As we finish up July, IntelliTrack is pleased to announce that we’ll be making some exciting updates to our Stratus line.

On Sunday, August 3rd, updates will go into effect for all IntelliTrack Stratus products. The updates will allow for Stratus data lists to be specific to a division. In the past, data lists have been available company-wide, for multiple divisions. With the new updates, Stratus information can become unique and specific to a division. This change in the Stratus data structure will apply to:

  • Lookups (Accounts, Categories, Conditions, Manufacturers, Models, and Units of Measure)
  • Container Types
  • Assignees
  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Carriers and Shipping Methods
  • Barcode Parsing Rules

For existing customers, after these updates are applied on August 3rd, the above data tables will be automatically duplicated for all divisions. Best of all, you don’t need to do anything—after the updates are applied, your software and the data tables listed above will instantly be updated so that you can start analyzing this data within a specific division!

The updates are expected to take approximately one hour on August 3, 2014. During this time, the site will be unavailable. We apologize for any inconveniences this may cause.

Please contact us if you have any additional questions.

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 12.29.35 PMWe were in the cloud before it was cool.

We are pleased to be celebrating the 5th year of our line of hosted web-based inventory software—Stratus.

Over the past five years, we’ve watched web-based inventory software grow, change and flourish—and IntelliTrack was there from the beginning.

To date, our Stratus line consists of:

Our Stratus line of products have brought about hundreds of happy customers, finally able to solve all of their inventory control needs from a convenient, hosted solution.

In order to celebrate IntelliTrack’s Stratus line of products turning 5, we’re giving away one month of access to the system for free!

It may be our birthday, but we want our customers to receive the present! Simply sign up for a one year account and the first month of access will be provided at no cost to you! Contact us for more details.

Happy 5th Birthday Stratus!

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 5.45.36 PMIn the words of Kermit the frog, “It ain’t easy bein’ green.” This statement is true now, more than ever, when it comes to the supply chain. Having a sustainable supply chain is no longer an option—it’s a necessity.

Over the past few years, sustainability has become more and more important as we’ve become increasingly aware of how our actions impact the environment. Improving sustainability in the supply chain has become a strategic business decision. One way to improve your supply chains’ sustainability is by taking a closer look at packaging.

Packaging is crucial in communicating the brand’s identity to the consumer. As global awareness of sustainability increases, consumers are letting the environmental impact of a package determine purchasing behavior. In fact, in a recent survey by Cone Communications, approximately 80 percent of respondents claimed that sustainability is important in their purchasing decision and prefer packages that define the proper way to use of and dispose of the product/package. Sustainable packaging can enhance the reputation of the brand and become the final deciding factor when making a purchase.

In order to ensure companies are using sustainable packaging, strict regulations are being put in place to ban the use of certain materials.

Aside from following regulations and portraying packaging as “green,” reducing the weight of packaging can also have significant environmental impact by reducing transportation costs and thus reducing the carbon footprint of the supply chain 

What has your organization done with its packaging in order to achieve a sustainable supply chain? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, twitter or LinkedIn.

If time is money, then being lean is both. Thanks to mega retailers such as Wal-Mart, lean principles have rapidly spread to a variety of different manufacturers, such as consumer foods, apparel and food/beverage.

Over the past few years, these retailers have dramatically changed how they do business in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. How products are ordered, how inventory is moved throughout distribution centers and barcodes vs. rfid technology for inventory management have all been taken into consideration in order to work as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

While lean thinking has been rapidly expanding amongst large manufacturers and retailers, there are still a lot of companies that have hardly implemented any lean concepts.

At the end of the day, it’s about adding value for customers—but how can companies do that while also reaping in benefits for themselves?

Lean opportunities for wholesalers and retailers fall into three basic categories:

1) Retail Strategy
For lean concepts to be successfully applied within a retail or wholesale organization, departmental strategies need to be aligned with and support an overall lean company strategy in order to efficiently function as one lean, cohesive machine.

2) Merchandise Management
When it comes down to it, efficiently managing merchandise comes down to having the right product at the right price at the right time. To achieve this trifecta, developing, securing, pricing support and communicating the retailer’s merchandise offering effectively is of the utmost importance. Failing to manage merchandise using lean principles causes waste, taking away value from both the customer and the enterprise.

