Original Date: 10/20/1997
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Barcodes in Receiving
Previously, Northrop Grumman’s Materials Receiving methods consisted of numerous manual readings, verifying, counting, and recordkeeping tasks to incorporate production parts from dock to stock. Many of these steps required employees to load and unload the receiving material into staging areas until the paperwork was completed and the proper information was verified by appropriate sources. The process required 15 steps per item which averaged out to 35 days for material to go from dock to stock.
In 1995, Northrop Grumman installed a barcoding system which was tied into the company’s existing Unix/Oracle computer-based system. Hand-held bar scanners now provide mobility for the scanning system by sending radio frequency transmissions to a personal computer. Once arriving at the dock, receiving material is scanned for purchase order number, part number, quantity, stock location, and number of cartons. A Receiving Report is immediately generated and attached to the material. The computer automatically performs the necessary verification, recording, and location requirements. The Receiving Report also denotes any high priority items which require direct delivery to the factory floor. Discrepancies, if any, are noted and follow-ups are conducted. Upon arrival, it only takes an average of two hours for employees to resolve any discrepancies and move material from dock to stock. Northrop Grumman has 750 suppliers who ship material to its warehouse. Of these, 100% barcode their material and 61% fulfill the remaining approach compliances, requested by Northrop Grumman, for its barcoding system.
Through its barcoding system, Northrop Grumman streamlined its Materials Receiving methods from 15 to four steps. In addition, the company eliminated the large queue areas for holding material, improved its accuracy in accountability, reduced its labor, improved its overall receiving consistency, and, most importantly, improved its dock-to-stock cycle time from 35 days to two hours.
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