Asset Tracking and Inventory Systems


Passport Overview

Passport Overview

Watch this brief overview
video of our software to learn
how Passport meets all of
your inventory management
and asset tracking needs.

Inventory Management and Asset Tracking History

Tracking History

Go back in time and discover
why tracking your assets and
managing your inventory with
ASAP Systems is the right
choice for your business.

Inventory Management Information

Inventory System

We know what inventory management system you need because we've been providing long-term inventory solutions for over 30 years. Trust that our team can help you configure a system to fit your exact needs, be them industry specific or related to your business structure. We also provide barcode labels and barcode scanning hardware options for all of our products. If your inventory operations are made up of stock inventory in the form of raw materials, work-in-process items or ready to ship items, then it is optimal to get an inventory system in place to increase accuracy, efficiency and control. An effective, configurable and easy-to-use stock inventory system can improve your bottom line by cutting down on labor costs and task duration.

Inventory is the combination of a company's merchandise, raw materials, finished and unfinished products that have not yet been sold. These are considered liquid assets, since they can be converted into cash quite easily. There are various means of valuing stock inventory, but to be conservative the lowest value is usually used in financial statements.

Passport is designed to help you keep a handle on the goods. No matter whether you're working with supplies, finished products, spare parts, or consumables, tracking your inventory will let you know whether the crate has left the dock (or whether it never got there in the first place). It answers the questions: "Do you have any idea where my order is?" "Is the stuff that's supposed to be in your stockroom really in the stockroom? With a top-notch stock inventory tracking package, you'll know exactly where stock is at any given time.

A comprehensive inventory management system will follow the path as products are received, stored, inventoried, picked, packed, and shipped. When you implement barcode-based inventory tracking, data is collected and stored at every step of the way. Barcode or RFID printing and scanning are core offerings of many inventory management systems, with portable RF terminals that beam the information right from the warehouse floor. Technology, however, marches ever onward. While Barcode or RFIDs are an essential component of most systems, RFID tags will increasingly become an option in cutting-edge operations. The real-time inventory information afforded by these technologies provides customer service with the data they need to keep customers happy and suppliers in line.


Inventory Control

ASAP Systems has developed thousands of inventory management and inventory tracking solutions that offer businesses and organizations the same value and performance as larger companies. Managing stock inventory has never been easier! ASAP Systems lets you take full control of your inventory and invoicing. Get ahead of your competition by advancing and automating your stock inventory management processes. Our comprehensive barcode or RFID support will save you time and hassle. Just attach a barcode scanner or RFID reader to your PC and it will fully integrate with the Passport. Run our barcode or RFID system from most mobile barcode computers or RFID readers with the same ease as you would from a desktop computer in the office. Passport is a stock inventory system for businesses of all sizes.

Our complete inventory management package is loaded with helpful features to make your business more professional and profitable. Generate invoices and manage stock from your wherever you are, at or away from the office. Passport's inventory control functions run on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7/8.

It is easy to create invoices, pick lists, packing lists, goods management, and stock inventory category reports in real-time to accomplish inventory control. Passport is a streamlined approach to inventory management and order fulfillment. Inventory order fulfillment involves collaboration between suppliers and customers. Instead of sending purchase orders, customers electronically send daily stock inventory demand information to the supplier. The supplier generates stock replenishment orders for the customer based on this inventory demand information. The process is guided by mutually agreed upon objectives between all parties involved, regarding stock inventory levels, inventory fill rates, and transaction costs.

The goal of VMI, or vendor-managed inventory, is to align business objectives and streamline supply chain operations for both suppliers and their customers. The business value is a direct result of increased information flow:

• Improved Inventory Turns
• Improved Service
• Increased Sales

Inventory Control reduces expensive inventory errors, improves customer service, and will increase the value of your business. ASAP Systems' inventory tracking solutions are easy-to-use without the cost or difficulty of enterprise inventory tracking systems.



Use our inventory system with a wireless barcode or RFID scanner to collect inventory data promptly and accurately. You can also update the server in real-time, receive on a PO, and ship to your customers using the same wireless barcode scanners or RFID readers. If the need for a customized inventory program arises, our consultants and engineers have the know-how to create such a solution.



QuickBooks Integration

Our Inventory Software offers efficient inventory tracking for QuickBooks users. If you are a growing company using QuickBooks for accounting and need better inventory control, then our stock inventory system may be the answer for you.

Will our Inventory System help you?
Ask yourself:

• Does my company have a role in manufacturing, wholesale, or distributing processes?
• Do I use QuickBooks?
• Do I have stock inventory?
• Do I have multiple inventory stockroom locations?


If you answered 'Yes' to any of these, then a free trial or demo of our system will benefit you.

ASAP Systems Will Help Your Bottom Line:

• Increase inventory accuracy
• Increase worker efficiency/productivity
• Automate your order/supply processes
• Minimize product loss


People choose our stock inventory system for its incredible value. A great fit for any industry, our inventory system is the #1 inventory control solution for small and medium-sized businesses because of the savings realized through increased efficiency and accuracy. Don't leave QuickBooks when you can combine it with Passport for the best inventory control coupled with the best accounting software.

Data warehouse
Data warehouses store data from current and previous years that has been extracted from the various operational databases of an organization. It is the central source of data that has been screened, edited, standardized and integrated so that it can be used by managers and other end-user professionals throughout an organization.

Concepts
One issue is infrequent large orders vs. frequent small orders. Calculating inventory shipping costs, volume discounts, stock storage costs, and capital costs can be figured with mathematical precision. Basically, how much money do you wish to have tied up in inventory?

Maintaining the cost-effective amount of inventory is essential to every business. Too less or an excess of inventory is harmful to any entity's existence. The cost of inventory is regulated through inventory control. The problems in this field arise due to malpractices like old-fashioned support systems, poor processes, human error, etc.

The second issue is always having the demanded merchandise on-hand in order to make sales during the appropriate buying season(s). A classic example is a toy store pre-Christmas. If one does not have inventory on the shelves, one will not make the sales. And the wholesale market is not perfect. There can be considerable delays, particularly with the most popular toys. So, the entrepreneur or business manager will buy based on speculation and forecasting. Another example is a furniture store. If there is a six-week, or more, delay for customers to get merchandise, some sales will be lost. And yet another example is a restaurant, where a considerable percentage of the sales are the value-added aspects of food preparation and presentation, so it is rational to buy and store somewhat more inventory to reduce the chances of running out of key ingredients. With all these examples, the situation often comes down to these two key questions: How confident are you that the merchandise in stock will sell, and how much upside is there if it does?