3) Store and Distribution Operations
Store and distribution operations tend to be where companies have the biggest amount of waste. Depending on how many stores are involved, it can be one of the hardest areas to manage, making lean principles seem unattainable. But distribution is all about optimizing trade-offs between handling costs and warehousing costs, maximizing the warehouse while maintaining low costs and minimizing time.

It’s All About the Customer
In a retail environment, it’s crucial to consider store operations and process improvements from the customers’ point of view before making lean improvements. Remember, what’s good for the customer is good for your business; it’s just about finding the right solution.

Analyzing in-store logistics can be very beneficial to becoming a lean organization. These “last 10 yards” of the supply chain can have a drastic impact on your bottom line—from employee productivity, to quality issues, to receiving processes, every little step in the last 10 yards is crucial to improve processes and increase profits.

In addition to those crucial last customer-facing moments in the retail environment, omni-channel marketing, such as e-commerce, adds an entirely new layer of challenges to becoming a lean organization.

Identifying where customers will see value across all channels and applying lean concepts to these areas is crucial in retail and wholesale environments in order to succeed in today’s competitive market.

 

 

IntelliTrack recently made updates to our StratusMobile software in order to help our customers work as efficiently as possible.

Rapid Issue and Rapid Receipt
StratusMobile users can enjoy Rapid Issue and Rapid Receipt.This feature was added to enable users to quickly issue and receive items during a Stock Issue and a Stock Receipt. In addition, items can be continuously scanned to an Issue Order or the Receipt Order by using the Lock feature.

Add and Maintain Item and Assets in Containers
With the new StratusMobile update, users can easily add or remove items and/or assets from a container, allowing for assets and items to be grouped into a moveable location. Grouping the items makes it easy to make updates if an item or asset needs to be removed.

Now, the Add Container form and Edit Container form each have two new tabs—Assets and Items. An asset can be easily added or removed from the container in the Assets tab. Items can be managed in the Items tab. The new form was created with rapid item data entry to a container in mind and uses a Lock feature, allowing users to “lock” a value in a field so that it doesn’t have to be continually scanned.

Rapid Asset Entry for New Assets
We’ve added a new Asset Inventory form for rapidly adding new assets. With the new form, users can rapidly add new assets to a site-location, in addition to assigning a serial number, assignee and condition to the asset. The new Inventory-Assets form uses a lock feature that allows default values to be set within a field. In addition, users can customize the prompting sequence when adding data.

Update StratusMobile Today
In order to take advantage of all these great features, please be sure to update your StratusMobile application and database. View instructions on how to update your StratusMobile software.

In addition to updating the Stratus Mobile, updates were made to the Stratus Web Application.

View Labels Page
In the Stratus Web Application, improvements have been made when previewing and printing the following labels:

  • Asset, Item, and Location Labels are now sorted in ascending order
  • Asset Labels now have the added ability to be sorted by an Asset Number range
  • Assignee Labels now have the ability to be sorted by an Assignee range

Rapid Check-In/Check-Out feature
The Rapid Check In/Out feature now contains a Rapid Check-In/Check-Out Operations Reportas well as a new Save and Print function. The Operations Report contains all of the Rapid Check-In/Check-Out Operation Labels, which are contained on a 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper. Simply print the report and all of the operation labels will be conveniently located on one sheet of paper. The new Save and Print feature allows users to save the check-in or check-out transaction and loads the correlating Confirmation report onscreen. The Confirmation report includes the asset number-item, description and assignee for each asset that was checked in or out during the session. The Confirmation report can be previewed onscreen, exported to a file or printed depending on your needs.

Contact us with any questions regarding either the StratusMobile update or Stratus Web Application update.

 

On Sunday, June 29th updates will be applied to the IntelliTrack Stratus products. The updates will take roughly an hour during which time the site will be unavailable.

Performing a full physical inventory can seem like a daunting task, but having accurate inventory is the key to overall accuracy in the warehouse. Luckily, there’s ISRP by IntelliTrack to help with all of your inventory needs.

ISRP is ideal for small to mid-sized warehouse order fulfillment operations and is comprised of four main functions—Inventory, Shipping, Receiving and Picking.

