manufacturing barcode can provide you with the information you need to improve efficiency. With a barcode, you can know where each job is and what step it is in the production process. You can know what your employees are working on and how productive they are being. With a barcode, you can know what is ready to be shipped.

Scanco Manufacturing Barcoding

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.

Scanco’s mission is to transform how companies handle manufacturing floor management. We also offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software and label printing, and much more. Learn more about our services online or contact us.

warehouse automation

Advanced Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation for Multiple Locations

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

warehouse automationHaving multiple manufacturing and warehouse locations is becoming commonplace, even for small and mid-size businesses. While multiple locations can improve efficiencies and lower costs, they also increase the complexity. Managing multiple locations can be difficult.

Without efficient management of multiple locations, the benefits of these sites may be wiped out by the costs. To be successful, it must be fast and easy to share information between facilities. Successful multi-location companies have enhanced access to data from all points of their business to enable increased efficiencies, better planning, and reduced costs. These enhancements are possible with advanced manufacturing and warehouse automation that is seamlessly integrated with ERP.

Enhanced Information Sharing

One of the biggest challenges that companies with multiple locations face is sharing data from one part of the company with another. Even when all portions of the company want to share, it’s often hard to figure out the best way to do so. Emailing information makes sense, and it’s fast, but it’s also inevitable that someone is going to be left off of the email chain who needs the information. Shared networks are great, but you have to know where to look for the information in order to find it.

The solution is simple: fully integrated manufacturing and warehouse management systems. With these solutions, all of a company’s information flows easily and seamlessly into one system. They offer access via multiple locations and types of devices, so employees can query the system and receive the data they need. It makes sharing information much easier across the company.

Greater Operational Efficiencies

Another benefit for businesses operating multiple locations is the ability to increase and enhance operational efficiencies. With an automation system seamlessly integrated with your ERP, you can see all points of the supply chain. Automated equipment notifications can help you flag idle machinery and move production to other locations. You can then use all resources efficiently to maximize production and profits.

Better Customer Service

Comprehensive manufacturing and warehouse automation systems also enhance customer service for multiple-location businesses. In the past, if a customer called one location, he may have received only a partial answer because information from other locations was lacking. Phone calls had to be made to find parts or portions of an order to provide a status update.

With an integrated automation system in place, you can query a database and receive real-time updates on order status whether it is on the manufacturing floor or in the warehouse. Supply chain visibility makes it easy to see where everything is in the process and provide customers with an answer to their inquiries. This faster response may mean the difference between keeping and losing a customer.

Scalability

Lastly, warehouse and manufacturing automation systems are highly scalable, so as your company expands to new locations, the data can keep flowing. You don’t have to worry about adding new networks, systems, or updates. Cloud-based solutions scale easily to accommodate new locations.

Making Your Work Easier

Manufacturing and warehouse management systems make multi-location operations so much easier. Improved visibility, enhanced efficiencies—the list goes on and on. If you manage multiple locations, factories, or warehouses, having easy access to data can have a huge impact on your company’s future.

Scanco Enterprise is Made for Multi-Location Operations Management

When you need advanced solutions for your manufacturing and warehouse operations, take a look at Scanco Enterprise and Scanco manufacturing automation solutions. Even a small business using Sage 100 can have a broad suite of functionality for its warehouse. Scanco Enterprise for Sage 100 is rugged and capable enough to meet the needs of technologically advanced operations. Using this system, you can automate and manage multiple warehouses. Scanco’s suite of manufacturing automation products complete the needs of a multiple-location manufacturer.

Scanco’s mission is to transform how companies handle warehouse management. We offer warehouse management software and support, barcoding software and label printing, and much more. Learn more about our services online or contact us.

warehouse automation

Now Available: Integrated, Mobile Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation from Scanco

By | Automation, Sage 100 | No Comments

warehouse automationYour manufacturing business doesn’t stop at the production floor and your barcoding solution doesn’t have to either. Manufacturers’ requirement for integrated production and inventory software drove the evolution of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.  Integration of manufacturing and inventory operations is a sure way to improve productivity and save costs.

Until now, barcoding solutions for manufacturing and the warehouse had to be purchased from separate vendors and didn’t work together. But Scanco now offers completely integrated barcoding solutions that span the manufacturing floor and the warehouse. And this integrated solution with JobOps/Sage Manufacturing, provides real-time data synchronization with Sage 100C JobOps.

Manufacturing and Warehouse Automation from Materials to Shipping

Scanco is the market leader in mobile warehouse automation solutions. Now those solutions are fully integrated with our new mobile manufacturing automation.  Using mobile barcode scanners, Sage 100c users can automate data collection and processing from accounting, bill of materials, manufacturing, distribution, and shipping.

