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5 modules of the MES software that effectively manage inventory operations

MES Software
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Summary: Inventory management is an essential function for companies operating in the manufacturing sector. The two most critical aspects of inventory are acquiring raw materials from vendors and storing the finished products in the warehouse. Companies need to ensure traceability of manufacturing operations, order replenishment & deliveries on time, lot traceability, compliance with inventory updates in real-time, and much more. Fortunately, MES software is a comprehensive system that allows manufacturing companies to track materials in the warehouse, improve stock accuracy, track lot traceability, and achieve compliance.

MES Software

Let’s delve deep into each module one by one.

1. Inventory Management

The inventory management module of the MES software tracks raw materials, semi-finished, and finished products. It implements bi-directional traceability from materials consumed to products made and from products made to materials consumed. Moreover, it helps reduce working capital and keeps tight control over the inventory. The best part is that users can get real-time updates about the inventory status. Furthermore, the software can automatically order raw materials if the stock falls below the set threshold.

The features of the inventory management module of the MES software are:

  • Inventory status can be changed. For example, inventory can be scrapped, created, isolated, and released. 
  • Set best-before and use-after dates to ensure that the oldest inventory is used first. 
  • Generate unique lot numbers and create a single repository to check the movement history of each lot. 
  • Attach traceability details such as creation date and time, work center, production order, and much more with each inventory lot created.
  • Create First in – First out (FIFO) keys to ensure the oldest stock is used first. 
  • Shift and move inventory across various locations, including local stores, warehouses, racks, and bins. 

The benefits of this module are:

  • Enhanced visibility: Get real-time location of each inventory lot.
  • Continual improvement: Critically examine historical reasons behind any failure. For example, Top 5 reasons for delayed delivery of raw materials from the vendor.
  • Keep working capital under control: Implement a pull strategy by knowing what is available. 
  • Improve the quality of operations: Handle lot release & isolation effectively.
  • Lot traceability: The two-way traceability feature will allow you to fulfill customer requirements efficiently.

<<<Also Read: The Impact of Poor Inventory Management in Discrete Manufacturing>>>

2. Warehouse & Logistics

Manufacturing companies need to efficiently manage the raw materials coming inside the warehouse and the finished products moving out. The warehouse & logistics module helps replenish materials consumed, manage shipments, handle internal deliveries to production processes, and much more. MES software manages all these operations effectively and also updates crucial data into the ERP software in real-time.

The features of the warehouse & logistics module of the MES software are written below:

  • Tracking all materials — raw materials and finished products — in real-time.
  • Maintains complete traceability of all in-bound and out-bound orders in a single repository.
  • Validates and confirms in-bound and out-bound deliveries are complete and updates the status in the ERP software.
  • Creates a warehouse hierarchy and arranges items accordingly.
  • Contains dashboards that display expected stock movements and a summary of stock levels.
  • Use scanners to unload the goods in the warehouse.
  • Prioritized picking & shipping lists are shared with forklift drivers who use them while loading the goods onto the transport vehicles.

>>>Also Read: 5 must-have components of Advanced Planning and Scheduling software>>>

3. Label printing

You can reduce the operating cost substantially by printing bar-code labels on-demand instead of printing in advance. The label printing module prints labels on-demand automatically. You can also create various templates for different situations like shipping labels, internal labels, and final labels. Moreover, this module also shows precise information about safety & hazard warnings, lot number, part number, next operation, and description.

The features of the Label printing module in the MES software are as follows:

  • Print labels at the point of production. 
  • Route labels to the nearest printer.
  • Reprint labels whenever required.
  • Generate unique label templates.
  • Print multiple labels for packages that need more than one label.
  • Print secondary labels such as those for safety notices and product information.

The benefits of this module are mentioned below:

  • Continual improvement: Print-on-demand feature allows better controlling of serialized lot numbers than print in advance.
  • Minimize waste: Print labels only when you need them.
  • Eliminate errors: Always print the right information on the label with various label templates every time.

4. Build Traceability

Manufacturers of safety-critical products require to extend traceability to serialized parts. The traceability feature of the MES software ensures the final product has the right in-built parts that eventually help achieve compliance. The “Build Traceability” feature of the MES software records the serial numbers of the components/parts used in the manufacturing production process. Moreover, it also traces the time for which each part goes through a manufacturing operation. 

The features of the Build Traceability module of the MES software are:

  • Generate serial numbers based on pre-set rules.
  • Store the full traceability records in your MES software.
  • Record and validate the components used in the Bill Of Materials (BOM) and the manufacturing process steps.
  • Use RFID tags.
  • Capture the time taken by each machine to make each part.
  • Update the quantities of the actual materials used in the ERP system.

The benefits of this module are:

  • Eliminate waste: Prioritize soon-to-expire materials over newer materials.
  • Minimize errors: Create a process to ensure the correct use of materials against the Bill of Material (BoM).
  • Achieve traceability: Monitor the inflow of raw materials and outflow of finished products conveniently.
  • Enhance stock accuracy: Update the ERP system in real-time with values such as stock left, stock used, and stock ordered.

5. Traceability and consumption

For facilitating the implementation of material traceability in your manufacturing operations, you should know which inventory lots were used to manufacture each product. The traceability and consumption module tracks output against consumption, eliminates errors, and prioritizes the use of components/materials. This module and the inventory management module allow improving the accuracy of the raw material stock in the ERP software. They also record the consumption of semi-finished goods and raw material lots in the production process. 

The features of the traceability and consumption module of the MES software are:

  • Monitor and check use-by-date and FIFO rules.
  • Use RFID tags. 
  • Record scrap accurately.
  • Check that the right material is being used against the BOM.
  • Track the number of materials used from each lot.
  • Accurately trace the quality of lots of material based on quality state (released, available, scrapped, and isolated)
  • Traceability reports capture various data points about each lot, such as when it was loaded, who loaded it, whether all parts were used, the duration for which it was used, and returned parts.



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Disclaimer: All the information, views, and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and their respective web sources and in no way reflect the principles, views, or objectives of Sage Software Solutions (P) Ltd.

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