Zebra Technologies Corporation, a global leader in products and services that provide real-time visibility into organizations' assets, people and transactions, has announced it has launched the Material Flow ROI Calculator, a free online analysis tool that evaluates a manufacturer's material flow to determine efficiency and cost saving opportunities. In addition, in a commitment to help manufacturers more easily adopt lean manufacturing processes, Zebra builds off its recent "Eliminate 7 Wastes from Your Supply Chain with Real-Time Asset Management Solutions" whitepaper and outlines the top reasons why giving physical items a virtual voice through real-time asset management is the most effective way for manufacturers to put lean principles into practice.
"Lean manufacturing is so much more than just 'doing more with less' and really represents a frame of mind that embraces a better and smarter way to operate a facility," said Jill Stelfox, vice president and general manager of Location Solutions, Zebra Technologies. "Zebra has proven that through real-time visibility of assets, lean manufacturing can be more easily attained and more importantly, maintained, to bring sustainable benefits to a manufacturer."
Zebra's Material Flow solution provides manufacturing operations with the ability to centrally manage and control supplier collaboration, internal supply and facility-wide communication across multiple facilities or within a single location. In an effort to further demonstrate the value of real-time asset management, Zebra developed the Material Flow ROI Calculator that evaluates how a manufacturer is currently maintaining and processing the materials that support the manufacturing process and how much it could benefit from a real-time asset management program, also known as a full LEAN pull system. The no-cost evaluation takes approximately five minutes to complete and asks a range of questions from general inventory value to size of staff. As a result of completing the analysis, a full "Economic Impact Report" is generated noting the potential for savings.
In conjunction with the launch of the Material Flow ROI Calculator, Zebra outlines five reasons why a real-time asset management solution is a highly effective solution that combats the obstacles that prevent many manufacturers from embracing lean practices:
- Reduced inventory -- Real-time asset management enables a full pull system, which allows a manufacturer to pull materials when they are needed in real-time versus anticipating when they will be needed. This allows manufacturers to have better visibility into inventory and reduce overages and inventory costs.
- Involves the entire supply chain -- Traditional asset management systems are often supported by facility management or by a selected group of individuals tasked to maintain the system. Real-time asset management uniquely enables line-side operators to trigger material requests, while the system also supports communication beyond the four walls, enabling suppliers to have visibility into material consumption.
- Supports the flexibility of assembly lines -- Because assets and the related data are tracked in real-time, manufacturers, and most notably automotive manufacturers, can now support multiple models on a single line, which reduces errors, increases efficiencies and enables more productivity. RFID tags on assets signals to the system what model or product is on the line and the related assets are quickly associated to it.
- Increased quality -- With a real-time tracking system, manufacturers can isolate events for easier measurement, benchmarking and evaluation. For example, by RFID tagging assets on a production line, a manufacturer can quickly identify the specific source of a production issue without having to halt production for an extended period of time to manually identify where the issue is based. Manufacturers can also track high value tool usage and increase quality control and create a safer working environment by automatically adjusting the tool to fit the needs of the user.
- Provides more accuracy -- Asset management systems that require manual or delayed recording risk business interruptions and duplicative, wasteful action. A real-time solution allows for less human error and provides clear and detailed visibility into not only the asset's availability and location, but also the condition of the asset, which is data that can only be achieved through a real-time location system.
To access the "Eliminate 7 Wastes from Your Supply Chain with Real-Time Asset Management Solutions" visit http://www.zebra.com/content/dam/zebra/white-papers/en-us/eliminate-7-wastes-en-us.pdf
About Zebra Technologies
A global leader respected for innovation and reliability, Zebra Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq:ZBRA) offers technologies that give a virtual voice to an organization's assets, people and transactions, enabling organizations to unlock greater business value. The company's extensive portfolio of marking and printing technologies, including RFID and real-time location solutions, illuminates mission-critical information to help customers take smarter business actions. For more information about Zebra's solutions, visit www.zebra.com.