Top 20 Inventory Tips For Visual Enterprise
(How to save thousands of dollars on your projects)

These tips have saved our customers both time and money over the years. Consider them
before starting your barcoding project. 

1. Locations
Turn it on. Don’t use Main as your default warehouse location for all products. You won’t be able to find much stuff if it’s all in Main.

2. Trace
If you’re going to trace product such as Lot # or Serial # buy Lot Serial Trace. Third party products like RF Plus require this module to be installed. Also any additional trace fields you add and are designated as data entry fields are automatically shown on RF Plus’ screens.

3. Part Alias
To support scanning of barcode labeled product that comes in from your supplier with a different part # from yours, enter this as its part alias.

4. Kitting
Use this when you have finished goods products that are ‘kitted’ together during the picking process. You have to indicate a particular part is part of a kit by updating the Parts table directly in Visual. You need your database administrator to do this. Also a kit has to be part of your Engineering BOM.

5. Actual Cost
If you can’t go with standard costing, Visual allows you to customize how you calculate the cost of your finished goods. This puts you into the category of those who use actual cost to track costs of finished goods. You’ll need to make sure your inventory control vendor can follow this formula for calculating this actual cost whenever finished goods are received into Visual. Often this is a chargeable change. 

6. Unavailable Locations
Visual allows you to designate certain locations as being unavailable, meaning any product in that location is not available for your MRP processes. Examples of product that go into this location include goods waiting for inspection, expired product, product on hold for a special order, or consignment goods.

7. Units of Measurement
Visual allows you to keep multiple UOM for the same part. So you can have an UOM for supplier ordering purposes, a stock keeping, UOM, and a picking or selling UOM.

8. Allowing Locations to go Negative
This option allows you to take out more than what is in the location according to Visual – this drives the location to a negative number. Useful for backflushing activities or products that are JIT and get taken directly to the shop floor and not an inventory location. 

9. Backflush
With a barcoding system in place you may want to review which parts remain as backflush parts. Tracking parts that are used frequently as opposed to using backflush processes will result in cost savings and less money being tied up in that part.

10. Demand Supply Link
Certain parts are issued automatically to a WO upon receipt. Like Tip #9, you may want to review this procedure and consider having the barcoding system track this item individually especially if it’s high value.

11. Work Orders
Create a barcode equivalent of the work order number. That way it’s scanned instead of having to punch it into the system each time material is issued against it. 

12. Location Nomenclature
Follow a proper naming format for your warehouse locations. A common one is ZABLor Zone, Aisle, Bay, Level

13. Location Labels (Part 1)
Use color coded labels on your racking to designate different levels within your racking system. Also with color coding you don’t have to create big barcode labels that get affixed on the higher rack levels.

14. Location Labels (Part 2)
If your warehouse is equipped with long range bar code scanners, you should imprint your location labels with both large bar codes for long range scanning and small ones for short range scanning. That way, the same label will work for both man-up and man-down tasks.

15. Printers
Create a barcode label for each warehouse printer. Such that when a worker wants to select a certain printer to generate his output he simply has to scan the label on that printer.

16. Inventory Count
Segregate your product into ABC categories. Your A’s are your high movers – count them most frequently, B’s are your slower movers, and C’s are your slowest movers. 

17. Inventory Placement
Situate your heaviest product at the top of your pick location hierarchy so they get picked first – lightest at the bottom of your location hierarchy. When you generate your pick list and order it by lowest to highest pick inventory location you‘ll build the most stable pallet. 

18. Dynamic Locations
Turn this feature on to allow a putaway to a location that hasn’t been assigned to that part. Provided the barcoding system tracks product by location it’ll give the users flexibility to move product around and you’ll get better space utilization of your warehouse. 

19. Printing Barcode Labels
Always print off a few samples and do test scans in the actual application before doing a production print run. For example the Work Order ticket # and labor codes have special pre and post-ambles that need to be embedded into the barcode in order for Visual to understand them. 

20. Training of the End Users
Don’t wait for training day by the vendor. Involve them in use case testing, label design, system design, and training of other users.