An often overlooked challenge of increasingly complex business applications is the impact on data entry requirements. Without the timely and accurate input of data, the value and integrity of any business application decreases dramatically. These applications include sup- ply chain management, inventory management, purchasing, quality systems, process control, shop floor control, manufacturing execution shipping/distribution, warehouse management, maintenance management, etc. There are many ERP, SCM and WMS systems that provide these and other applications in tightly integrated modules on a common development platform. Most manufacturing and distribution companies have implemented one or all of these types of systems to some degree or another. Many also have business applications that are not part of their core system of record and use different technologies, on multiple platforms, some with different databases. This has happened due to compliance requirements, corporate consolidation, mergers or acquisitions, budget restraints, autonomous buying decisions by plant or department, etc.
Additionally, ERP, WMS, legacy, quality, MES, SCM and other business process/execution applications have evolved over time in application breadth, functional depth, navigational complexity, transaction processing volume and database size.
What does all this have to do with automated data collection and its associated Return on Investment (ROI)?
As business systems have become more complex, the amount of data needed to drive them has grown exponentially. This need has out- stripped many organizations ability to manually input the data at the rate necessary to keep pace with needs of the business system coupled with the velocity of material movement. A well integrated, enterprise wide data collection platform not only provides the inherent ROI found in automated data collection, it also enhances the usability and provides significant residual ROI for the business applications themselves. And probably the most significant ROI can be found in the increased productivity of the workforce.
But it’s just automated data collection right?