Some of the features of JobOps/Sage Manufacturing include:

  • Materials tracking: From any location, track all parts used by step for a work ticket, issue material to jobs and more.
  • Manufacturing operations: Track machine downtime, re-tooling, setup, or anything that can affect the productivity of your operations.
  • Labor tracking: Track the time spent on each step for each job. Evaluate the productivity of your workers.
  • Payroll integration: Collect payroll punch times and transfer the data to your payroll system.
  • Warehousing operations: Track inventory wherever it is located in your warehouse. Real-time synchronization with Sage 100c means everyone knows the status of an order.
  • Inventory control: Eliminate paper counting and data entry. Item inquiry gives users a real-time view of inventory levels at any moment.
  • Shipping: Automated picking and shipping decrease time to ship and improve order accuracy.

Scanco’s Manufacturing Automation Solutions Don’t Stop at the Production Floor

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 operations can be optimized for greater productivity. Contact us for a free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

Scanco Sales

Scanco’s Sage 100 Mobile Sales App Improves Sales Performance

By | Sage 100 Mobile, Scanco Sales | No Comments

Scanco SalesScanco can help your manufacturing or distribution company boost sales team performance. Your sales staff may be great at what they do, but the right tools can help them be even more efficient and productive.

That’s where the Scanco’s Sage 100 mobile sales app can make a difference. Solutions like Scanco Sales connect real-time data with mobile access that puts information at your sales team’s fingertips no matter where they are. They may be traveling to customer sites or on the road between appointments, but if a question arises about customer shipments or inventory, they can answer it quickly.

Let’s take a look at three ways in which your manufacturing or distribution business can build a better sales department through Scanco Sales and its interface with Sage 100.

  1. Mobile Access

Sales teams don’t sit still for very long. They’re visiting manufacturing plants and warehousing, checking on customer orders, and visiting customer locations to ensure that their accounts are happy and receiving what they need. A static, location-specific tool doesn’t give them the flexibility they need to do their job.

When it comes to mobile access, Scanco Sales offers unparalleled access no matter where your sales team travels. Cloud-based solutions mean that all you need is access to the internet and an account and you’re in the database, the same as you are in the office. You can take your office with you and work out of your car, hotel, home, or a client’s office.

  1. Increased Efficiency

Many of the sales processes that used to be completed manually can now be done automatically. Instead of typing data into a spreadsheet and hoping for the best, sales people can spend more time selling and less time on paperwork. This increased productivity means more time to go on sales calls, more time to spend with customers, and more time to prospect for new customers.

  1. Better Insights

Sales is a relationship-driven business. Customer relationships often yield clues as to where the next sale might lead. A sudden surge in sales to clients within a specific industry can be easily spotted with data visualization tools and reports. You may find upon investigation that these surges in sales are the results of competitors changing prices, experiencing problems, or customer dissatisfaction with their service. Having this information is priceless, but it relies on having fast and easy access to real-time data that can be personally followed up on by your sales team. If it’s not easy to sort through the data to find the information, it can get pushed aside or forgotten, leading to missed opportunities. Better data means better insights, and more opportunities for sales.

Every piece of information available through your company may be useful to your business decision making process. The sales team needs that information to manage their accounts and increase profits. The more you can invest in technology to improve business insights and productivity, the better.

Scanco Sales for Sage 100

Scanco Sales is a Sage 100 mobile app that can take your sales automation to the next level. This app is available for both iOS and Android and can be used both online and offline. With seamless integration to your Sage 100 ERP system, your sales representatives can get a real time view of inventory levels, connect to the product catalog, create quotes and sales orders, gather customer invoice information and so much.

If you would like to get all the details of Scanco Sales, contact us. We would be happy to demonstrate this Sage 100 mobile app for you.

warehouse management services

Warehouse Management Services Provide That Extra Boost

By | warehouse management, Warehouse Management Expert, Warehouse Management Software | No Comments

warehouse management servicesAs you plan for the new year and evaluate your operations, you may be wondering what you can do to streamline a little bit more, improve customer service, or enhance employee productivity. You have high standards and so does Scanco. Our Warehouse Management Services can help you identify opportunities for improvement and provide customized solutions to give your operations that extra boost.

Warehouse Management Consulting Services

Scanco offers off-the-shelf solutions, but some of our customers want a more customized approach. For that, we offer consulting services. Our experts review your current processes and recommend process changes including the best hardware and software options. The consultants can train your staff and are available to install your new hardware and software from start to finish.

