A lot of our clients that use the Fourth Shift ERP want to utilize more modern technology such as scanners and tablets to manage their inventory as it moves into, out of, and throughout the floor. They want bar-coded labels and reports in order to track their inventory faster and more efficiently. The problem however, is that Fourth Shift does not have a complete out the box bar-coding solution. So how do you integrate bar-coding with Fourth Shift?
You also may already have Visibar© for your data collection and it is a great and powerful companion to Fourth Shift. The issue we find is that creating and modifying scripts in Visibar© to do such things as Inventory Moves (IMTR), Inventory Adjustments (INVA), and Purchase Order Receipts (PORV) to name a few, can be difficult if you need it to match your business process. Also finding a developer that is familiar with Visibar© can even be a larger challenge. In many of our previous engagements, our customers complain that Visibar© is slow and requires very antiquated hardware (Windows Mobile Devices) to even work and are constantly searching for a replacement.
With the Fourth Gear Data Collection (FGDC) solution, not only are scripts easy to create and modify, they are fast and agile and work on basically any mobile device because the solution is web base and responsive. It is easy to develop because in the back end because it uses simple programming languages such as JSON and SQL that thousands of developers are familiar with. Use the contact form below to learn more about FGDC and if it is a good fit for you.
In recent versions of Fourth Shift, you find that there is a way to take some of the reports that you may use on a regular basis such as a Purchase Order Picklist (PurPick) report and bar-code it for use with scanners and tablets as seen below. You can bar-code the header data or the entire report if you like.
The challenge however is that the report, much like the entire ERP, is an out of the box solution and most manufacturers do not do things the same way so customization is a must. The report may not show what you need to do a proper pick based on your business rules. Also there may be other reports that if you go to a bar-coding solution, there is not an option to bar-code that report so the report has to be customized. If you or your IT team is experienced with SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) Reporting, you may think the solution is simple and to just modify the report in Visual Studio or Report Builder. We have found that even the most experienced SSRS expert has issues with modifying the stock Fourth Shift reports due to references in the RDL of the report which causes failures and a lot of frustration. One tip: Make sure that the barcode font that you use for your reports is installed on all of your machines that will utilize Fourth Shift and/or print out the reports you need bar-coded. Also make sure that your Adobe reader has the fonts installed as well so that they will print our on your PDF.
Fourth Gear has a lot of experience with Bar-coding SSRS reports in Fourth Shift to be tailor-made to your business needs and to work hand-in-hand with our Data Collection (or any data collection) solution. So if you are getting stuck let us know if we can help.
Finally you need to bar-code your inventory and thankfully this is not such a complex task if you have a good Data Collection solution. With FGDC, we can simply insert steps in your Inventory Moves or Adjustments to print Bar-coded Labels as inventory is modified. We can even create scripts just for create bar-coded labels for your inventory. Because we have lot of experience (over 10 years) with bar-coding solutions we have create great relationships with software and hardware companies and steer you in the right direction get the most our of your Fourth Shift ERP. This will reduce labor costs and greatly increase your overall ROI.
If you are having similar issues with Fourth Shift or any ERP, please feel free to fill out the form below and we will get back to you promptly.