It can happen in even the most automated, well-managed processes. Somewhere along the way, an error occurs. A part doesn’t get packaged. A crate doesn’t make it to its destination on time. The package isn’t assembled correctly, leading to product damage or efficiency issues on the receiving end.
In the best case scenario, the mistake causes a minor inconvenience. In the worst case, it disrupts the entire supply chain and generates substantial costs. There’s usually a rush to find out why the mistake happened. Was it due to human error? Or is there a problem with the distribution process?
Unfortunately, in many complex, high-volume distribution chains, it can be tough to get the transparency you need to predict potential issues and challenges. It can even be difficult to pinpoint causes after an error happens.
That is, unless you’re working with a packaging and distribution partner who has invested in a software system that creates transparency and visibility throughout your distribution chain. At Deufol, we’ve developed our own software, VV, to do just that. The VV system can sync with SAP and other enterprise systems to give all interested parties a real time view into the packaging process.
Having the right software in place can often mean the difference between accuracy and missteps. It can also bring efficiency to your process, driving down costs and time requirements. Here are a few things a software system like VV can help you achieve:
Our D-SCS software provides complete visibility into the packaging distribution process. Since the VV software syncs with SAP and other ERP platforms, you can instantly load information about suppliers, projects, orders, parts, and more. If the data is in your ERP software, it should also be in the VV platform.
Everything then becomes scannable. VV generates scannable labels for every part, package, crate, and more. Whenever a label is scanned, the information relating to that scan instantly appears in the VV software. You can view who scanned the part, where the did so, and when it happened. You can also track the package after it leaves your facility. As long as the label is scanned, the information is visible, allowing you to see when it’s in transport and when it has been received.
This information is archived, giving you the ability to print reports about every part that has entered or left your facility. You can also create detailed transaction reports to see how a part or package worked its way through your facility.
That kind of visibility allows you to preemptively tackle challenges and improve your efficiency. It also gives you the capability to give your customers rapid and accurate responses about turnaround time and when an order can be delivered.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of using VV software is its ability to prevent packaging and distribution mistakes. The VV software can generate packing lists based off of its sync with your SAP system.
Whenever a part moves through your process, it’s scanned at each step. That scan is reflected on the packing list. When the package is ready to be crated and loaded onto a truck, your team can quickly look at the digital packing list to make sure every part was scanned at every point along the way.
Crates can also be scanned, allowing you to make sure every crate is on the truck before the shipment leaves the facility. Every team member throughout the process has the ability to quickly check the VV and make sure the part or package is on track. Human error is reduced and accuracy is increased.
The use of scanners and automated software syncing eliminates redundant and repetitive administrative work. There’s no need to manually update your business software with package information because that data automatically syncs over from the VV platform. Documents like packing slips and route travellers are generated automatically, relieving your team of the burden of creating them manually.
You can give access to the VV software to key members of your customers’ teams. They can then quickly check on their where items are and when they can expect them. That eliminates the need for your team to field numerous emails and phone calls about status information.
Accuracy. Efficiency. Transparency. That’s what you get when you work with a packaging and distribution partner who has invested in industry leading technology. If your packaging partner doesn’t offer this kind of technological support, it may be time to consider alternative options.