While we are on the topic of software implementation, we thought we would guide you through the process of implementing your Sage 100 barcoding solution (or really any other barcoding software solution). While we are fully capable of implementing your barcoding solution for you, we know that many of you would rather tackle this project yourself. As with any software implementation, advanced planning is critical. You will see that many of the steps below are simply planning activities to ensure a successful implementation. If you are getting ready to implement your barcoding software solution, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Create an implementation team.
As with any important project, you will need to establish a team of individuals to get the job done. Form a barcode software implementation team and assign relevant tasks to each team member. Your implementation team should consist of members from each department that will be working with the barcoding system. Make sure that all members know that it is their responsibility to voice all issues and concerns as you are beginning the planning and implementation process.
Step 2: Write down your expectations for the barcoding solution.
What do you want your barcoding software solution to accomplish? Get together with the various departments in your company to determine what you need the system to do. Do you need to capture certain types of data? Do you have requirements for where the data will be sent once it is captured? Decide what type of data you captured and where you’d like it to go, as well as any other system requirements before you even purchase the barcoding solution. Planning ahead and determining what your company requires of the barcoding solution will save you much time, money and headaches.
Step 3: Review your current data capturing procedures.
Look at your current information flow and identify the key inputs and outputs of each process. This is where you analyze your current information-gathering procedures and develop ideas for improvement. Identify the most time-consuming processes, those that require the most manual effort, and those with the highest number of mistakes, as well as any redundant processes. These are the areas that will benefit the most from a barcoding solution.
Step 4: Develop your ideal operation procedures.
Once you have reviewed your current data-capturing procedures and identified areas that need improvement, write down how you would like the procedures to operate. Create a flow chart for these procedures for a more visual idea of how your warehouse could run more efficiently.
Step 5: Choose a barcoding solution and where it will interface with your existing computer system.
This is where your list of expectations will come in handy. Make sure that you choose a solution that meets most of your requirements. While no system is perfect, there are solutions that will meet your needs more than others. Make sure that the barcoding solution you choose will interface seamlessly with our current computer system and ERP software (such as Sage 100 ERP). If you are running Sage 100 ERP and are looking at a barcoding solution that is not compatible with Sage 100 ERP software, you are wasting your time. Make sure you have all of your company’s requirements before you select your barcoding system.
Step 6: Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP).
Once you have identified your desired barcoding solution, develop a RFP using the required barcoding features you’ve identified in step 2. Make sure your RFP includes a summarization of the requirements of the system with enough detail for vendors to submit substantial proposals.
Step 7: Choose a Vendor.
Make sure that the solution vendor you choose will be able to sell you the system as well as assist you with any problems that arise during the implementation process. Look for reviews from present users of the barcoding solution (and vendor) to learn more about the vendor’s product and support capabilities.
Step 8: Begin the bar code labeling process.
You are now ready to begin bar code labeling! You can actually begin this step before you’ve implemented the system. Communicate with your product vendors and ask that they begin to send over items with bar code labels so that once the system is up and running, all of your products are ready to be scanned.
Step 9: Test your barcoding solution before going live.
Run a pilot of your barcoding solution for at least one week to determine any areas of concern or overlooked problems. If it is possible, run a few transaction prior to going live with the system. Working out the kinks to the system prior to going live will save you a lot of time and frustration.
Step 10: Train your employees.
Employee training is crucial to a barcoding solution’s success. Make sure that every employee who comes in contact with the barcoding solution is trained properly. Begin with an overview of the solution and follow-up with a hand-on training session.
Step 11: Go live!
You are now ready to begin using your system to its full capacity. Keep your implementation team intact to address any problems that arise (for there will be problems).
Implementing a barcoding solution requires a lot of dedication and planning. If your company would like some help implementing your Sage 100 barcoding solution, contact us today.
If you have experience implementing a barcoding solution, share your story below. What problems did you run into after implementation? In your opinion, what was the hardest step in the process?