The third issue comes from the whole philosophy of just-in-time, which argues that the costs of carrying inventory have typically been under-estimated, both the direct, obvious costs of stockroom storage space and insurance, but also the harder-to-measure costs of increased variables and complexity, and thus decreased flexibility, for the business enterprise.

Inventory Tracking System

Actual inventory cost method is used in manufacturing environments that includes the actual materials costs, machine costs, and labor costs reported against a specific work order to calculate the cost of the finished stock item.

We offer a complete inventory management system that performs multi-warehouse stock control. It has receiving, packing, and shipping functionality and generates invoices, purchase orders, and sale receipts if necessary.

ASAP Systems builds a complex profile of your software and hardware, missing Microsoft hotfixes, anti-virus status, and displays the results in your web browser. All the PC profile information is kept private on your PC and is not sent to any web server.

Our inventory solution is created around the type of stock inventory items you possess and your tracking goals. There is a package suitable for all industry types including retail stockroom inventory, warehouse inventory, and equipment inventory. The optimal inventory system should integrate with the rest of your operating systems like sales, shipping and receiving, accounting, and billing. Though you may still prefer to isolate the inventory tracking if that is critical to your operation. Regardless, our stock inventory systems contain extensive programming logic that allows them to be more effective in dealing with rapidly changing customer demands.

Security in our stock inventory solution allows you to share information with customers, employees, and vendors while protecting and storing it. Users assign the insert, read, modify, or delete privileges for each user or group down to the field level. Users also have access to only the data the administrator wants them to see.

Passport for stock inventory allows you to modify field names with the click of a button. You can change the generic field names and messages that appear in the user interface to match your industry-specific terminology and you can even establish custom configurations. Each workstation can have a different, unique configuration of our inventory system.

Advanced shipment notifications (ASNs) in the Passport inventory, assets and item-tracking system are used to notify a customer of a stock shipment. ASNs will often include numbers designated for PO's, SKU's, lots, quantities, pallets, containers, and cartons. ASNs may be paper-based, however, electronic notification is preferred.

Proper inventory management lets you take full control of your inventory and invoicing. Save time, manage customers and get ahead of your competition with our inventory solution. Passport for stock inventory has a standard integrated interface that can be customized to integrate with an accounting system if you already have one.

We offer flexible inventory management for Windows users. Our stock inventory system includes a vigorous reporting module that allows you to format the reports to include the data you require. Additionally, you can quickly browse an entire family of information because the data is organized in a hierarchical tree format.

ASAP Systems provides Passport Stock Inventory for real-time management of inventory items. Our inventory system supports updating inventory information for all items, importing and exporting inventory information to and from external systems of record, and monitoring inventory depletion. Our inventory system serves the needs of shoppers, business managers, and site administrators.

When you select a particular inventory management solution certain things have to be taken into consideration like cost of ownership, savings achieved on employees' salaries, purchase order processing and so on. Research and plan accordingly before installing any inventory solution. Maybe an option that worked for some other business type does not work for yours! Therefore, evaluate its usability, scalability and long term or reoccurring cost properly.

From Wikipedia
An Inventory Control System is an integrated package of software and hardware used in warehouse operations, and elsewhere, to monitor the quantity, location and status of inventory as well as the related shipping, receiving, picking and put away processes. In common usage, the term may also refer to just the software components.

Modern Inventory Control systems rely upon barcode, and potentially RFID tags, to provide automatic identification of inventory objects. In an academic study performed at Wal-Mart, RFID reduced out of stock by 30 percent for products selling between 0.1 and 15 units a day. Inventory objects could include any kind of physical entities used in business: merchandise, consumables, fixed assets, circulating tools, library books, or capital equipment. To record an inventory transaction, the system uses a barcode scanner, RFID scanner or RFID reader to automatically identify the inventory object, and then collects additional information from the operators via fixed terminals (workstations), or mobile computers.

An inventory control system may be used to automate a sales order fulfillment process. Such a system contains a list of orders to be filled, and then prompts workers to pick the necessary inventory items, and provides them with packaging and shipping information.

Real-time inventory control systems use wireless, mobile terminals to record inventory transactions at the moment they occur. A wireless LAN transmits the transaction information to a central database.

Physical inventory counting and cycle counting are features of many stock inventory control systems performed on a regular schedule.

An inventory valuation allows a company to provide a monetary value for items that make up their inventory. Inventories are usually the largest current asset of a business, and proper measurement of them is necessary to assure accurate financial statements. If inventory is not properly measured, expenses and revenues cannot be properly matched and a company could make poor business decisions.

When ending inventory is incorrect, the following balances of the balance sheet will also be incorrect as a result: merchandise inventory, total assets, and owner's equity. When ending inventory is incorrect, the cost of merchandise sold and net income will also be incorrect on the income statement.

The inventory accounting involves two major aspects:

The cost of the purchased or manufactured inventory has to be determined and
Such cost is retained in the inventory accounts of the company until the product is sold

Inventory Accounting Methods

The two most widely used inventory accounting methods are the periodic and the perpetual:

Perpetual
The perpetual inventory system requires accounting records to show the amount of inventory on hand at all times. It maintains a separate account in the subsidiary ledger for each good in stock, and the account is updated each time a quantity is added or taken out.
Periodic
In the periodic inventory system, sales are recorded as they occur but the inventory is not updated. A physical inventory must be taken at the end of the year to determine the cost of goods sold. Regardless of what inventory accounting system is used, it is good practice to perform a physical inventory at least once a year.

Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a community of end-recipients. The name comes from the use of a cloud-shaped symbol as an abstraction for the complex infrastructure it contains in system diagrams. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user's data, software and computation over a network.

Using Software as a Service, users also rent application software and databases. The cloud providers manage the infrastructure and platforms on which the applications run.

End users access cloud-based applications through a web browser or a light-weight desktop or mobile app while the business software and user's data are stored on servers at a remote location. Proponents claim that cloud computing allows enterprises to get their applications up and running faster, with improved manageability and less maintenance, and enables IT to more rapidly adjust resources to meet fluctuating and unpredictable business demand.

