Vapid Lumber Industries (VLI) is an organization that is focused on the operations with wood. Its purchasing director, Taylor, is willing to implement changes to streamline manufacture and improve the quality of purchasing, sales, and inventory. Her innovations are connected with technology that is ignored by her boss, Bob. In particular, she is already using a computer and the Internet. As a lumber distributor started marking all pieces of wood regardless of their size, she decided to take advantage of their bar codes. Her ideas are supported by her colleague, Bill. However, Bob believes that simple cost less money and claims that they do not need other technological innovations. Moreover, he states that their management does not trust technology. To convince him to make changes, Taylor should point out all advantages and disadvantages of bar codes and radio-frequency identification (RFID), emphasizing that, regardless of some drawbacks, the organization can obtain numerous benefits if it makes a step forward.
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The Use of Bar Codes
To alter Bob’s perception of technology and make him consider the use of bar codes as a helpful tool for the company’s operations, Taylor should tell him what benefits it provides, pointing out the ways current manufacturing issues can be solved.
For instance, she can start with the fact that the lumber distributor had already implemented this change and all items have bar codes that are currently not used. However, it would be wrong to overlook an opportunity provided by the distributor. Right now VLI has a lot of paperwork that is very time-consuming. With the help of bar codes, Taylor will have an opportunity to check each piece of wood rather quickly (Martin, 2017). There will be no necessity anymore to calculate received items three times. As a result, she will be able to focus on other duties (The Digital Marketing Team, 2013). This option should appeal to Bob because he likes cutting corners on the job. He will not need to pay Taylor for the time she spends for the same repeated action and will give her more additional important tasks. Labor costs will also be reduced as there will be no necessity to write the monthly spreadsheets by hand. They will be sent online without any issues. In this way, both Bob and the management will be timely informed regarding any issues observed during work, which will affect decision-making positively. Similarly, personnel productivity can be measured, as it will be possible to find out what has happened to each piece of wood (Verified Label, Print & Promotions, n.d.). If the company hires new employees, it will not be difficult to educate and train them on how to conduct standard operating activities.
Unfortunately, not all bar codes are readable because the items are placed outside, and tags are destroyed by rain. In addition to that, some of them are accidentally torn by the workers. However, these problems are associated only with 10% out of the whole, which is not that critical. Moreover, there is a possibility of overcoming this issue. If Taylor uses a portative car code reader, she will be able to scan each flatbed load before it is offloaded and its bar code is damaged. Moreover, VLI does not need to put tags on the products because it has already been done by its distributors. This technology may be not beneficial if an organization works with a few orders and items, but it is not true for VLI (F. Curtis Barry & Company, 2017). Thus, even though organizational change will require funding and time, it is likely to be extremely useful for the company.
The Possibility of Using RFID
RFID is a technology similar to the use of bar codes because it allows transmitting information from RFID tags to RFID readers just like the information from bar codes is transmitted to bar code readers (Pandey, 2016). The main advantage of RFID in comparison to the already discussed option is the possibility of scanning more than a hundred tags at the same time (Trepagnier, n.d.). This opportunity is obtained as there is no necessity to have a line of sign visibility when using radio waves.
Using RFID, VLI can increase the efficiency of checkouts and streamline the process of counting received pieces of wood even more than with the help of bar codes. In this way, all operations conducted with them can also be easily tracked (“RFID vs barcodes,” 2012). However, it is critical to control the way all items are placed to ensure that all of them can be scanned and are not counted multiple times.
For now, it will be better if VLI uses bar codes but not RFID because it is easier just to use a reader and scan all items before they are offloaded than to buy RFID tags, put them on products, organize them appropriately, and only then scan them. However, if VLI’s distributors start using RFID instead of bar codes, it should make the same change to streamline its operations and increase productivity.
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F. Curtis Barry & Company. (2017). Pros and cons of bar code technology. Web.
Martin, K. (2017). What are the advantages & disadvantages of a barcode? Web.
Pandey, K. (2016). Advantages and disadvantages of RFID technology. Web.
The Digital Marketing Team. (2013). Advantages & disadvantages of barcode scanners. Web.
Trepagnier, K. (n.d.). What’s the difference between RFID and barcode technologies? Web.
Verified Label, Print & Promotions. (n.d.). Top eight benefits of barcodes. Web.