In today’s fast-paced world, ordering goods and production materials can be extremely challenging. Even with smartphones and e-commerce systems, stock management involves a great deal of time and money, and mistakes in the ordering process are all too common.
Customers depend on fast and correct delivery of products, materials and office supplies in order to run their business successfully. That is why every wrong order is a huge disappointment.
Manual ordering is prone to human error, which often leads to item numbers being forgotten, mixed up, written illegibly or incorrectly communicated. Some purchasing and operations managers make inventory decisions ‘on the fly’ while ordering, relying on predetermined ordering intervals that don’t represent real-time operations. Inevitably, this results in out of stock or excess inventory situations that impact business profits due to increased shipping costs, expensive returns and, most of all, dissatisfied customers.
Even with most ‘automatic’ ordering systems, additional manual orders are necessary because of online shopping offers, and customer orders placed by phone or email. These ‘offline’ order contributions cost valuable time, and significantly increase the risk of transferring inaccurate data and ordering the wrong product.
Würth is a global leader in fastening and assembly materials offering more than 125,000 products – from screws, screw accessories and tools, to chemical products. The effort required by Würth’s customers to manually capture product orders and submit them via fax, email or by phone is very time-consuming, costly and prone to error. To simplify this process, a scanner solution called ORSY® ‘order with a system’ was developed in cooperation with Würth, designed to improve the manual process of capturing product data. This makes the ordering process faster, more efficient and increases visibility throughout the entire supply chain – from the customer order to product delivery.
The ORSY scan provides customers and employees of Würth a fast, contactless and simple data capture product. It’s so simple that one key on the scanner activates reading of the barcode, and a second key enables deletion of data. Just one touch of a button is enough to capture the barcode on an empty package to order out of stock products. When data capture is finished, the scanner is put into a transfer station, which connects it to the customer’s computer. With teamwork and experience, more than 50,000 ORSY scans came to life, with the goal to keep it simple and improve handling – eliminating the need for each user to have access to a computer. Thanks to the integrated SCOUTtechnology, requirements for special software installation belong in the past. In addition, 25,000 mobile scanners were integrated successfully into Würth’s stock management process. The software automatically forwards orders via the internet to the Würth online shop. Würth’s customers then receive immediate order confirmation and the ordering process is completed.
A good ordering system is characterised by its flexibility. With Internet of Scanning®, users are able to send barcode and RFID data from any of the scanners directly to wherever they want it to be sent — and from anywhere in the world — without any installation or manual effort.
The Smart Order Solution doesn’t require special software or any additional drivers for the application, so an IT department doesn’t need to spend time on software integration, adding drivers, downloading updates or training. The middleware EMMWare Scout that connects and communicates with ordering systems is already included in the mobile barcode/RFID scanners. This application will run automatically and send data to the e-commerce site, then open the filled shopping cart with the web browser.
The devices easily interfaces with all ERP systems, web-based shops or Microsoft® Office programs. With bidirectional data exchange between scanners, smartphones, tablets, terminals and web servers, the data is always synchronised and up to date on all current equipment.
The mobile barcode/RFID scanners also connect to Apple® or Android® devices via the Stock Data Collector App. The application can manage barcode (1D/2D) input, RFID (HF/UHF) labelled enterprise resources or even typed part number entries. The application can be used for placing orders, as well as tracking resources, registering incoming and outgoing goods, inventory control and stock management.
Without the ease of a barcode scanner, users are required to manually collect part numbers, find a computer and open the e-commerce site, authenticate to the site, search for part numbers one by one, and fill out the shopping cart. Typically, a user does not remember part numbers and searches for product names instead. This requires extra diligence to identify the exact product, leading to high risk of selecting the wrong product or product variant.
The Smart Order Solution provides an innovative system that makes ordering absolutely quick and simple with 100% accuracy. This solution helps prevent mistakes from the beginning, using mobile RFID/barcode scanners like SCANNDYbasic or powerlineECCO® from FEIG. These easy to use scanners are used by inventory management personnel in the field to collect part numbers encoded in barcodes, storing them in its memory.
Scanning can be performed either from a catalogue, directly at the product itself or at the warehouse shelf. By pushing only one button, the barcode will be scanned and the product is added to the ordering cart. After all the desired products have been detected, the scanner connects via USB to any Windows-based computer with an internet connection. In just a few seconds the data is 100% correctly transferred to the user’s e-commerce system shopping card. The user can see and verify all items scanned before clicking the ‘order’ button to place the order. This complete process is done in less than one minute with limited potential for errors. If desired, ordering information can be communicated via email instead of e-commerce systems.
Fortunately, there is a smart way to place orders by bringing the process right to the stocking shelves or shop floor, and directly scanning the product users need to order. The PANMOBIL product line for mobile AutoID solutions of FEIG Electronic provides the Smart Order Solution, a foolproof method to enable customers to purchase materials with 100% accuracy – typically saving 35% of ordering costs and increasing sales by simplifying the customer’s ordering process. That is why logistic experts such as Würth, have chosen this smart ordering solution.
Will joined Fastener + Fixing Magazine in 2007 and over the last 12 years has experienced every facet of the fastener sector - interviewing key figures within the industry and visiting leading companies and exhibitions around the globe.
Will manages the content strategy across all platforms and is the guardian for the high editorial standards that the Magazine is renowned.