Cloud Computing is another word for the Internet, "the cloud" is a more renounced terminology, but when combined with software as a service it gets bigger and vague. Some folks define cloud computing as a mainframe: basically server farms available over the Internet. In other words it can be described as applications outside your firewall: "in the cloud."

Software As a Service
Software as a service (SaaS, pronounced aes or sas), sometimes referred to as "on-demand software", is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.
SaaS has become a common delivery model for many business applications, including accounting, collaboration, customer relationship management (CRM), management information systems (MIS), enterprise resource planning (ERP), invoicing, human resource management (HRM), content management (CM) and service desk management. SaaS has been incorporated into the strategy of all leading enterprise software companies. One of the biggest selling points for these companies is the potential to reduce IT support costs by outsourcing hardware and software maintenance and support to the SaaS provider.

This type of cloud computing AKA SAAS also delivers a single application that can be accessed through a user's browser hundreds of customers using 2 or three-tier architecture. On the user side, it means no IT infrastructure is need other than access to the internet or need to buy and own software.

Inventory Costing
The accounting method that a company decides to use to determine the costs of inventory can directly impact the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow. There are three inventory-costing methods that are widely used by both public and private companies:

* First-In, First-Out (FIFO) - This method assumes that the first unit making its way into inventory is the first sold. For example, let's say that a bakery produces 200 loaves of bread on Monday at a cost of $1 each, and 200 more on Tuesday at $1.25 each. FIFO states that if the bakery sold 200 loaves on Wednesday, the COGS is $1 per loaf (recorded on the income statement) because that was the cost of each of the first loaves in
inventory. The $1.25 loaves would be allocated to ending inventory (appears on the balance sheet).

* Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) - This method assumes that the last unit making its way into inventory is sold first. The older inventory, therefore, is left over at the end of the accounting period. For the 200 loaves sold on Wednesday, the same bakery would assign $1.25 per loaf to COGS while the remaining $1 loaves would be used to calculate the value of inventory at the end of the period.

* Average Cost - This method is quite straightforward; it takes the weighted average of all units available for sale during the accounting period and then uses that average cost to determine the value of COGS and ending inventory. In our bakery example, the average cost for inventory would be $1.125 per unit, calculated as [(200 x $1) + (200 x $1.25)]/400.

An important point in the examples above is that COGS appears on the income statement, while ending inventory appears on the balance sheet under current assets.

If inflation were nonexistent, then all three of the inventory valuation methods would produce the exact same results. When prices are stable our bakery would be able to produce all of its loafs of bread at $1, and FIFO, LIFO and average cost would give us a cost of $1 per loaf.

Unfortunately, the world is more complicated. Over the long term, prices tend to rise, which means the choice of accounting method can dramatically affect valuation ratios.

If prices are rising, each of the accounting methods produce the following results:

* FIFO gives us a better indication of the value of ending inventory (on the balance sheet), but it also increases net income because inventory that might be several years old is used to value the cost of goods sold. Increasing net income sounds good, but remember that it also has the potential to increase the amount of taxes that a company must pay.

* LIFO isn't a good indicator of ending inventory value because the left over inventory might be extremely old and, perhaps, obsolete. This results in a valuation that is much lower than today's prices. LIFO results in lower net income because cost of goods sold is higher.
* Average cost produces results that fall somewhere between FIFO and LIFO.

(Note: if prices are decreasing then the complete opposite of the above is true.)

One thing to keep in mind is that companies are prevented from getting the best of both worlds. If a company uses LIFO valuation when it files taxes, which results in lower taxes when prices are increasing, it then must also use LIFO when it reports financial results to shareholders. This lowers net income and, ultimately, earnings per share.

Example:
Let's examine the inventory of Cory's Tequila Co. (CTC) to see how the different inventory valuation methods can affect the financial analysis of a company.

Average cost inventory costing method recalculates an item's cost at each receipt by averaging the actual cost of the receipt with the cost of the current inventory.
For example, if one share of Company A's stock is purchased on June 1 for $50.00, again on June 15 for $35.00, and again on Aug 10 for $40.00, the average- cost method assumes that three stocks were purchased for an average cost of $41.67. This number is arrived at by adding $50.00 + $35.00 + $40.00 and dividing the sum by 3, because there are three stocks in the pool.

LIFO is an acronym that stands for last in, first out. By definition, in a LIFO structured linear list, elements can be added or taken off from only one end, called the "top". A LIFO structure can be illustrated with the example of a narrow, crowded elevator with a small door. When the elevator reaches its destination, the last people to get on have to be the first to get off.

In such data orderings, the stack is used as a dynamic memory element wherein an abstract concept a machine dependent Stack frame is used to contain copies of data records or parts thereof be they actual memory addresses of a data element, or a copy of the data (pass-by-value). In list processing, the most common need is sorting (alphabetically, greatest to smallest, etcetera.) where the machine is limited to comparing only two elements at a time, out of a list that likely holds millions of members. Various strategies (computer algorithms) exist which optimize particular types of data sorting, but in implementation all will resort to a sub-program and or sub-routines that generally call themselves or a part of their code recursively in each call adding to the list temporarily reordered in stack frames. It is for this reason, stacks and recursion are usually introduced in parallel in data structures courses they are mutually interdependent.

FIFO First-in-first-out. In warehousing describes the method of rotating inventory to used oldest product first. Actually an accounting term used to describe an inventory costing method. FIFO is an acronym for First In, First Out, an abstraction in ways of organizing and manipulation of data relative to time and prioritization. This expression describes the principle of a queue processing technique or servicing conflicting demands by ordering process by first-come, first-served (FCFS) behavior: what comes in first is handled first, what comes in next waits until the first is finished, etc.

Thus it is analogous to the behavior of persons queuing (or "standing in line", in common American parlance), where the persons leave the queue in the order they arrive, or waiting one's turn at a traffic control signal. FCFS is also the shorthand name (see Jargon and acronym) for the FIFO operating system scheduling algorithm, which gives every process CPU time in the order they come. In the broader sense, the abstraction LIFO, or Last-In-First-Out is the opposite of the abstraction FIFO, the difference perhaps is clearest with considering the less commonly used synonym of LIFO, FILO meaning First-In- Last-Out. In essence, both are specific cases of a more generalized list (which could be accessed anywhere). The difference is not in the list (data), but in the rules for accessing the content. One sub-type adds to one end, and takes off from the other, its opposite takes and puts things only on one end.

