• Data Collection
  • Oracle JD Edwards

Bridging Gaps in JD Edwards Functionality with Mobile Barcoding

Written by Michael Clark
July 25, 2019

Mobile barcoding fills in a critical gap in your JD Edwards processes by automating data collection at the point-of-work.

Mobile barcoding fills in a critical gap in your JD Edwards processes by automating data collection at the point-of-work.

Oracle’s JD Edwards is a robust enterprise-level ERP system that offers organizations significant benefits. It holds massive amounts of inventory, asset,s and personnel data.

However, JD Edwards can’t be everything to every industry. When it comes to meeting the very specific needs within the supply chain, a more generalized solution may not have the flexibility or functionality you need to get the job done, especially when it comes to mobile access to ERP data.

And while modules like Advanced Warehousing and JD Edwards Mobile go far in extending the functionality of your ERP environment, neither cover a significantly critical area of mobile warehouse automation – automatic data collection, also known as ADC or AIDC.

This leaves a significant gap in your digital warehouse operations.

Sure, your materials can be moved around once entered into your JDE environment, but how do you actually get the inventory data into your system in real-time and with perfect or near-perfect accuracy?

Mobile barcoding technology.

Mobile barcoding is an automation technology that enables your workers to scan barcodes on inventory, assets, pallets, and more using wireless handheld scanners to instantly and accurately capture data. Using mobility software, this data then updates your JD Edwards’ database as each transaction takes place. In addition, your IoT, IIoT, and smart devices can automatically collect inventory data as well, adding that wealth of information to your ERP database.

The Problem with Manual Data Collection

Manually collecting data and then inputting that data by hand into JDE creates a significant bottleneck.

Without automation, your team probably captures and tracks inventory using paper printouts, handwritten notes, manually-keyed spreadsheets, or even tribal knowledge that relies on human memory. Not only is the accuracy of this data subpar – the industry average is only approximately 60% accurate – but takes more time to process.

This leaves a significant gap between when work is actually performed and when the inventory shows up in JD Edwards. Since that inventory isn’t available for utilization until JD Edwards knows it’s there, your workflows must wait for workers to manually enter data into the system – a process that can take days or weeks.

Think about it: Your receiving team checks every item on a new pallet against a paper printout of expected items, makes a few illegible notes on the margin, and then commutes to a workstation to type in all that data, mis-keying a critical number or two. Maybe the receiving clerk hands the paper off to another team member, who must then interpret those handwritten marks hours or days after the fact.

So, while you have the ability to track inventory, assets, etc. across your enterprise, you are limited in terms of visibility for transactions, actual levels of stock, data accuracy, and operational agility.

In addition to creating a time delay “gap” in inventory processes, the low accuracy levels that result from manual data collection creates problems downstream as those inaccuracies propagate through the warehouse and onto your customers.

How Supply Chain Mobility Fills the Gap

Mobile barcoding, also known as mobile data collection, brings automatic data capture (ADC) capabilities to the already robust JDE ERP.

Mobile barcoding, also known as mobile data collection, brings automatic data capture (ADC) capabilities to the already robust JDE ERP.

We’ve talked about how manual data collection creates a gap in automating your warehouse workflows for JD Edwards. Now let’s see how enterprise mobility for the supply chain fills in those gaps to create a continuous sequence of automated processes for your JD Edwards environment.

Enterprise mobility creates an ecosystem of mobile software, mobile hardware, and integrations that seamlessly fit into your existing tech environment. Mobile barcoding technology is one aspect of enterprise mobility for the supply chain that automates data collection using barcodes and mobile devices.

Together, this forms a total mobile supply chain solution that includes:

  • Mobile barcoding automates data collection for JD Edwards at the point of work for your employees.
    • Automates slow, outdated and inefficient manual processes to increase productivity, efficiency and throughput.
    • Simplifies field entries to secure faster data entry times for each transaction.
    • Minimizes errors to 1% or less, adding value to your operation.
    • Read real-world use case »
  • Mobile software enables workers to transact inventory against JD Edwards right wherever they are.
    • Creates real-time transactions in JD Edwards.
    • Reduces commuting and lag times between actual work vs when updated in JDE.
    • Built-in validation steps enforce inventory accuracy and traceability rules for quantities, lot numbers, locations and more.
  • Mobile hardware effectively “mobilizes” your workers, empowering your teams to work how, when and where they need to.
    • Puts valuable JDE data at your team’s fingertips, where and how they use it.
    • Seamlessly connects your workforce to business systems with real-time transactions.
    • Increases productivity, efficiency and worker safety.
  • Remote warehousing solutions create 24/7 data collection capabilities.
    • Allows mobile data collection and transactions to continue during periods of unexpected downtime.
    • Enables data collection for remote areas or facilities with limited connectivity using High Availability and Off-Network Solutions.
    • Prevents data loss from unanticipated outages and connectivity challenges.

Supply chain mobility can enhance multiple areas in your operations beyond data collection. Examples include quality assurance on the shop floor, human resources data, spare parts for plant maintenance, and MRO processes, among others.

Finding the Right Mobility Solution for Oracle’s JD Edwards

Now that you understand how mobility can close certain gaps in your business processes, seeking out a provider is the logical next step. When selecting a supply chain mobility vendor, consider the following points to see if that vendor is a right fit for your organization:

  • Ensure the mobile platform is architected specifically to solve the challenges inherent in supply chain workflows.
  • Choose a mobile solution with certified connectivity to JD Edwards and pre-validated transactions. The best mobile supply chain solution will create efficiencies AND simplify your processes without complicating your JDE environment with custom code or additional databases.
  • Does the real-time integration include application support for causally connected, roaming operations?
  • Look for a solution that includes a low-code mobile app development platform that simplifies and accelerates mobile app development, modification, and workflow creation.
  • Will the solution continue to function when it comes time to upgrade your JDE version? It should!

RFgen’s Mobile Unity Platform™ offers all these benefits and more. By seamlessly integrating with your JD Edwards ERP and other business systems, RFgen can initiate transactions as the JD Edwards system so that movements occur in parallel with validated transactions taking place on the floor. Whether your ERP is deployed on-premise, on the cloud (public or private), or in a hybrid model, RFgen easily slots in to communicate with your JD Edwards instance.

Maybe it’s time to pave over the gaps in your supply chain processes and automate manual process bottlenecks using RFgen mobile barcoding technology.