Free «Case Study» Essay Paper
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The case study seeks to help Taylor, who at times does sales, inventory and purchasing together Bill, who is the sales representative, bring out the benefits of using barcodes in the Vapid Lumber Industries (VLI). As a result, his boss Bob would give the green light of incorporating the technology into the company. There are many advantages associated with the use of barcodes in the business, and they include accuracy, speed, effective inventory control, and low cost.
As witnessed in the company’s setup, it is very tedious for Taylor to walk all day long counting the many huge stacks. As a result, he would make some typical human errors that result from the fatigue. More accuracy ca be achieved with the barcodes, since the system allows the reading of the encoded information and eliminates the possibility of human errors. In such a way, Taylor can quickly identify products and packages with much ease and thus save a lot of manpower that would be otherwise required to carry out the counting activity (Evans & Demand Media, 2016). In the same manner, Wall (2007) points out that the system also helps to ensure that the right package is chosen when needed.
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The barcode is easy to operate, and it does not require any specialized training of the employees. It only takes a few minutes for the workers to learn how to use the handheld gadget to read the barcodes. As a result, the operation can be carried out by any staff member of the company provided he/she has the firm’s authorization (Wall, 2007).
In the modern era, speed is essential, since the world has become a global place where goods regularly move from one corner of the world to the other. Therefore, if the company is to compete with the competitors, the use of technology is inevitable. Instead of Taylor spending a lot of time using pen and paper to enter the data on inventory with a possibility of making errors, the barcode method in this situation is a better option. With barcodes, the process of packages registration becomes much faster and convenient. The acts of reading and then keying in the information are reduced thus eliminating all forms of errors (Evans & Demand Media, 2016). This approach can also speed up the production of other goods, such as window frames, builder-grade door frames, pallets and door blocks (Wall, 2007).
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Taylor and Bill can explain to Bob that since every package has a barcode, it will be very easy for the company to use technology for keeping control of the inventory. It would also be easy to keep track of the items entering and exiting the lumberyard since the barcodes are identifiable during their movement in and out of the warehouse. When keeping inventory, the barcodes are rescanned as the package is stacked. In addition, during shipment, the company can use an internet portal that can help keep track of the packages and even inform the customers about the arrival of the order. In the same way, the relevant information can be sent to the office in Texas, and the tedious processes of reading and keying in the data can be eliminated (Evans & Demand Media, 2016).
Taylor may also inform Bob that unlike in the past when the barcode technology was expensive, its proliferation and availability made it very inexpensive. Barcode fonts can even be downloaded on the internet by the small businesses for free and used to label the inventory and packages. Many smartphones have an inbuilt application that can help interpret barcodes. If a smartphone is not available, this app can be downloaded to other gadgets. In a large company such as Vapid Lumber Industries, barcode technology is considered the cheapest method of inventory control (Evans & Demand Media, 2016).
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)
I would not recommend to advise Bob to use the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) system, since it is complicated and has many disadvantages as compared to the barcode method. Firstly, the RFID are more expensive, and a higher price will not be welcomed by Bob, since he intends to keep the operational cost as low as possible. Secondly, unlike barcodes, RFID approach is more complicated and the staff can have a hard time understanding the process. Thus, this method may lead to numerous errors and can be deemed less reliable in the keeping of inventory. After all, it can lead to many technological and personnel issues within the company. Thirdly, RFID approach can be less responsive that the barcode technology when the radio frequency has small signal strength. RFID systems are also affected by metal thus restricting their use in a room free of metal, which at times can be tough to achieve (Roberti, 2012).
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All in all, it should be noted that the Vapid Lumber Industries is in the dire need of matching the current technology if it wishes to compete in the market effectively. It is evident that the operations of the firm are conducted manually thus requiring quite a lot of time and leading to the wastage of time. The introduction of the barcode technique will speed up the operational process and improve the accuracy of inventory control. As a result, the profitability of the company will be boosted as well. All Taylor and Bill have to do is to critically explain these benefits to Bob and he will surely consider upgrading to the proposed technology for the better of the whole company.