A priority queue is a variation on the queue that does not qualify for the name FIFO, because it is not accurately descriptive of that data structure's behavior. Queuing theory encompasses the more general concept of queue, as well as interactions between strict-FIFO queues.

Our Inventory Management System
Passport's inventory management can be broken into two categories: Data Management, and Warehouse Management Systems. Each category contains a variety of stock inventory tracking capabilities. Depending upon the size and complexity of your operations, Passport has solution that's right for you.

Passport Stock provides basic, easy to use inventory tracking and management capabilities. DMS software applications track inventory to a location. Passport Stock packages include Inventory, Stockroom, Check In-Out, Proof of Delivery, and equipment tracking.

Passport Warehouse Management Solution (WMS) software is available in three versions. All WMS applications provide basic warehouse functions of Inventory, Shipping Receiving and Picking (ISRP). Passport solutions all contain a standard application interface (API), for easy integration with accounting systems or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems.

Inventory, Shipping, Receiving, and Picking Systems (ISRP)

Our inventory system is perfect for small warehouses, order fulfillment centers, and e-commerce businesses. Four fully integrated functions save time and simplify inventory tracking, shipping, receiving and picking.

Passport Stock is an affordable, easy to use, perpetual inventory system. Track supplies and consumable inventories. By knowing what you have and how much, you can save money on purchasing. Our WMS is a reliable, affordable, and easy to use warehouse management solution with wireless data transmission. Cycle counting, kitting, replenishment, space management and many more functions are available to manage your warehouse operations efficiently with wireless technology.

Inventory System for the Construction Industry

Today's successful construction project managers require instant access to inventory information in order to make educated, on-the-fly decisions while on or off a job site. It is essential that materials are available at the right place, at the right time, and at the quantity desired. Time-honored methods of manually tracking inventory no longer get the job done— they're labor intensive, inaccurate and susceptible to errors that lead to schedule delays, supply shortages, and an overall decrease in productivity. It is mind-blowing that something that accounts for more than half of total project costs is not being optimally managed. Ergo, inventory tracking systems such as Passport, fill a significant (and somehow underappreciated) need.

It is a system that allows you to view stock inventory levels and locations in real-time so project managers maintain visibility of all inventory activity. The data can also be purposefully organized so it can be referenced for mandated audits or site inspections. Bulk supplies such as nails, caulking, building paper, and concrete can be tracked by quantity, serial number, or weight, depending on what is the most practical for the type of material and project. The beauty of the system is that the information is pertinent and reliable, and the features are configurable to fit the needs of different projects.

Periodic versus perpetual systems:

There are fundamental differences for accounting and reporting merchandise inventory transactions under the periodic and perpetual inventory systems. To record purchases, the periodic system debits the Purchases account while the perpetual system debits the Merchandise Inventory account. To record sales, the perpetual system requires an extra entry to debit the Cost of goods sold and credit Merchandise Inventory. By recording the cost of goods sold for each sale, the perpetual inventory system alleviated the need for adjusting entries and calculation of the goods sold at the end of a financial period, both of which the periodic inventory system requires. In Perpetual Inventory System there must be actual facts and figures.

Using non-cost methods to value stock inventory:

Under certain circumstances, valuation of inventory based on cost is impractical. If the market price of a good drops below the purchase price, the lower of cost or market method of valuation is recommended. This method allows declines in inventory value to be offset against income of the period. When goods are damaged or obsolete, and can only be sold for below purchase prices, they should be recorded at net realizable value. The net realizable value is the estimated selling price less any expense incurred to dispose of the good.

Methods used to estimate stock inventory cost:

In certain business operations, taking a physical inventory is impossible or impractical. In such a situation, it is necessary to estimate the inventory cost.

Two very popular methods are 1) retail inventory method, and 2) gross profit (or gross margin) method. The retail inventory method uses a cost to retail price ratio. The physical inventory is valued at retail, and it is multiplied by the cost ratio (or percentage) to determine the estimated cost of the ending inventory.

The gross profit method uses the previous years average gross profit margin (i.e. sales minus cost of goods sold divided by sales). Current year gross profit is estimated by multiplying current year sales by that gross profit margin, the current year cost of goods sold is estimated by subtracting the gross profit from sales, and the ending inventory is estimated by adding cost of goods sold to goods available for sale.

Technology and computing: WMS Definitions

Warehouse management system: a component of the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse

Web Map Service: a specification that comprises a definition for Internet map servers

Windows Media Services: the streaming media server from Microsoft WMS (software): watershed simulation software

Workflow management system: technology that enables workflow procedures

Welfare management system: the system used in New York State for receiving, maintaining and processing information relating to persons who apply for benefits.

Warehouse Management System

A warehouse management system, or WMS, is a key part of the supply chain and primarily aims to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse and process the associated transactions, including shipping, receiving, put away and picking. The systems also direct and optimize stock put away based on real-time information about the status of bin utilization. Warehouse management systems often utilize Auto ID Data Capture (AIDC) technology, such as barcode scanners, mobile computers, wireless LANs and potentially Radio-frequency identification (RFID) to efficiently monitor the flow of products. Once data has been collected, there is either batch synchronization, or a real-time wireless transmission to a central database. The database can then provide useful reports about the status of goods in the warehouse. The objective of a warehouse management system is to provide a set of computerized procedures to handle the receipt of stock and returns into a warehouse facility, model and manage the logical representation of the physical storage facilities (e.g. racking etc.), manage the stock within the facility and enable a seamless link to order processing and logistics management in order to pick, pack and ship product out of the facility. Warehouse management systems can be standalone systems, or modules of an ERP system or supply chain execution suite. The primary purpose of a WMS is to control the movement and storage of materials within a warehouse you might even describe it as the legs at the end-of-the line which automates the store, traffic and shipping management.

