Welcome back to our Inventory Management Features blog series! In this post, we will take a look at “Tags”, what they are, their benefits and how they work.
The term tags refers to a mechanism of maintaining inventory quantities. They are assigned to parts that make up an item and can be used to track inventory at a group (granular) level and an overall total (broad) level.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say that you manufacture a beverage and it includes 4 ingredients. You can assign a tag to each of these ingredients that make up the beverage. Make sure to allocate a name (LM 1, LM 2.. and so on), a quantity, and tag type. The type can be a serial number, a lot number or a batch number – depending on your preference. Now, manage the inventory for this item on a tag level or an item level, however you wish.
The major benefit inventory tags provide revolves around Traceability. Since they are associated to each part that makes up a item, you get the ability to trace them individually. For example, if a beverage turns out to be bad, you can use the tags to find out which lot it belonged to and recall them all.
Visibility in Supply Chain is an important goal for many organizations. Tags contain information such as location, serial number, expiry date, quantity etc., meaning they give you full information about your inventory. Having relevant up-to-date information at hand is the key to visibility across the board.
Better traceability and visibility of your inventory lead to better control over it. With this feature, you can see what parts are being used the most and where, you can plan your replenishment and fulfillment functions accordingly. Better control will help you save costs, and streamline your operations in the longer run.
Tags in an IMS
Since tags seem to function at a more in-depth level, their use in an IMS should reflect the same. Ideally, you should be able to perform transactions such as assign, unassign, transfer and cycle count with them. Also, as mentioned earlier, your system should let you specify its name, location, quantity and type. Some of the more common types you can assign are Bin, Lot, Serial Number, Case etc.
In addition, creating reports using this feature should not seem like a chore. Viewing the tags and generating reports that give you insights will be an indicator of a robust Inventory Management System.
In conclusion, different IM systems may offer the tags feature in a different manner. Regardless, their availability can serve a vital purpose to your inventory management goals.