14 May, 2013
Panatrack is excited to be part of the Vicinity Manufacturing FOCUS 2013 User Conference this week in Marietta, Georgia. We have had a great time working with the Vicinity crew to develop our integration with their solution. Stop by to learn more about how PanatrackerGP can dramatically simplify how you manage your manufacturing inventory.
FOCUS is the foremost formula manufacturing software event, bringing Vicinity software users, Microsoft Partners, Vicinity Manufacturing team members, and process manufacturing industry experts together to discuss ways to improve and most effectively utilize Vicinity software. FOCUS includes a variety of informational and highly-interactive learning sessions to better understand how you can further leverage your Vicinity software.
PanatrackerGP for Inventory is a great addition to the Vicinity software. Add real-time barcode data collection and WMS capabilities to your manufacturing process. Accurately and quickly capture lot details, print production labels, perform stock counts, enter manufacturing usage and production, and so much more!
13 May, 2013
We’re happy again to be part of The TM Group’s event this year in Plymouth, Michigan. Panatrack will be on hand to answer questions about our PanatrackerGP solutions that increase efficiency for tracking of inventory and assets. Our inventory solutions are tightly integrated to DynamicsGP and provide WMS capabilities without the hassle of a separate system. Our fixed assets module adds easy barcoded identification of Dynamics GP assets. The Field Sales module adds in-the-field order capture and signature-capture delivery tracking.
Vision is the oldest and largest regional Microsoft Dynamics conference of its kind, and is designed to provide current and perspective users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Dynamics GP and Dynamics SL with an in-depth educational overview of Microsoft’s leading business software solutions. Vision 2013 is a day-long educational event with five tracks and 20 break-out sessions, which draws both current users of Microsoft Dynamics financial, ERP and CRM solutions as well as companies considering new business management software.
”Each year Vision has grown in excitement and value for our clients, guests, and stakeholders, and this year will be no exception,” said Judy Thomas, president of The TM Group. “We expect over 300 people to join us as we explore the future of Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, SharePoint and SQL Reporting Services and Business Intelligence tools. Our entire team will be on-hand, along with record sponsorship for 30 of our local strategic partners and Dynamics ERP and CRM solution developers.”
This year’s conference will be held on May 14th, from 8 am to 4:30 pm at Inn at St. John’s located at 44045 Five Mile Road, in Plymouth. Learn more here: http://www.tmgroupinc.com/2013VisionInvite.asp
19 March, 2013
Today at Convergence, Panatrack and V-Technologies announced a strategic technology partnership to offer a fully-integrated pick, pack, and ship solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP.
For Immediate Release:
Cheshire, CT (PRWEB) March 19, 2013
V-Technologies, LLC., a leading provider of integrated shipping software solutions for Microsoft Dynamics customers, and Panatrack, Inc., a leading software development firm specializing in systems for tracking inventory, assets, and activities, today announced a strategic technology partnership. The combined PanatrackerGP and StarShip solutions bring together industry leaders to offer a complete warehouse management solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP customers. PanatrackerGP adds barcode technology and mobile computers to efficiently pick and pack orders. StarShip takes those details to complete the shipping process, integrating to parcel and LTL carriers such as UPS, FedEx, USPS and Con-way. The ability to deliver these capabilities without having to customize Microsoft Dynamics GP simplifies implementation and upgrades.
“PanatrackerGP and StarShip simplify the GP order fulfillment process to create a tightly integrated workflow to connect the pick, pack and ship process,” said Caroline Walsh, VP of Sales & Marketing, V-Technologies, LLC.
PanatrackerGP Inventory for Microsoft Dynamics GP adds barcode data capture for inventory transactions with direct integration to the ERP. The solution extends the functionality of Microsoft Dynamics GP to handheld mobile scanners for receiving, inventory moves, stock counts and order picking to add efficiency by eliminating duplicate entry and capturing transaction details at the point they occur.
“StarShip shipping software by V-Technologies extends the capabilities of PanatrackerGP by offering automated shipping and providing a cost-effective easy-to-implement solution to capture, verify and process shipments. We’re excited to offer this additional functionality to our clients and believe that the StarShip shipping software offers an unmatched level of industry expertise and superior technology model that will go a long way to maximize our clients’ Microsoft investments,” said Michael Burnham, President, Panatrack.
StarShip shipping software offers a turnkey approach to processing small parcel and LTL shipments with Microsoft Dynamics GP. The bi-directional interface streamlines the entire workflow to gain immediate efficiencies in shipment processing, accounts receivable and customer service for improved productivity and cost savings.
Panatrack will be exhibiting as a Bronze Sponsor and demonstrating its PanatrackerGP solution in Expo Booth #643.
