Happy Barcode Day! – Do you Barcode?

Do You Barcode? 

Many of our current customers take advantage of this amazing feature. If you’re not one of them, you’re going to want to listen up.

Barcoding has been around since 1951 and is widely used in retail environments where hundreds—even thousands—of SKUs exist. Keeping track of inventory, pricing, and purchase orders make taking care of those SKUs possible. But what about your maintenance department? How can it help you?

Let’s first look at your current stock room. Are your spare parts neatly arranged and labelled properly? Could you successfully send a new employee in there to find them? If not, you may need to use a barcode system.

You might be wondering whether it’s necessary to have a neat stock room. If you can find the parts eventually, does it matter? Imagine the following scenario: you’re pulling your PMs for the day, and you have a few pieces of equipment that need parts replaced; one needs a new belt, another needs a new hose, and some need new bolts. These appear to be quick and simple fixes—until you visit the stock room and struggle to find what you need. The bolts aren’t the right size. The belts you have are for other assets that aren’t interchangeable. That hose you know you saw yesterday is gone. Now what do you do?

If you search for another 20 minutes you might find that hose, but perhaps nothing else. Congratulations! You’ve just wasted an hour, and you can only do one of three PMs. Now you might need to track down your supervisor and explain why you can’t do the rest of your work. On top of that, you might need to wait on a purchase order for those parts to be approved, ordered, and shipped, delaying the scheduled PMs even further.

If you’re already doing heavy lifting to optimize your department with a Preventative Maintenance Plan, consider including barcoding. When you set up barcodes for inventory in your Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), you’ll not only be able to find parts within minutes, but the system also will automatically remove items from your inventory and charge them to the correct assets.

Maintaining a real-time overview of your inventory will help with purchase orders by indicating when to order new parts, how often you order certain parts, and enabling you to decide how much to order. Perhaps you’re ordering too frequently and have more inventory than you need, or perhaps you can include a part with a different purchase order and save on shipping costs.

Charging a part to its correct piece of equipment helps you be more efficient. The goal of which is to track your assets, keep them running, and maintain a safe work environment. Using a barcode system, you can take the information you receive from your CMMS and turn it into actionable processes. Examining your assets each month, as well as who has worked on them and which parts were used, allows you to adjust your PMs as needed. As an example, imagine that you have an asset that goes through hoses quickly. The CMMS history shows that you’ve changed hoses twice in a single month, but one hose should have lasted two or three months. With barcoding, you can examine what’s going on with that asset and find the root of the problem before it gets worse.

Before utilizing a barcode system, perhaps you were too busy to notice that your hoses were being used more than they should have been. The CMMS doesn’t show which asset is using which parts because the PM wasn’t filled out completely, or it was taken out of inventory without being charged to an asset. This might leave you with problems that could have been avoided, including asset failure and unplanned downtime.

Barcoding systems have come a long way since 1951 and have grown increasingly important in several industries, including maintenance. By keeping your assets running efficiently, avoiding costly downtime, and completing PMs on time, you can vastly improve your bottom line with a barcode system. MaintiMizer™ can provide you with barcoding that you can build directly into your existing system. In addition, we can share best practices for labeling and organizing your storeroom.

For more information, please email us at info@aschomtech.com. If you currently use our barcode system, please email marketing@ashcomtech.com with a note about how it helps your department. We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Barcode Day!

Team Ashcom