Toyota Supplier Moves To 2-D Bar Codes
When one of your customers is a supplier to the world's fourth-largest automotive manufacturer, it is a given that you will do everything you can to help your customer meet all of that manufacturer's requirements for supplying. Such was the case for VAR TCH International, Inc. (Chicago). One of its customers, a Japanese machinery parts maker in Dallas, is a supplier for $163.6 billion Toyota Motor Company. When Toyota said, "Get 2-D bar codes in your warehouses," the parts maker turned to TCH and said, "Help us do that."
The manufacturer receives and ships more than 5,000 parts per month at its Dallas warehouse. It was using wireless bar coding, but that system was a batch processing system and used traditional linear bar codes. The 2-D bar codes can contain up to 6,000 characters, which allowed the manufacturer to include a product's manufacturing date and the day it was shipped. A ratio could be created from that data to show Toyota how long a product had sat in the warehouse.
TCH offered the parts maker its standard wireless inventory management solution plus Denso TD SCAN (USA) Inc.'s (Southfield, MI) 2-D BHT280QW-CE touch screen bar code scanner, which operates with Windows CE. A deciding factor for TCH in choosing the Denso scanner was the scanner's battery life: 8 hours with a single charge, which is vital in a warehouse environment.
Besides meeting Toyota's 2-D bar coding requirements, the inventory management solution has allowed the parts maker to better control the inventory in the warehouse with the detailed data it has on hand. Because the wireless scanners enable employees to scan products in real time as the shipments arrive at and leave the warehouse, the manufacturer knows what is, and needs to be, stored in its warehouse. This has also enabled the company to reduce its inventory, even with the high volume of products that come in and out of the warehouse. This has resulted in a significant cash flow improvement.