V-Technologies is exhibiting at Convergence 2013 and will be demonstrating StarShip (and ShipGear) for Microsoft Dynamics GP in Expo Booth #357.
Panatrack has been in business since 1996 and began its life in the field of operations consulting and software development. Today Panatrack is a software development firm specializing in systems for tracking inventory, assets, and activities. Using data-capture technologies such as bar code, RFID, and wireless mobile computers, the company creates pre-packaged and custom solutions to track comprehensive details about the real-time transactions that are critical to efficient business operations. Headquartered in Delafield, Wisconsin, Panatrack’s customers span the range from large corporations to very small operations. Additional information about Panatrack and its solutions is available at www.panatrack.com.
Founded in 1987, V-Technologies, LLC is a shipping software development company who has developed a selection of shipping software solutions to meet the growing demand for integrated shipping. StarShip™ and ShipGear® are the two flagship shipping software products. V-Technologies, LLC offers shipping software interfaces with Sage Software’s Sage 100 ERP (formerly MAS 90 and MAS 200), Sage 500 ERP, Sage 50, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Everest, Exact Macola, QuickBooks, and Counterpoint. Additional information about V-Technologies and its solutions is available at http://vtechnologies.com
18 March, 2013
Our returning visitors will notice that we have a new look! We’d really like to hear your opinions. We’d especially like to hear of any troubles you might experience. Please send us an email to our webmaster.
15 March, 2013
Panatrack is excited to be a sponsor of the Microsoft Dynamics Convergence conference in New Orleans. Come see us in booth #643 on the show floor. Learn about all the amazing new features added to our DynamicsGP Inventory and Asset solutions. The show runs from March 18th through March 21st.
Customers, along with their Microsoft partners, come to Convergence from all corners of the globe to experience all that the event has to offer. Loaded with a wealth of informative sessions and other creative ways to learn, customers discover how to extend the power of their solution across all areas of their business. They also get a first look at new product releases and hear about future plans for their software.
Learn more about the conference here: http://www.microsoft.com/dynamics/convergence/
11 February, 2013
I am often asked by clients “Which scanners are best, 1D or 2D?”. It is at this time that I explain to them that it not which is best, but which is best for their uses. We at Panatrack offer hardware capable of reading either 1D or 2D barcodes as part of our Inventory and Asset tracking solutions. Making the proper selection based upon usage is important.
Bar codes are like a font, they display information in a format that can be read electronically. They are frequently used to represent something that will pull additional information from a database. With the proper application, scanning a bar code of an item number can retrieve information about that item (such as quantity, location, or description to name a few). For example, when you go to the store and see the Universal Product Code (UPC) bar code on a product, it is basically a string of numbers that represents the manufacturer and item. When it is scanned into a Point-Of-Sale system (checkout), information such as unit price and description are called up based on stored information.
The bar code itself simply represents the item code. Given the possibility of a price change for that item, it would be very unwise to embed pricing information into the actual barcode. This applies to your GP item number as well. There is no need for a special “bar code” number. Simply using your internal GP item number or even the manufacturer’s item number will suffice. Bar codes do not have to represent just item numbers; they can be used to populate any field; such as site, bin, or even a user. Any alphanumeric symbols can be represented in a bar code.
The bar codes most people are familiar with, such as UPCs, are considered to be 1-dimensional, as they will represent data in a linear fashion. We are seeing a growth in popularity of 2-dimensional bar codes. These 2D codes can be used to contain multiple pieces of information in a minimal space. As you pack more information into a 1D barcode it grows wider. “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is a famous sentence, lets apply it to barcodes. First we see the sentence presented in a traditional 1D barcode called Code128. We then see the same sentence represented in a Data Matrix type 2D bar code. The entire Gettysburg Address can be printed in one 2D bar barcode(PDF-417). That is over 275 words in one small image! That is a great feature, but how does the ability to fit a bunch of information in a bar code make it easier to track inventory?
A 2D bar code can be used to encode data such as a serial number or item and lot details for tracking from cradle to grave. In PanatrackerGP, a single 2D barcode can be created to populate several fields in a single scan. Using PanatrackerGP’s specially-formatted “consolidated barcode” allows our software to understand the request and parse multiple data fields accordingly. For example, a customer could label each package with a single bar code that includes the Item, Package Quantity, and Unit of Measure. When the item is scanned, the data is parsed to automatically populate the corresponding fields: Item, Quantity, Unit of Measure. This dramatically speeds data capture and removes the decision-making of entering a quantity and selecting a unit of measure away from the user. This can apply to serial and lot details also. Instead of multiple bar codes on a label or multiple labels to represent the data, the information is represented in a single bar code on a single label.
