Any business producing an item needs to count the numbers put into inventory. However, counting items in production can provide far more benefits than just stock quantity. One of the main points of tracking the production of any item you make is knowing how efficient your process is.
- How many widgets did you make last week vs. this week?
- How many yesterday vs. a week ago?
- How many bad ones did we make?
- How close did we get to our target?
- Do you get more done at a particular time of day?
- What time of day do most of your production defects crop up?
To answer these questions, you first need to track how many widgets you make and when you make them.
You don’t need a complicated, expensive MRP (Manufacturing Resource Planning) system to this. More than anything, you need data! Whether that data is collected manually with pencil and paper or electronically, by automated counters is up to you.
One of the simplest methods of automated counters is sensing the product on a belt. Your item passes by a sensor that is an input to the counter and each unit is counted.
Alternately, tally counters can be used to do manual counts. Tally counters can be simple handheld mechanical or electrical counters that have a push button to advance the count. PC versions are also available. An advantage of a PC counter is the ability to easily track the time of day when each item was counted.