ISRP Inventory supports warehouse functions such as physical counts, cycle counts and moving inventory, all from a mobile device.

Download a step-by-step procedural guide for performing a full physical inventory using Intellitrack ISRP and start increasing your accuracy today!

You do not need a drone to provide excellent delivery service to your customers. We have been fascinated recently by Amazon’s commitment to delivery service within 30 minutes of placing an order, thanks to a drone zooming in and dropping a package right outside our doors. However, there is more to customer satisfaction than a high flying technological wonder.

What makes customers happy?
There is much more to a successful delivery than just a package showing up at the door. Your customers are probably happiest when:

  • They receive the product they order, not a substitute or something that was stored on the next shelf in the warehouse
  • The package is delivered to the correct address
  • The order arrives when scheduled

How to deliver on customer satisfaction?

For small to mid-sized businesses, there is a software solution for customer satisfaction. It is an Inventory Shipping Receiving and Picking (ISRP) system that calculates and tracks all data about the inventory, from receiving and storing products and receiving customer orders to picking, shipping and invoicing the items. You want the process to flow smoothly and if there are any glitches, you receive an immediate alert so you can take care of the problem right away.

ISRP software integrates the four main functions necessary for successfully filling customer orders:

  • ISRP Inventory is all about having an accurate and complete count of the inventory no matter what the location within the company operations. The system has the capacity for physical inventory and cycle counting. You can design queries and request reports that allow you to monitor and manage inventory.

Accessing this kind of information gives you the confidence to know you absolutely can fill the orders being received. You can build in reordering alerts so you never run out of product. You can track consumption over defined periods and cycles so you can plan ahead.

  • ISRP Shipping functionality validates all the details of your customer’s order and generates the shipping labels. The system is integrated with the delivery service provider such as FedEx or WorldShip so there is no need to risk errors by rekeying customer names and addresses.

The shipping information can also be exported to your billing department. Once again, eliminating the need to input the information again eliminates the risk of error. The customer will receive the items ordered and the correct invoice.

  • ISRP Receiving is the part of the software solution that enters all necessary data about the product you have ordered from a manufacturer or distributor. Such data typically includes a purchase order number, due date, vendor ID and the location where it is being stored. Errors are significantly reduced and the receiving process is speeded up as the information is validated by barcode or RFID tag readers. The product will now be easy to find to fill your customer’s order.
  • ISRP Picking imports the details of the customer order and validates the part number, location and quantity using a portable barcode or RFID tag reader. This efficient system reduces if not eliminates error so the customer will be assured of the correct product in the requested quantity arriving at the door.

What are the ISRP Advantages?

The primary advantage of using an ISRP software solution in your warehouse is all about accurate, complete, current information in order to fill orders efficiently. There is no more apologizing because you have to backorder an item or send a substitution. When a customer has spent time deciding on a product, you can be sure that is exactly what he wants to receive.

The customer data is all in the system so there is little chance of error in shipping labels. Having that functionality integrated with the system used by the courier who will actually be delivering the package is a great bonus feature. The risk of error just keeps on decreasing.

Customer satisfaction begins with the first step in the entire inventory process. If you know for sure that your purchase order is filled, received and stored in your warehouse, you are in a much better position to fill your customers’ orders to their complete satisfaction.

A drone dropping a package on their doorstep is not going to keep a customer happy. A delivery service arriving at the door with exactly what the customer ordered as a result of an efficient and accurate end-to-end ISRP system is impressive.

The IntelliTrack Solution

IntelliTrack Inc. offers state of the art ISRP software solutions that can be customized to meet your company’s needs. There is a web based option with cloud storage that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. There is also a system that can be locally installed on your company server and might be appropriate for your operation. IntelliTrack professionals are always ready to discuss your needs and what works to satisfy your customers.

 

IntelliTrack’s Package Track Data Management Software recently received a Certificate of Networthiness (CoN).

Package Track makes mailroom management and proof of delivery easy and includes applications for Inventory, Stockroom, Check In-Out and Fixed Assets, in addition to Package Tracking.

With Package Track, warehouse employees can easily check-in packages and assign them to the proper receiving customer. In addition, the software features a ‘mailroom’ database that stores customer locations and contact notification information. Once a package is ready for pick-up, the application automatically sends an e-mail notification.

