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Meet your manufacturing sidekicks – mobile computers! These handheld devices improve manufacturing operations by enhancing work-in-progress tracking with barcode technology, guaranteeing visibility across assembly lines.

Plus, they’re the masters of seamless integration, playing a key role in real-time goods inventory management.

But the magic doesn’t stop there – mobile computers and inventory management software, boosts supply chain visibility, providing real-time information for manufacturers. These devices offer detailed information around inbound and outbound orders, from package locations to estimated arrival times, streamlining the shipping process. No more delays in getting those customer orders out the door!

Here, we look in more detail how mobile computers improve manufacturing workflows:

Work-in-progress tracking

Accurately tracking the status of work in progress (WIP) is essential for any manufacturing operation. Without a clear idea of where products and materials are throughout the production process, you’re not accurately able to assess manufacturing needs, and operational downtime may occur – which could lead to losses.

Goods inventory management

Having an up-to-date finished goods inventory list is important to fulfil customer orders correctly. Lack of visibility into which products are ready to be sent out can create costly days.

When a barcode on a finished product is scanned using a mobile computer, the data is instantly captured, eliminating the need for manual entry.

The devices also seamlessly integrate with inventory management systems. Whether it’s a Warehouse Management System (WMS) or an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, mobile computers ensure that data is available across your entire network.

One example is Zebra’s TC7X series, rugged handheld devices that are built to handle drops, bumps, spills, heat cold and more – inside and outdoors. These devices are loaded with features for high performance scanning, from integration with your work-in-progress or inventory management system to They capture barcodes in virtually any condition and lighting, from as far as 40ft away.

Advanced tracking

You can improve your company’s supply chain visibility by using mobile computers alongside inventory management software. This way, you can view up-to-date information on inventory databases to thoroughly assess your manufacturing needs. A clear inventory of where products and components stand throughout the production process is essential to maintain the efficiency of your manufacturing workflow.

Mobile computers ensure that every piece of the production process has full visibility and traceability. For example, mobile devices featuring barcode scanners or RFID readers can accurately scan and record the status of materials, items, and products.

They can also give you details of each inbound and outbound order, displaying information such as the location of packages and the estimated arrival time. In this way they can help the shipping department to verify orders and print labels with the right shipping information.

Order picking

Mistakes made during the order picking process often create significant inventory problems – this can be a serious bottleneck in any manufacturing operation.

Instead of simply allowing workers to handle items, handheld mobile devices with a built-in barcode scanner can ensure all goods are accounted for. Human errors are limited where the devices tell workers what items need to be picked and their next destination. As a result, more items are picked correctly, reducing inventory problems.

The Zebra TC53 and TC58 can accurately collect parcel dimensions in just seconds, with the simple press of a button. No need to manually measure boxes. You can also scan items from over 40ft away and for intensive scanning, you can add on a trigger handle and accessories for in-vehicle use.

If you have any questions, or want to learn more about our range of Zebra mobile computers, please get in touch with our experts at enquiries@expd.co.uk