In its simplest form, the WMS can data track products during the production process and act as an interpreter and message buffer between existing ERP and WMS systems. Warehouse Management is not just managing within the boundaries of a warehouse today, it is much wider and goes beyond the physical boundaries. Inventory management, inventory planning, cost management, IT applications, and communication technology are all related to warehouse management. The container storage, loading and unloading are also covered by warehouse today's management functions. Warehouse management today is part of SCM and demand management. Even production management is to a great extent dependent on warehouse management. Efficient warehouse management gives a cutting edge to a retail chain distribution company. Warehouse management does not just start with receipt of material but it actually starts with actual initial planning when container design is made for a product. Warehouse design and process design within the warehouse (e.g. Wave Picking) is also part of warehouse management. Warehouse management is part of Logistics and SCM.

Warehouse Management monitors the progress of products through the warehouse. It involves the physical warehouse infrastructure, tracking systems, and communication between product stations. Warehouse management deals with receipt, storage and movement of goods, normally finished goods, to intermediate storage locations or to final customer. In the multi-echelon model for distribution, there are levels of warehouses, starting with the Central Warehouse(s), regional warehouses services by the central warehouses and retail warehouses at the third level services by the regional warehouses and so on. The objective of warehousing management is to help in optimal cost of timely order fulfillment by managing the resources economically. Warehouse management = "Management of storage of products and services rendered on the products within the four walls of a warehouse."

Benefits of Barcode or RFIDs and Portable Handhelds with Stock Inventory

Are you required to take a physical inventory? Are you one of those countless small and midsized businesses that spend hours taking physical inventory by hand with pen and paper? We feel your pain. No matter the size, a small one-person shop or a full warehouse, the process is all the same. Keeping track of stock inventory is a tedious, time-consuming process and if you are using paper you open the door to human error.

Say a client stores material for a manufacturer. They deliver the material on demand to this customer. They are required to supply detailed inventory of available material to the customer monthly. Their customer depends on that count to support their lean manufacturing practices. To this client that meant shutting down the warehouse, bringing in the crew, paying overtime and counting over a quarter million individual items. Their problem was solved with Passport Warehouse Management System (WMS) using Barcode or RFIDs for locations, tracking inventory receipts, moves and shipments using Wireless Portable Data Collectors. The result is that the reduction in time spent taking inventory was 60%. This was achieved by using a mix of cycle counts and only one yearly physical. Inventory accuracy soared to 99.8%.

You do not need to be a big warehouse to utilize an inventory counting system; the technology doesn't have to be expensive. Think about this. Another client runs a small chain of restaurants with weekly needs to count inventory to determine the next week's bulk food orders for the chain. The only concern was to know what is in the supply or stock rooms now! Each week with paper order slips, a laptop with an excel spreadsheet, the client headed out to take inventory. It easily consumed a twelve-hour day. Several problems were generated using the manual system and the most important was mistakes in ordering which often resulted in running out of product or worse, the amount of food going stale which needed to be discarded as spoilage.

The Passport solution was a very simple inventory counting system. By implementing this solution using Barcode or RFIDs and portable handheld terminals, the client was able to assign the task of taking inventory to restaurant managers. In addition, each restaurant manager is in charge of setting minimum and maximum inventory amounts. Managers receive an incentive to keep items in stock while reducing spoilage. Three things occurred. First, the reduction in spoilage was over 85%. Over all, inventory is in line with customer demands and this reduced inventory levels for many items in the restaurants. Bulk supply cost is lower. The most important gain in the chain was that food was fresher and the customers noticed! Business grew and the chain is expanding. We do not claim to take credit for everything after all you have to start with good food in the first place.

To summarize, anytime you use a paper-based system you open yourself up to "human error" and "human decisions". A Barcode or RFID stock inventory system is a smart technology. These Barcode or RFID based software systems allow customers to see available on hand inventory, compare minimum and maximum levels of inventory, control inventory levels and establish reorder points. They reduce loss and limit human error. Small or large, any business can benefit by using this technology over paper.

Inventory Definitions & Beyond:

Available refers to the status of inventory as it relates to its ability to be sold or consumed. Availability calculations are used to determine this status. Availability calculations vary from system to system but basically subtract any current allocations of holds on inventory from the current on-hand balance. An example of an availability calculation would be: [Stock Quantity Available] = [Stock Quantity On-Hand] -[ Stock Quantity On-Hold] - [Stock Quantity Allocated To Sales Orders] - [Stock Quantity Allocated to Production Orders].

Bill of material lists materials (components or ingredients) required to produce an item. Multilevel BOMs also show subassemblies and their components. Other information such as scrap factors may also be included in the BOM for use in materials planning and costing.

Blanket order a type of equipment or Inventory purchase order that commits to purchase a specific quantity over a specific period of time, but does not necessarily provide specific dates for shipments. Blanket orders are placed for the quantity of an item (or group of items) that you expect to purchase over extended period of time (3 months, 6 months, a year, etc). A blanket purchase order may provide estimated required dates for specific quantities, but actual releases to ship against the blanked order are triggered by separate requests from the customer to the supplier; the specific quantities and dates of these separate requests (releases) may or may not be similar to the estimated dates and quantities. Providing a blanket order to a supplier may reduce lead times and increase on-time shipments from the supplier and may provide a greater discount on purchases.

Blind counts describes methodology used in cycle counting and physical inventories where you provide your counters with item number and location but no quantity information. See article on Cycle Counting, also check out.

Bonded Warehouse, a facility or a dedicated portion of a facility where imported goods are stored prior to customs duties and taxes being paid. These facilities are often used to delay the payment of import fees until the products are actually sold/shipped (when they physically leave the bonded facility). This can be particularly useful when products are received well in advance of sale or when a portion of the product received may eventually be returned or scrapped (thus preventing paying import fees on items not sold). Bonded warehouses are licensed by the government. I believe the same concept can also be applied to specially taxed domestic products such as alcohol and tobacco products. See also FTZ (Foreign Trade Zone)

Browser-based application software designed to run within a web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer). This allows a user to access the application from any location that has internet access and a web browser (no additional software is needed on the computer accessing the application). Read my article on Software Selection for additional information.

Bulk, the classic use of the term bulk (bulk materials, bulk inventory, bulk storage) in inventory management and distribution refers to raw materials such as coal, iron ore, grains, etc. that are stored or transported in large quantities. This would include rail cars, tanker trucks, or silos full of a single material. However, this term can also have a variety of other definitions based upon the specific industry or facility. For example, a small-parts picking operation may refer to a case storage area as "bulk", while a case-picking operation may refer to the full-pallet area as the "bulk area".

