Inventory Image Capture and e-signature Capture

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Top 10 reasons it matters for your supply chain

Supply chain’s for enterprise and even medium sized businesses today are growing in complexity.  The inventory challenges that come with this complexity send us on a search for more powerful solutions.  The ability to capture an image and e-signature on the inbound and outbound is now part of the minimum standard for powerful WMS systems.

Today we will explore the top 10 reasons why image capture and e-signatures matter when addressing your supply chain challenges.

#1.  Inbound Item identification – yes you scan barcodes, lots, serial, expiration and capture additional item attributes such as NDC (national drug code at unit dose) … but distinguishing features for a visual identification adds one more layer of protection.  What the product looks like packaged, and outside of the package gives your warehouse personnel one additional visual layer of accuracy at receiving.

#2.  Inbound image capture of damaged product.  And why not capture the vendor drivers’ signature at the same time.  Let’s eliminate she-said, he-said during vendor / purchase order reconciliation.

#3.   Pickers who can get a visual identification of their items in addition to a barcode scan drives accuracy and speed in fulfilling orders.

#4.  Have you ever had Amazon or a big box retailer like Wal-Mart reject your pallet full of product with claims that it arrived damaged?  That can get expensive, and hard to prove otherwise.  WithoutWire has developed a workflow to capture an image of the pallet’s condition as it leaves your warehouse.  This makes conversations with your LTL carriers much easier … our images show that it left your warehouse looking great ... will your carrier assume full responsibility for how it arrives at the retailer?

#5.  3PL warehouses are required to capture images and signatures.  More and more 3PL’s are providing enterprise level functionality to win their customer’s business.  This functionality has become what we call “table stakes”.

#6.  DSCSA – the Drug Supply Chain Securities Act 21 CFR Part 11 outlines electronic signature and electronic records requirements such that you have a chain of custody that can be reported on.  Enabling compliance to this Act and other government Acts like it is critical for your supply chain.

#7.  SOC compliance enablement - a SOC 2 audit report focuses on a service organization's internal controls as they relate to security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy of a system.  Having digital documentation is a must when streamlining your audits so that you can stay focused on your day-to-day business.  Your goal should be to thrive, not survive your audits, and leading WMS systems and inventory platforms will help you do just that.

#8.  Ti-Hi - How to stack a good pallet.  “Highs and Ties” refers to the number of boxes/cartons stored on a layer, or tier, (the TI) and the number of layers high that these will be stacked on the pallet (the HI). It can also be used in reference to the stacking pattern used to load a pallet to generate a relatively stable stack.  An image of a proper pallet stack is critical for your pack out personnel.

#9.  Your WMS is a tool that is only as good as your supply chain team that embraces it.  Ease of use is key.  Your inventory management solution should be intuitive, contextually intelligent and guide your users through the processes that you define.  Capturing e-signatures and images at the proper time in your process is going to allow your team to rapidly embrace your digital supply chain tools.

#10.  E-signature and Image Capture have become essential to a modern WMS equipped to handle complex inventory challenges.  Here is a link to where companies often start their search.

If you would like to learn more about WithoutWire Inventory Sciences you can request a product demonstration of how complex inventory challenges are made simple for Distribution, Manufacturing and/or Field Service clients.

Steve Dwyer, CRO



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