Warehouse Management Site Surveys

If you are implementing a wireless or RFID application, a site survey is an invaluable tool. Scanco’s site survey reviews all of the variables in your installation and recommends the placement, type, and quantity of RFID or wireless devices. We stand by our recommendations; if you don’t have 100% coverage, we will fix it or refund your money.

Scanco Warehouse Management Services

Scanco is on a mission—a mission to transform how companies handle warehouse management. 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 Warehouse

Which State is Best for Your Manufacturing Warehouse Operations?

By | Manufacturing, Warehouse Automation | No Comments

Manufacturing WarehouseIf you are considering a new manufacturing warehouse or operations location, the 2016 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card may offer some useful insights. The Report Card gives a grade to each state on how likely manufacturers are to locate warehouses or production within the state.

Here are a few considerations worthy of a second look on the report:

  • Sector diversification: States with a higher diversification among industries are considered more stable for new companies to build businesses in. Diversification weathers economic downturns better, as well as sector issues, problems, or drops.
  • Worker benefit costs: How much it costs to employ people varies from state to state. Healthcare and insurance regulations factor prominently into the local business climate, with some states offering friendlier business policies and others enforcing worker protections more tightly. Some states have lower insurance costs. These must be considered when you’re opening new factories or moving manufacturing facilities.
  • Tax climate: Taxes are often in the news, and seem like the most important factor when companies decide where to do business. But taxes are just one part of the equation.
  • Expected fiscal liability gap: The expected fiscal liability gap is a predictor of future taxation increases. A big gap means taxes may increase to cover pension plans or bonds issued for infrastructure improvements, for example. Knowing this can help you make a wise decision based on potential future directions.
  • Global reach: The level of international trade from within a state can also be an important factor when you’re weighing where to move or start a manufacturing business.
  • Productivity and innovation: Both productivity, or how much one worker can produce, and innovation are included in the report card, and are included in many companies’ plans when expansion is discussed. Both are important to your overall bottom line and growth.

Are you wondering if one state had a considerably better grade than the rest? The answer is no.  Each state is unique and has its owns benefits and drawbacks.  Some may have done better on worker productivity while others had a high score on tax friendliness.  The report card isn’t generated to draw conclusions or give recommendations.  It’s just meant to be a visual tool of where you may want to explore your manufacturing warehouse or production options.

New Options for Manufacturing Warehouse and Production

Scanco has expanded to offer manufacturing automation solutions for Sage 100 and Sage 500. Combined with our respected warehouse automation systems, your new locations can be more efficient than ever.

For Sage 100 users, we provide manufacturing barcoding systems so that you can efficiently collect information on your shop floor. If you need a mobile system to automate orders, take a look at XScan. We also offer JOScan, which allows your warehouse, field service, or remote teams to capture labor, material, status, and time card information using handheld or desktop barcode scanning solutions.

If you use Sage 500 to run your business, check out our new offering, Sage 500 Manufacturing Automation. With this manufacturing automation solution, you can perform transactions including material issues and returns, labor transactions, and production entry on a hand-held device. This allows manufacturers to gain a real time view of each step of every work order.

Scanco is on a mission to provide the best mobile automation for warehousing and manufacturing in the industry. Not only do we provide the best products for streamlining your business, we have certified consultants who can review your current processes and make recommendations for change. Contact us for a free consultation about automating your warehouse and manufacturing operations.

mobile field service

Three Tips for Successful Mobile Field Service Implementation

By | Mobile Field Service | No Comments

mobile field serviceIf you are thinking of implementing a mobile field service system, these tips can help.

Include everyone in the requirements-gathering stage: While it’s tempting to include only the IT department in choosing a mobile field service system, you need to include the actual service representatives who will interact with the system. By making sure that you understand the concerns and requirements of your mobile field service personnel, you’ll stand a much better chance of choosing a system that employees look forward to with anticipation rather than trepidation.

Get them onboard early: The first step is to make sure that mobile field service system selection and implementation isn’t a surprise to anyone. Ensure that everyone who uses the system in any way knows about it in advance. Schedule presentations and training sessions, and talk to team leaders to include several staff members in the decision to implement mobile field service software.

Schedule training often: In addition to including the team in the selection and getting them on board early, make sure you schedule frequent training sessions. Adults learn best by repetition, and remember only what they have learned more recently. If you train people weeks before the system is fully implemented, they may lose interest or simply forget the instructions prior to the system’s launch. Weak training leads to weak adoption since service representatives won’t know what to do with the mobile field service system.  Schedule training and make sure you have several experts trained who can troubleshoot problems and provide on-the-spot training as needed.

Mobile Field Service from Scanco

Scanco offers a mobile field service system, Scanco Service, that seamlessly connects to your inventory control and ERP software. Learn more.