To survive and thrive, the oil and gas industry must work more efficiently than ever, especially in a low-crude price environment. To make the supply chain more streamlined, I see many rig owners trying to operate with a lower headcount but not using technological advances to make the tasks easier for the remaining staff. In this article, I’ll explain how mobile printers can make help to make the processes even more effective and help take rig inventory management to a higher level of speed and efficiency.
I don’t know one Materials Manager who doesn’t think inventory control on a rig is a never-ending challenge, no matter if they use the latest technology or a manual workbook. (Some outfits still rely on a good old Excel file. That can work until people move, get new positions or even forget to add transactions.) But I believe in today's challenging business environment that the demands of the industry require you use a modern inventory control system that ties into your company's ERP network. Mobile printing is one of the latest weapons in maintaining clean inventory records and efficient supply chain processes. Let's look at the four key benefits.
Versatile Tools for Mobile Printing
Today's mobile printers are rugged, versatile tools increasingly used in supply chains throughout energy industries. Each new model incorporates the latest technology. For example, mobile printers are often equipped with dual antenna Wi-Fi technology, which helps reduce dead spots in warehouses or shipping containers. Bluetooth capability allows effortless connection to compatible devices. Efficient batteries provide multiple hours of operation without interruption. Backlit LCD user interfaces make operation easy, even in low light areas.
Durable Construction for Mobile Printing
Rig environments are harsh, so durability is key. Printer manufacturers make sure mobile units can take the abuse they encounter in such challenging environments. There are also protective cases available to provide an extra level of insurance against potential damage if they are dropped or mishandled.
Multiple Printer Languages
Many units are factory ready to work with printer languages (CPCL or ZPL II) to connect immediately with your existing system. There are microSD and USB ports to accommodate a variety of peripherals. Handy accessories such as detachable belt clips, shoulder straps and mount kits for forklifts make mobility simple. Labels can be printed for location, shipping, tracking receiving, inventory, expiration dates, price and more.
I believe the case is clear: Mobile printing reduces errors, improves efficiency and provides tremendous flexibility in managing oil rig inventory through the supply chain. You save time maintaining inventory and personnel, and stay at the innovative forefront of MRO technology and warehouse automation. Also, there are many other opportunities on a rig where mobile printing may add the same benefits outside of supply chain activities that we should consider.