According to an article by Kenneth Hamlett from Demand Media:

Several inventory control methods exist. For small businesses, the chosen inventory control method has a major impact on the business's cash flow and operational cost. Whatever inventory control method a company uses, the goals for managing inventory remains true regardless of industry or product. These goals include optimizing customer service, lowering the cost of operations and decreasing inventory investment.

ABC Inventory Control
ABC inventory control is a method of classifying and controlling inventory according to its level of importance. Usually, dollar usage serves as the criteria used to determine importance, but other criteria, such as sales volume, also gets used. ABC inventory control functions on the 80/20 Rule; a small amount of items normally dominate the results in most situations.

The ABC inventory method classifies items into groups according to pre-determined criteria. 'A' class items receive the highest priority and tightest control. For example, a company performs a Pareto analysis using dollar usage as the criteria and decides to hold only two-weeks worth of class 'A' inventory, one-month of class 'B' inventory and three-months of class 'C' and 'D' inventory. Because the class 'A' inventory has the greatest dollar usage, the company focuses on reducing the on-hand inventory of this class of items. This reduction increases inventory cycles and thus reduces the inventory carrying costs.

Aggregate Inventory Control
Another inventory control option involving groups is the aggregate inventory control method. Using this method, a business classifies its inventory into separate groups, each receiving a different level of inventory control. For example, a bakery might use three different classifications and ingredients such as vanilla, yeast, and starch comprise one classification, work-in-process or partially finished items comprise the second classification and finished goods or items ready to sell make up the third classification. The way the bakery controls each class of inventory depends on the rules established for that class. For example, all inventory ingredients might use a min/max policy; whenever the inventory reaches a minimum level, the bakery orders more inventory to reach its maximum inventory level.

Safety Stock Inventory
Some businesses use a very basic method of inventory control called safety stock. Businesses use safety stock because of the lack of certainty in consumer demand, supplier performance and product availability. Safety stock inventory represents an amount over and above the average use or demand of a product. For example, a bakery's monthly sugar usage averages 200 pounds. Because the bakery uses a special process to procure sugar, it always keeps an additional 40 pounds on hand to cover the uncertainty of supply. Using safety stock to control inventory increases the amount of money a business spends and associated costs of having the inventory.

Additional Information from the Wikipedia.com article for "Barcode:"
Sources:
• "Retrieved November 17, 2011". Iwatchsystems.com. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
• Oberfield, Craig. "QNotes Barcode System". US Patented #5296688. Quick Notes Inc. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
• National Geographic, May 2010, page 30
• David L. Hecht. "Printed Embedded Data Graphical User Interfaces". Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. IEEE Computer March 2001.
• Jon Howell and Keith Kotay. "Landmarks for absolute localization". Dartmouth Computer Science Technical Report TR2000-364, March 2000.
• "IATA.org". IATA.org. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
• "Paperbyte Bar Codes for Waduzitdo" Byte magazine, 1978 September p. 172

Barcodes such as the UPC have become a ubiquitous element of modern civilization, as evidenced by their enthusiastic adoption by stores around the world; most items other than fresh produce from a grocery store now have UPC barcodes. This helps track stock inventory items and also reduces instances of shoplifting involving inventory price tag swapping, although shoplifters can now print their own barcodes. In addition, retail chain membership cards use barcodes to uniquely identify consumers, allowing for customized marketing and greater understanding of individual consumer shopping patterns. At the point of sale, shoppers can get stock inventory product discounts or special marketing offers through the address or e-mail address provided at registration.

Barcodes can allow for the organization of large amounts of stock inventory data. They are widely used in the healthcare and hospital settings, ranging from patient identification (to access patient data, including medical history, drug allergies, etc.) to creating SOAP with barcodes to medication management. They are also used to facilitate the separation and indexing of inventory documents that have been imaged in batch scanning applications, track the organization of species in biology, and integrate with in-motion check weighers to identify the item being weighed in a conveyor line for data collection.

They can also be used to keep track of inventory objects and people; they are used to keep track of rental cars, airline luggage, nuclear waste, registered mail, express mail and stock parcels. Barcoded tickets allow the holder to enter sports arenas, cinemas, theatres, fairgrounds, and transportation, and are used to record the arrival and departure of vehicles from rental facilities etc. This can allow proprietors to identify duplicate or fraudulent tickets more easily. Barcodes are widely used in shop floor control applications software where employees can scan work orders and track the time spent on a job.

Barcodes are also used in some kinds of non-contact 1D barcode and 2D barcode position sensors. A series of barcodes are used in some kinds of absolute 1D linear encoder. The barcodes are packed close enough together that the reader always has one or two barcodes in its field of view. The relative position of the barcode in the field of view of the reader gives incremental precise positioning, in some cases with sub-pixel resolution. The data decoded from the barcode gives the absolute coarse position. An "address carpet", such as Howell's binary pattern and the Anoto dot pattern, is a 2D barcode designed so that a reader, even though only a tiny portion of the complete carpet is in the field of view of the reader, can find its absolute X,Y position and rotation in the carpet.

Some 2D barcodes embed a hyperlink to a web page. A capable cellphone might be used to read the pattern and browse the linked website, which can help a shopper find the best price for an item in the vicinity. Since 2005, airlines use an IATA-standard 2D barcode on boarding passes (Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP)), and since 2008 2D barcodes sent to mobile phones enable electronic boarding passes.

Some applications for barcodes have fallen out of use; In the 1970s and 1980s, software source code was occasionally encoded in a barcode and printed on paper (Cauzin Softstrip and Paperbyte are barcode symbologies specifically designed for this application), and the 1991 Barcode Battler computer game system used any standard barcode to generate combat statistics.

Asset Tracking Information

ASAP Systems provides an efficient, cost-effective way to track fixed asset inventories. The Passport Asset Tracking System can also track the status of capital assets. Asset Tracking consists of items that a company uses internally for operations: computers, tablets, smartphones, bins, storage containers, intermediate bulk containers, tools, machines, IT equipment, documents, vehicles, personnel, drums, chemical containers, safety gear, uniforms, etc.

