Portable Intelligence has deployed RF Plus™ for VISUAL ERP at over 100+ VISUAL sites .Each of these VISUAL manufacturing users came from different industries like aerospace, food, pharmaceuticals, etc. After doing a number of implementations, we noticed that some best practices are essential to a successful deployment of RF Plus™. These seven steps will help you prepare your environment for RF Plus™ implementation.
1. Assemble Together a Project Team
This is the first and the most crucial step. Put together a team comprising of a lot of cross functions. This includes the project manager, IT manager, Controller, SME and a Sponsor. SME is the subject matter expert for that particular process area.For example; An employee who knows your PO Receiving process in and out could be your Inbound SME person. Although it is difficult to pull out people from the shop floor, it is our suggestion to identify process champions and involve them on a limited participation level. It is impossible to deploy a product in a process area without the input of people who would be using it on a daily basis. This helps us cover exceptions, if any, at the process level in your deployment.A sponsor could be anyone from your senior management team who could provide you the necessary higher level support if you encounter any middle management or inter departmental road blocks while deploying your project.
2. Apply barcodes upon receipt of materials
This one is pretty obvious but still we have seen people miss it.You cannot actually implement a barcoding project without putting barcode labels up. As far as your raw materials are concerned you can get your supplier to barcode the product. If you can’t get them to barcode use the Alias function. In FG receiving, include label printing as part of the receiving process. Also, label everything that comes from your production line. Check out labeling best practices here.
3. Barcode trace data
Stop tracking data in notebooks and spreadsheets. At some VISUAL sites, we have seen stacks of books of trace information over the years. VISUAL is equipped with functions to manage and store your trace information. Set it up and use them. Learn more on traceability here
4. Barcode your locations
Since you are deploying a barcoding solution we believe it is best to start putting barcode on locations at this stage. It is a very simple way to track your materials. It also helps to get fairly granular, so don’t make a broad location like finished goods. Getting granular, minimizes the time required to find a part in any giving location. Start with your aisles and your bays at the beginning.
5. Plan your cycle counts
Plan your counts with a predetermined criteria or rules . Whether it is by a simple ‘count by location’ method or a more scientific ABC method, it is best to lay down some rules and communicate them to your well trained count team. It’s also best to keep in mind the requirements of financial stakeholders, auditors and government regulations/ compliances, if applicable. Other factors to consider are high risk or high value items. Learn more on cycle counts here
6. Capture Data at the point of transaction (for parts that matter)
It is best not to delay between something happening and later keying data into VISUAL. We have seen some people put the terminal on the floor and then they expect the shop floor to key in all the small data. Doesn’t work without barcode. Don’t capture all your material. Pick two out of three and start with one. Most manufacturers start capturing data at raw materials receiving, put away , work order issuing and then they slowly move on to picking and shipping.
7. Get the tools in place
This includes getting a Wi-Fi network, label printers and hardware in place. Check out the hardware requirement for RF Plus™ for VISUAL here.
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