The compact size and the ability to encode multiple fields into a single bar code are great benefits of 2D technology. A 2D bar code can be read in any direction. If the user has to scan from different angles, a 2D bar code is a great option. When adding bar code technology, identify if 2D bar code data capture may be required at some point. This will help you determine your hardware investment. An “imager” scanner is required to scan a 2D bar code; a traditional “linear” scanner can not read a 2D barcode. Imagers also support scanning of the traditional 1D bar code. A 2D imager will allow the user to capture both 1D and 2D barcodes at any angle. However the specific application of your solution must be taken into account. For example, a company that has several barcodes that are located close to each other (such as on the back of a cell phone or on a circuit board), might have a tougher time aiming an imaging scanner. Because the imaging scanner captures the entire image of the article to be identified, there is less accuracy than aligning the single red laser on the intended bar code.
Your Panatrack Solution Architect will be a good resource in selecting the right hardware. If you have any questions regarding the Panatrack solutions or hardware choices, contact Sales@panatrack.com It isn’t too early to plan your bar code strategy. We find a good starting point to adding bar code technology is to identify your labeling strategy. Panatrack can assist you and provide you with the tools you need for both inventory and fixed asset tracking. Visit our web site: www.panatrack.com or give us a call.
15 March, 2012
Panatrack will be a returning exhibitor at Microsoft Convergence 2012 in Houston. Visit us at the Expo from March 18th to March 21st.
Convergence is the premier Microsoft Dynamics event where you can experience first-hand how you can optimize your business and improve your bottom line. This event serves as the meeting point for the Microsoft Dynamics Customer and Partner business community. We are excited to be part of this event again.
More information about Convergence can be found here:
29 February, 2012
Many customers seeking inventory management turn to evaluate full Warehouse Management Systems (WMS). In many cases, they want to add automation tools that will allow them to add serial or lot tracking or multiple-bin tracking. There is a misconception that Dynamics GP doesn’t support inventory management and that a separate system is required to achieve accurate inventory control.
While there ARE cases in which a full independent WMS is needed, many organizations can add the inventory management benefits by adding a robust data collection solution and continue to use their Dynamics GP as the host inventory database. This blog post will highlight the key inventory management features that are already supported in Dynamics GP — features that you may not be taking advantage of because you do not have mobile data collection tools in place. When you add mobile scanners and bar code technology, you open the door to incorporate all of the inventory management functionality Dynamics GP has to offer and add inventory control practices under a fully integrated system.
If you are familiar with Dynamics GP, you know you have the ability to set up multiple site locations. You also have the ability to make a single bin assignment for each item for each site. For companies that have a place for every item, this works great. Adding a mobile data collection solution will give your workforce access to which bin the item is located, whether transferring, using, or picking the inventory.
For many organizations, there may be a primary location for an item, but a need for an “overflow” or optional bin locations. Enabling multi-bins provides the abilities to track inventory in a variety of bin location. Bin assignments can be identified for the primary receiving and picking locations. Adding mobile data capture adds the ability for the users to access bin locations and the quantity on hand and available, adding efficiency to the workflow. Priority bin set up can be set up to add even greater inventory control and can also add minimum and maximum level recommendations.
Manufacturer Item Number Cross Reference
Many customers ask how to get the “bar code” into Dynamics GP. You can actually use your own Dynamics GP item number. Create an inventory label with your GP item number represented as a bar code and you are ready to go. If you have inventory that you receive with a manufacturer or vendor item number already represented in a barcode, you can store this as a cross reference in Dynamics GP Manufacturer Item Number Maintenance table. If scanned in a solution like PanatrackerGP, the cross reference number is automatically translated to your GP item number. Panatrack has also added features to automatically create the cross reference when inventory is received.
Serial & Lot Tracking
Many customers turn to bar code technology when they have identified the need to track their inventory by serial or lot number. Serial numbers tend to be long (and usually are represented on the inventory item in a bar code already). Scanning is a more efficient and accurate option to manually recording these numbers. Dynamics GP supports both serial and lot tracking. Lot attributes can natively be captured on lot tracked inventory include expiration date, manufacturer date and up to 5 definable attribute fields (3 text, 2 dates). Mobile data collection provides immediate real-time validation when selecting serial and lot details for inventory-related transactions.
Item Resource Planning
Within GP, reorder levels can be set for items by site. Faster entry of transactions provides more immediate information to maintaining stocking levels and purchase requirements.
Allocations for inventory provides an additional layer of management to inventory stocking levels. A “soft” allocation can be done on sales orders (allocation is done on an item level, no serial or lot number specified), to update “available quantity” to manage inventory quantity levels. Using a bar code data capture solution such as PanatrackerGP, specific serial and lot numbers are collected at the time they are picked.