Typical Barcode Tag for Equipment

Many organizations face a significant challenge to track the location, quantity, condition, maintenance and depreciation status of their equipment or machinery. A popular approach to tracking equipment utilizes serial numbered "asset tags", often with barcodes for easy and accurate reading. Periodically, the owner of the equipment can take inventory with a mobile barcode or RFID reader and then produce a report.

Off-the-shelf boxed packages for fixed asset management are marketed to businesses small and large. Some Enterprise Resource Planning systems are available with equipment tracking modules.

Asset Management & Tracking

Fixed asset, also known as property, plant, and equipment (PP&E), is a term used in accountancy for equipment and property that cannot easily be converted into cash. It can be compared with current assets such as cash or bank accounts, which are described as liquid assets. In most cases, only tangible assets are referred to as fixed. These are items of value which the organization has bought and will use for an extended period of time; fixed assets normally include items such as land and buildings, motor vehicles, furniture, office equipment, computers, and fittings, and plant and machinery. The often receive favorable tax treatment (depreciation allowance) over short-term assets.

It is pertinent to note that the cost of a fixed asset is its purchase price, including import duties and other deductible trade discounts and rebates. In addition, cost attributable to bringing and installing the asset in its needed location and the initial estimate of dismantling and removing the item if they are eventually no longer needed on the location.

Depreciation is simply put to be the expense generated by the use of an asset. It is the wear and tear of equipment or diminution in the historical value owing to usage. Further to this; it is the cost of the equipment less any salvage value over its estimated useful life. It is an expense because it is matched against the revenue generated through the use of the same equipment. Depreciation is usually spread over the economic useful life of the machine or equipment because it is regarded as the cost of an item absorbed over its useful life. Invariably the depreciation expense is charged against the revenue generated through the use of the equipment or item. The method of depreciation to be adopted is best left for the management to decide in consideration to the peculiarity of the business, prevailing economic condition of the assets and existing accounting guideline and principles as implied in the organizational policies.

The primary objective of a business entity is to make profit and increase the wealth of its owners. In the attainment of this objective it is required that the management will exercise due care and diligence in applying the basic accounting concept of "Matching Concept". Matching concept is simply matching the expenses of a period against the revenues of the same period.

The use of equipment in the generation of revenue is usually more than a year- that is long term. It is therefore obligatory that in order to accurately determine the net income or profit for a period depreciation is charged on the total value of asset that contributed to the revenue for the period in consideration and charge against the same revenue of the same period. This is essential in the prudent reporting of the net revenue for the entity in the period.

In finance, revaluation of equipment is a technique that may be required to accurately describe the true value of the capital goods a business owns.

The purpose of a revaluation is to bring into the books the fair market value of equipment and machinery. This may be helpful in order to decide whether to invest in another business. If a company wants to sell one of its machines or equipment, it is revalued in preparation for sales negotiations.

Some tracking methods automate the process, such as by using fixed scanners to read barcode or RFIDs by attaching a radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag to a tool or equipment.

Mobile Asset Tracking

Mobile asset management is managing availability and serviceability of assets used to move, store, secure, protect and control inventory within the enterprise and along the supply chain or in conjunction with service providing.

Mobile assets are e.g. of the classes of:
• returnable, reusable containers used to transport raw materials, work-in-progress and finished goods through the supply chain.
• precious tools and apparatuses used in technical services and required for proper performing such services with fully valid certification
• any other objects of a value that justifies additional tagging for the purpose of managing the object and its availability
• any other objects with a certification that terminates after certain time which justifies the controlled return for next inspection
• persons under special threat on site of operation.
• Rental companies are increasingly turning to asset tracking for all larger pieces of equipment in order to manage theft, misuse of assets and to assist in the management of preventive maintenance

The major benefits of mobile asset management include:
• Improve visibility of assets in the supply chain
• Meet compliance mandates of customers
• Improve asset tracking and inventory control across multiple facilities
• Reduce loss or damage of goods while in transit
• Streamline business processes having to do with assets
• Reduced labor cost and human error with automatic asset tracking technology
• Reductions in theft and improvements in rental utilization

Fixed Asset Tracking

Tracking assets is an important concern of every company, regardless of size. Fixed assets are defined as any 'permanent' object that a business uses internally including but not limited to computers, tools, software, or office equipment. While employees may utilize a specific tool or tools, the asset ultimately belongs to the company and must be returned. And therefore without an accurate method of keeping track of these assets it would be very easy for a company to lose control of them.

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) was then at an estimated $2.2 billion and was expected to grow at about 5.0 percent per year reaching $2.8 billion in 2010.

Asset tracking software allows companies to track what assets it owns, where each is located, who has it, when it was checked out, when it is due for return, when it is scheduled for maintenance, and the cost and depreciation of each asset.

The reporting option that is built into most equipment tracking solutions provides pre-built reports, including equipment by category and department, check-in/check-out, net book value of equipment, loaned equipment past due, audit history, and transactions.

All of this information is captured in one program and can be used on PCs as well as mobile devices. As a result, companies reduce expenses through loss prevention and improved equipment maintenance. They reduce new and unnecessary equipment purchases, and they can more accurately calculate taxes based on depreciation schedules.

ASAP Systems serves as a supporter for Asset Management, system preservation, and construction and maintenance activities. Also we offer technology development, outreach, and partnering initiatives. The vision of ASAP Systems is that all States efficiently use Asset Management to manage and assign resources to improve our Nation's performance. Managing the entire asset lifecycle, Passport Asset can help organizations eliminate needless software and hardware costs, manage contracts, and line up service resources. Your capital assets need to be actively managed, whether they are production assets, industrial assets, real estate assets or information technology assets.

An efficient enterprise asset software solution for monitoring and managing your company's assets may be the most important tool for preventing operational surprises and uncovering hidden profits. With the Passport Assets asset software solution, your enterprise gains fast access to current, accurate data and can provide more effective service for your business.

US GAAP on Upward Revaluation of Fixed Assets

In other countries, upward revaluation is mainly done for fixed assets such as land, and real estate whose value keeps rising from year to year. It seems the concept of upward revaluation of fixed assets such as real estate has not been widely welcomed by a majority of companies in USA on account of fear of paying higher property taxes. Further, the provision against upward restatement ensures conservative valuation.

