14 Aug

Get leaner and increase transparency with these 5 data collection solutions

More value, less waste. The goal of lean manufacturing is simple, but the process of getting there can be complex. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the helpful principles of lean thinking and highlight a few rising data collection technologies that manufacturers are using to put them into practice.

The value of your products is determined the needs of your customers.

Your buyers don’t just want products. They want products that show up on-schedule, properly labeled and packed. One way many manufacturers are adding value for customers is by using data collection systems to automatically create Advance Shipping Notices for every shipment—a strategy that some manufactures report results in a 54.3% reduction in chargebacks.[i]

Eliminating waste starts with mapping the entire process, from raw materials to end products, step-by-step.

A good map requires visibility—the kind of visibility you get from data collection solutions that quickly and automatically inventory every stock unit that passes in or out of your building. That’s why warehouse executives are planning to expand the use of barcode scanning by 67% over the next 5 years.

If the process is ever interrupted, waste is created. Synchronizing every aspect of production is critical.

Getting all of your activities synchronized means connecting them all to one system. Lean principles are difficult to implement from an excel sheet or pen-and-paper archive: modern manufacturers are turning to comprehensive ERP or WMS systems to provide up-to-the-second details on inventory, order status, and more.

Reducing interruptions in the process lets you deliver products as needed—you won’t have to keep a large inventory on hand to meet customer demands for quick delivery.

It’s no secret that reducing inventory helps your bottom line, but how can you make sure your team can move fast enough to fill orders without delays? Wearable computers are a great way to maximize the productivity of your team members while increasing order accuracy, which is why 45% of today’s warehouse executives are planning to deploy them.[ii]

Make lean thinking part of your culture, and relentlessly strive to eliminate waste.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you go further in your waste-free strategy, consider the SMS Group. To learn about how we’ve helped other organizations implement lean principles successfully. more, give us a call at 937-498-2700 or fill a contact form and we will be in touch.


[i] Langer et. al 2007. Assessing the Impact of RFID on Return Center Logistics
[ii] Zebra Warehousing 2020 Survey



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25 Jul

From lightweight vehicles to driverless cars, what manufacturers need to keep up with today’s trends

For the automotive industry, the latest reports reveal a profusion of new consumer demands: automated driving, fuel efficiency, and custom-built vehicles, to name a few. For manufacturers, these trends demand new technologies, new processes, and new capabilities.

As the industry revolution rolls on, manufacturers with the ability to collect, analyze, and apply data will find themselves flourishing. Without data-driven insights, manufacturers will struggle to find the right path to take operations to the next level.

Zebra’s latest article, Automotive Manufacturing Keep Up With Demand, illustrates how manufacturers are innovating their processes and products using real-time data. Inside, you’ll find strategic ideas for automotive manufacturing organizations looking to stay on top of consumer trends.

[Read the Article]

Contact us to learn more about successes we’ve seen and how to take steps toward greater operating efficiencies in your environment. We can help you find the best past towards efficient data collection and integration and can guide you in selecting the right data systems for your unique requirements. Simply email us or call 937-498-2700.

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20 Jul

The 4 Tell Tale Signs Your Data Integration Systems are Failing You

Data integration systems are critical in today’s manufacturing environment. In order to keep efficiencies up and customers happy, manufacturers must keep their data solutions current—and integrated.

Why? Ineffective systems can be a silent killer when it comes to productivity and lead to problems such as:

  • Inaccurate information
  • Disruption and delays in the supply chain
  • Increase in overhead costs

See below for the critical warning signs that your data systems are losing strength.

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30 Jun

Multi-Modal Warehouse Solutions: 7 Tips for Outfitting a Mobile Workforce

Intro_Multi_Modal_Warehouse_thumbnailMulti-modal is here to stay. In fact, 51 percent of warehouse professionals are planning to implement multi-modal solutions into their operations in the next three years.

This is because businesses that incorporate multi-modal solutions see benefits that include increased accuracy, speed, and efficiency.

Are you planning on going multi-modal? Read our infographic, Multi-Modal Warehouse Solutions: 7 Tips for Outfitting a Mobile Workforce, to help you evaluate your next multi-modal solution.

[Read the Infographic]

Contact us to learn more about successes we’ve seen and how to take steps toward greater operating efficiencies in your environment. We can help you select the right models based on your unique requirements. Simply email us or call 937-498-2700.

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19 Jun

How to Choose the Right RFID System

Due to their ability to increase efficiencies and lower expenses, radio frequency identification (RFID) technologies are becoming common across a number of industries. There are a variety of different types of RFID technology, tags, and readers out there—each suited to different types of environment.

In this blog, we’ll break down RFID basics to explain what RFID is and help you determine the right RFID system for your application.

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05 Jun

Wearable Devices Change the Way We Collect & Analyze Data

17_03_SMS_Mobility_ThumbnailWearable devices are changing the game when it comes to meeting customer demands. Workers can now process transactions in a smooth, cost-effective way without compromising their safety, productivity or customer satisfaction.

Companies adopting wearable technologies are seeing:

  • Greater flexibility
  • Better productivity
  • Data accuracy
  • Increased communication

Check out our latest infographic, Wearable Devices Change the Way We Collect & Analyze Data, to learn more about the advancements in wearable technology.

Contact us to learn more about successes we’ve seen and how to take steps toward greater operating efficiencies in your environment. We can help you select the right models based on your unique requirements. Simply email us or call 937-498-2700.

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23 May

Container Tracking: Understanding Your Options

There is a significant risk for theft or loss when transporting expensive assets with little to no visibility.

In fact, some companies spend over $100,000 per year on returnable containers, making poor visibility a costly mistake. And for something so big, it should not fall through the cracks.

To overcome this obstacle and stay on top of your high value containers container tracking is an effective way to increase visibility at every stage of your supply chain.  Container tracking helps businesses monitor the movement and location of containers and increase accountability.

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19 May

Finding the Right Data Collection Solution: Key Questions to Ask Yourself – and Your Provider

When it comes to automating manual processes in the warehouse, distribution center, or on the factory floor, the right technology and the right solution provider are two critical pieces that can make implementation a success.  At the same time, your mid-size business rules may not be a direct fit with the enterprise software and solutions that are being offered today. Finding a technology provider who will learn your business and create a system to maximize your strengths is one of the most important decisions you can make.

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10 May

Getting the Most Out of Multi-Modal Picking Solutions

The saying “two heads are better than one” seems fitting for this topic; particularly when you relate it to multi-modal operations. When just one technology is used to perform a task, it is likely that some part of the execution of that task will require manual operation. The problem with that is that manual processes tend to fall short in accuracy and verification. Bringing technology into the fold helps to mitigate errors that otherwise may not be discovered until, in some cases, the customer receives their order.

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03 May

Reaching New Heights: The Benefits of Multi-Modal Data Collection

If you’re not familiar with multi-modal data collection technology in the warehouse, here’s a quick overview to get you up to speed. A multi-modal application involves the use of two or more technologies to perform a variety of tasks, allowing the user to execute these tasks virtually hands-free. This approach includes a wrist-worn mobile computer with a touchscreen, a headset for voice-directed operations, and a ring-style barcode scanner to collect data.

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