The first in a series of articles that addresses how to stop the bleeding from losses in Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) in the cable industry. CPE losses have always been a major problem within the industry. Fortunately, the introduction and use of bar code systems and handheld devices in warehouses have made a significant impact on these losses. If you have not already used
- Serialize your inventory by using bar codes on all CPE. Bar Code and hand scan every incoming and outgoing shipment. The earlier you bar code your CPE the less stock is likely to go missing early. Serializing your inventory will also allow you to perform inventory and track the location of the CPE more accurately. A more accurate inventory can reduce CPElosses by correctly identifying the equipment inside larger boxes and its location in the warehouse. In addition, serialized inventory can also help identify subscriber equipment during service calls making sure the subscriber has legitimate equipment.
- Complete your inventory audits faster using handheld devices. There is also a significant labor cost reduction in conducting the audits as manual counting is eliminated and replaced by fewer personnel armed with handheld devices. CPE losses are reduced because inventory is completed more often and more accurately reducing theft and tightening the window for CPE to become lost.
- Eliminate reconciliation errors caused by handwriting serial numbers. Even if you can read what is printed, the likelihood of transposing a number while writing it down or keying into a system incorrectly can be devastating over time. Studies have shown manual key entry to cause at least one error per 300 characters versus 1 error in 3,000,000 scanned. Identifying missing stock early is crucial to reducing CPE losses.