What do Barcoding and the Olympics have in Common?

Technology of Course!

So many amazing moments at the Olympics! We sure enjoyed the games! And behind the many inspired performances were an intertwined combination of talent, training and technology.


Take speed skating for example; for years Under Armour has been fine-tuning the “technology” behind the body suits speed skaters wear. It’s all about reducing the amount of air resistance and making the skater more aerodynamic. The combination of unique materials and their precise construction, makes a difference. And in a sport where a fraction of a second can be the difference between gold and silver, even the slightest advantage is important.    

Similarities can be drawn with automated data collection though time savings with barcodes are typically measured in minutes rather than fractions of a second. However, the desired goal for both speed skating and automated data collection is to streamline the activity to get the maximum result.

The Business Process Analysis

One of the tools ADI use to uncover inefficiencies is the Business Process Analysis or BPA.  A Business Process Analysis is a methodology used by Adaptive Data to get to know your business. We: 

  1. Review your business processes

  2. Document the current state

  3. Identify areas of inefficiency

  4. Suggest potential time-saving solutions by using barcode and/or RFID

What to Expect from a BPA

The BPA entails us physically coming to your facility, rolling up our sleeves and diving into the daily operations of your organization. 

  • We observe your workflows

  • We talk to your employees

  • And we ask a lot of questions

Why?  First and foremost, we want to understand your culture and priorities to insure we work within those boundaries. Secondly, we want to thoroughly understand how things work now, keeping an eye out for opportunities to reduce cost and improve efficiency in your organization.  Specifically, we are looking for Non-Value Added Labor (NVAL) activities.  

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Productivity Killers

The old adage 'time is money" holds true. So uncovering and eliminating NVAL activities is a priority. What is NVAL? Non-Value Added Labor is any activity performed that does not add value to, reduce the cost of or improve in anyway the products and/or services you provide.

We put NLAL into 2 categories:

1. Time spent manually collecting and handling data

Examples include:

  • Time spent handwriting log sheets, forms, spreadsheets and the like for any area of your organization including: production receipts, inventory movement, scheduling, job tracking etc

  • Time spent collecting, translating, and key entering the data from log sheets, forms spreadsheets and the like

  • Time spent clarifying data

Shaving time off any process means you have to minimize errors. Errors are a productivity killer and data that is key entered is a major source of errors. A highly skilled key entry operator will make one key error in every 400 strokes, and that’s if the data being entered is clearly readable.

2. Time spent validating data and correcting mistakes

Examples include:

  • Time spent searching for inventory

  • Time spent expediting orders to make up for yesterday’s mistakes

  • Time spent hunting down order status

Consider this scenario:
A customer places an order for 2 widgets which your system says are in stock.  But when you go to pull the order, the inventory is not there. The next day you have to expedite the order to fulfill the customer’s request.  

The list could go on and on, but you get the idea. Like errors, these types of activities are productivity killers. 

Evaluating current processes is the first and most important step in a BPA. Documentation and analysis follow and finally a solution or solutions are presented.  

Is Non-Value Added Labor killing productivity in your organization? Give us a call to find out!