Package Track by IntelliTrack was granted the CoN based on its trusted standardized platform, configured per FDCC.

Learn more about the CoN for Package Track.

Never take for granted the security and integrity of your asset management. There might be locks on the warehouse at night, a system for signing out supplies, a paper trail for processing a customer order and even a security guard at certain sites. However asset vulnerability is much more than being susceptible to actual theft. It is any condition that leaves your inventory open to losing product, information, time and money.

Indicators of Vulnerability

Consider the following common signs of the vulnerability and see if any of them apply to your business:

  • Lost Assets

Do you know how many items you have, where they are and who last touched them? If not, you are not managing your inventory effectively. All too often, it is careless or rushed employees who accidentally store an item in the wrong location or forget to log it in or out. It might be a small tool, a case of first aid supplies or a vehicle.

No matter what the size or cost, that item is lost to your inventory. What is particularly worrisome is that you might not even realize there is something missing. All you can do is hope that someone will find and restore the item to active use.

  • Theft

Unfortunately, there are employees who will take advantage of a weak tracking system to steal assets, whether equipment and tools, or consumable supplies. Would you know immediately if there are items stolen or do you have to wait until there is a question mark on a monthly report? Is it possible you would never find out?

  • Time Spent Searching for Items

Do your employees spend time searching for misplaced items? Do you even know how often that happens? Are these incidents logged? Are there personnel issues because employees are blaming each other for misplaced items?

  • Errors in Audit

Is your auditor able to ensure the accuracy of the inventory count? Is he able to allocate costs to the inventory, identifying items past their prime or missing in order to monetize his findings?

  • Inventory Shortage or Overage

Is your inventory often caught short of product needed by employees or customers? Or, are there supplies and equipment stored in dark corners that will not be used for months, if ever?

  • Unreliable Inventory Records

Can you rely on your inventory records to plan your operations? Are you confident it is time to replace certain equipment or tools? Do you need to order more product to ship to customers or is there already more than enough on hand?

Financial Consequences of Asset Vulnerability

If your assets are open to carelessness, theft and mismanagement, your bottom line will suffer. Even a business that is profitable is either losing money unnecessarily or not realizing its sales potential. Unfortunately, every single human and system weakness error can affect your company’s financial health in the following categories:

  •  Product Availability

Financial loss is obvious when products disappear, whether through negligence or theft. The loss is mitigated if the items are simply misplaced and eventually show up. In the meantime, however, it can mean a loss of revenue as you can’t use or sell what you can’t find. Or, it might mean cash outlay if the missing items must be replaced if the work is going to be done.

  • Productivity

When your employees are searching for misplaced or lost items, they are wasting time away from their primary jobs. If the same one or two employees regularly misplace items, you probably want to look into ongoing performance issues. Whatever the frequency of carelessness or value of the individual items, there is always a negative impact on overall productivity.

A side effect of frequently misplaced items is the negative impact on the relationships among your employees. If it appears that one person is always causing trouble for the others, the blame laying game begins. When there is continual tension and frustration in the work environment, productivity drops.

The productivity calculation is quite simple: a decrease in employee output equals a decrease in company profits.

  • Customers

One of the most significant results of asset vulnerability is damage to your customer base. Usually, it is a product problem. If product is regularly misplaced or stolen, there will be ongoing shortages so orders cannot be filled as they are received.

Even if items are not lost, if there is sloppy, inaccurate, incomplete record keeping, you will not be able to plan your inventory effectively. The result is the same: unhappy customers. A diminishing customer base equals decreased profits.

Strengthen Your Asset Management

Whether your operations focus on providing products or services, it is essential that you are able to access accurate, up to date, complete data about all your inventory. Fortunately, there are many affordable, user-friendly software packages available to help you organize all your fixed and consumable assets.

Install one of these systems and you will have information about the volume, kind and movement of the assets in your warehouse, stockroom or on the road. You will know immediately if something is missing, or needs repair or replacement. You will receive alerts to reorder or move stock from location to another. All the information available can be customized to your particular operation.

There is no need for your valuable assets to be vulnerable to loss or mismanagement. IntelliTrack has a full range of software solutions for asset tracking and inventory management. Check out what is right for your industry at: http://www.intellitrack.net/barcode-inventory-software.asp