The United Kingdom, Australia, and India allow upward revaluation in the values of fixed assets to bring them in consonance with fair market values. However, the law requires disclosure of the basis of revaluation, amount of revaluation made to each class of assets (for a specified period after the financial year in which revaluation is made), and other information. Similarly, law prohibits payment of dividend out of any reserve created as a result of upward revaluation of fixed assets.

Asset Management Explanation

Passport provides asset management to help your business perform automatic data entry and administration. Data is stored in a single library to keep information consistent for all business departments and users. You can easily search through the data to speedily find specific information, contracts and leases, and physical assets, and easily track lease expirations or other service elements.

Become more effective in asset management activities, such as ensuring license compliance while minimizing licensing costs. Passport Assets is also a platform for digital document management. Create an accurate foundation of information for the operational management of IT Assets. Passport also helps organizations by providing a secure depot that facilitates the receiving, management, organization, and distribution of equipment, tools, and machinery.

Passport Asset Tracking allows you to see the relationship between your company's contracts, service agreements and equipment. The templates included in Passport for asset management allows you to speedily map data or build custom forms to define specific data to be managed.

Passport is an asset tracking system for corporate, government and education environments. Traditional asset tracking systems can lose track of assets but with Passport, this simply does not happen. Detailed reports are provided for every computer with an Internet connection, which adds visibility to the computers that go unseen by traditional systems.

At ASAP Systems, we move toward asset control from the client's perspective. Passport is a tool designed to audit software and hardware components that are installed on the computers over the network. We have inventoried many assets, and served users with the goal of developing asset control processes that will benefit the long-tem health of operations.

This asset management tool will collect your network inventory information and provide you with detailed comprehensive reports and allow you to export information to external storage locations. Passport is an asset tracking and stock inventory solution that works behind the scenes to deliver up to date online reports.

RFID Example Study:

Summary:

Warehouse or IT Departments are tasked to manage tens of thousands of equipment and tools. Some of those departments found a barcode approach is not efficient enough and sometime labor intensive. By moving to an RFID equipment or tool tracking system, those department saw an return on investment in few short months with ongoing cost savings and rapid employee acceptance.

Problem:

The Service Assets Department of some companies manages tens of thousands of assets and tools used in the maintenance and repair of heavy industrial equipment out of multiple facilities across the globe. Tracking the movement of those equipment and tools from sockets and drill bits to any expensive particle monitors has become increasingly necessary to limit losses and maintain productivity.

A barcode-based system deployed to track equipment and tools provided some benefits but ultimately proved inconvenient. Like most other companies with a large equipment or tool inventory, a staff member exists to manage each of its tool rooms and track the movements of tools and equipment. The supplier's employees utilized a paper-and-pen-based or a Microsoft Excel based system in which an employee manually wrote down his or her name and the serial numbers of the assets or tools being removed from the tool room inventory, after which the employee entered that data into the company's back-end system, to be tracked on an Excel spreadsheet.

The labor-intensive system cost those companies, on average, $10,000 a month per site in lost man-hours due to the time required to locate misplaced or stolen equipment or tools from inventory. In some cases, employees spent hours on the job searching for Assets or tools, or simply didn't get their work completed because the necessary tools or equipment were missing from their inventory.

Challenge:
Beyond the escalating costs of unproductive man-hours (as well as the costs to replace lost assets and tools from inventory), the barcode-based system will not meet the day-to-day requirements of the warehouse or IT department users. The need for a "hands-free inventory tracking system" that could increase productivity while enabling efficient tracking of the assets and tools within their inventory.

The Solution:
RFID Asset and Tool Tracking Inventory System
Such RFID-based tracking solution will provide the Assets Departments with an automatic view into which worker was using a particular Asset or tool from the inventory, and for how long. In fact, once a system is deployed, physical management using Microsoft Excel Spread sheet, manual entries or a barcode system of the assets or tool in the inventory room was no longer necessary.

Those companies now know exactly who is using the equipment or tools out of the inventory and can track equipment or tool movement between facilities. This visibility enables managers to see a return on their investment in no time. Additional savings can be recognized through improved inventory control and the ability to share high-value Assets and tools between facilities, rather than purchase one asset or tool for each. Employees carry ID cards, each of which contains a passive HF RFID tag encoded with a unique identification number. As an employee passes the tool inventory room portal, RFID reader antennas capture the individual's ID number, while UHF readers and antennas capture the ID numbers encoded to tools via UHF tags. When a technician leaves the Assets or tool inventory room with equipment or tools, the UHF tags are interrogated along with the badge's HF tag, associating that employee with those tools in the system.

Barcode and RFID Information

Do you have a warehouse, or need one? Consider the benefits of having an inventory solution where, with the use of Barcode or RFID scanners, your inventory tracking approaches 100% accuracy. Experience shows that the time and money saved by having an accurate inventory system will dramatically affect your bottom line.

Our inventory and assets mobile system makes it difficult to misplace or lose assets. Run our Barcode or RFID software from most handheld Barcode or RFID readers with the same ease as you would from a client computer in the office. Scanning in newly received inventory is fast and simple. Picking items for an order is as easy as scanning in the Barcode or RFID and pressing a button the picked inventory is updated immediately on our Inventory Software and Assets server.

Moving or yielding stock inventory from one location to another is even easier. To move, just scan in the old location tag, then the new one, and you're done. To yield (a partial move), do the same thing as a move, but you will be asked for a quantity. Cycle counting and quantity changes are important to keep track of, and our inventory and assets mobile solution allows you to update the server in real-time as you do them. Passport simplifies all the required inventory processes that you need to run an efficient and effective warehouse, stockroom, or storefront.

The greatest benefit is reflected in the name of our mobile inventory solution, Passport. Meaning you aren't tied down to a computer workstation, nor do you have to write down or remember everything you do in the warehouse anymore. Completely wireless and easy to use, our mobile solution for stock inventory will give you the freedom, efficiency, control and accuracy that you desire.

About ASAP Systems
ASAP Systems is a market leader in inventory management and asset tracking systems that uses barcode and RFID technology with Motorola barcode scanners, smartphones and tablets. We help improve profitability by eliminating manual data entry, paper files and forms and by automating record keeping. With our inventory and asset software, businesses know 24/7 how and where assets and inventory are received, stored, used and disposed of in the warehouse, in the field and in the office.


ASAP Systems Live Support - Inventory Software - Asset Management