WMS versus Dynamics GP
If you need features such as slotting, complex cross-docking, three-level location tracking, or load building capabilities, you probably need a full WMS. If you don’t need these features (or don’t even know what they are), chances are good you may not really need a full WMS. Keep in mind, a key feature of a WMS will be adding bar code and mobile data capture technology. Without it, you will be in the same boat you are now, with a manual process. Imagine providing the tools to your workforce to complete the transactions at the point and time they occur and look at everything Dynamics GP has to offer first. You may be surprised!
PanatrackerGP adds bar code technology and mobile data collection to complement your current Dynamics GP investment. Give us a call to discuss your needs. We can also support EDI, ASN, shipping, container bin tracking, and directed transfers to meet the needs of many organizations that feel they are on edge between data collection and full WMS. We always encourage to explore all of your options! We also work well in hosted GP environments!
30 December, 2011
If you have inventory and/or assets that you are or would like to be tracking using barcode technology, you should consider getting started sooner than later. You don’t need to make a large investment in a full Warehouse Management System or Asset Tracking solution right out of the gate. However, you may want to add barcode labeling sooner than later in anticipation of adding more advanced technology in the future.
Why now rather than later? Labeling and tagging your inventory items now, even if you aren’t using the ability to scan barcodes, will save you the time and headache later when you decide to move forward with a data capture solution. You don’t need to make a huge dollar investment to do so. By selecting a label design and printing solution, you can start labeling inventory at the point you are receiving it in. Even if you are receiving it the old fashion paper-based way. There are several label printing solutions available on the market. We tend to recommend and implement the NiceLabel solution. Seagull Scientific’s Bartender is also a good option. Any of the solutions will provide you with the same results. These software packages start at $495. Investment in a desktop label printer can easily be under $500. If you prefer, print labels to your existing laser printer.
By selecting a solution that supports database connectivity, you can easily create a solution that will print your item labels from your Dynamics GP database. A word of caution, you will want to create a view for the data with an RTRIM function on the GP database fields. RTRIM returns the data string after truncating the trailing blanks. In GP, the item number allows for 30 characters. If your item number is only 10, the remaining 20 will be blanks. This makes it difficult not only to set up labels, but your item number will not read in barcode format with a barcode reader with trailing blanks. Panatrack has created a set of GP inventory item views. These views include the information generally needed to create your item label. We have one for purchase orders. If you are not lot or serial tracking, this is an ideal option for creating your item labels. Plus you have some validation built into your process. When you receive your inventory, you can label it as you record your receiving. If you are expecting 10 of an item and you have 1 label left over, you are short 1 (and vice-versa). If you serial or lot track, you can set up item label printing against the receiving transactions if those details are captured from the vendor or manufacturer.
When creating your item labels, keep in mind that you really don’t need a lot of details recorded on the labels. Avoid putting locations or quantities (unless it is a package quantity that won’t be changed). For items tracked by quantity, the Item Number is really the only thing that would need to be represented as a barcode. You don’t need a separate numbering system representing the “barcode number”. Your GP item number is recommended. If you track by serial or lot number, the serial and lot should also be represented in a barcode. The use of 2D barcodes is becoming more and more popular since you can include the item, serial, or lot in a single bar code. PanatrackerGP software does offer a format for this specifically.
The same is true with assets you want to track. We recommend purchase pre-printed asset labels. Typically the Asset Label ID and your company name is all you really need. The Asset Label ID will represent the asset record in your tracking system. Adding your company information adds security to your assets. Asset tags are typically made from materials that will last as long as your assets. They often are coated to resist scratches, abrasions, chemical and weather.
If you start adding barcodes to your inventory and asset tracking now, you will be in a good position to add the mobile and automated data capture functionality later without much additional setup overhead. Panatrack is a reseller for NiceLabel and BarTender. Visit NiceLabel or BarTender for more information on these label design and printing solutions. Panatrack offers consulting services to get you on your way to incorporating barcode technology in your operation. Give us a call for more information!
11 November, 2011
Need to get a better handle on managing your fixed assets? We’ve just published a new whitepaper filled with practical tips for managing fixed assets, and the cost benefits of adding bar code data capture. (That “bar code” aspect really isn’t a surprise, is it?)
Many businesses, regardless of their industry, have the need to manage their fixed assets. Fortunately, Microsoft Dynamics® GP offers strong fixed asset management capabilities. However, the upkeep and manual tracking of fixed assets can be unreliable and leave you with an inaccurate financial picture. Adding barcode data capture will dramatically improve your tracking efforts. Learn how to combine Dynamics® GP with the automated data capture of PanatrackerGP to create a simple and powerful platform for asset control.
Download the whitepaper: Keeping Track of Fixed Assets in Dynamics GP