Part Tags and Bin Labels

A key point in the RTA Fleet Management software is the tracking of parts used on vehicle repairs. Probably the most common way to track the parts is by having the mechanics write the down part numbers on the work orders. The problems with this method are that it's time consuming for the mechanic and is prone to errors.
A better and more efficient way to track parts is through the use of parts tags. Tags can solve many of the problems of maintaining a parts inventory system. One of the hardest things about a manual inventory system is keeping track of where parts were used, how many were used, and when they were used. Deciphering (or finding) handwritten part numbers on a work order can be frustrating for the entry clerk. The part number may not be written down correctly, or it may not have the right price on it. By using part tags, many of these problems can be avoided since every part on the shelf will be tagged with a label. This way, when a part is pulled from the shelf, the part tag is also pulled. The part gets installed on the vehicle; the tag gets placed on the work order.
Bin labels can also be printed to help mechanics and parts personnel easily locate and identify needed parts. They are applied to the shelf or container where the parts are located. The use of bin labels helps to keep the parts room organized and orderly. The bin label makes it easy to identify a part that is currently out of stock and designates the place where the part is located. Part tags and bin labels can be printed with or without bar codes. The use of bar codes speeds up the process of tracking part inventory even more. When posting parts to work orders, the entry clerk or parts clerk simply scans in the bar code and keys in the part quantity. That's it. No searching, deciphering, or entry error! Taking physical inventory isn't so "physical" with the use of bar codes-scan the bar code, key in the part quantity, move onto the next part, scan the bar code, key in the part quantity, and so on. You're done taking inventory before you know it.
The Setup:

  • Setup and configure bar coding hardware if you haven't already done so (see "The Setup" in the previous section).
  • Set Create Tags for Tires in "Tire File Switches" as needed (SSM, switch 28).
  • Set the "Tags for Non-File Parts" switch as needed (SSI, Miscellaneous I tab, switch 23).
  • Set switches 1 - 4, dealing with tags and bin labels as needed (SSM, Parts Parameters tab).
  • Set the Create tags flag as needed in part records (MPM).

The Procedure:

  • Print and label existing inventory and bins.
  • Print and label parts as they are purchased, bin as they are created.
  • Pull labels and place on work orders or other documents as parts are used.
  • Post parts in the usual manner (to work orders, manual charge outs, etc.). When prompted for the part number, scan in the bar code. If you charge out parts over-the-counter, the use of piggyback labels comes in handy for heavy or large parts. Rather than carrying the item to the location where parts are normally scanned, you can simply peel off the part label to be scanned. Another solution is to keep a manual containing bar coded labels for these types of parts at the workstation. Be sure to use the Quick Post feature to save even more time when posting parts to work orders. Refer to "Quick Post" in Chapter 7-Work Orders for more information.

Setting the Create Tags Flag

Part tags are created 1) manually, 2) when new parts are added to the system, and 3) when parts are received on purchase orders. But, in order for this to happen the Create tags flag must be active in the part record. This flag can be activated individually through the part record or globally for a range of parts using the Global Part Change program in the Utilities 2 add-on package (SIAG). To flag an individual part record for tags, do the following:

  1. Select Master > Part > File Maintenance from the RTA main menu (MPM).
  2. Enter a part number or press F1 to select a part from the lookup list.
  3. Select the Create tags checkbox.
  4. Save the record.

Creating Part Tags

In order to print part tags, the records must exist. There are three methods for creating the needed part tag records:

  1. Manually
  2. By adding new parts to the system
  3. By receiving parts on purchase orders

Each of these methods is described in the following sections.
NOTE: Once created, tag records remain on file until they are printed or deleted from the system. This file can accumulate a lot of records, especially if you're adding and receiving new parts daily, so be sure the Create tags flag is set properly for your parts.

Creating Part Tags Manually

To manually create part tags, do the following:

  1. Select Parts > Tags/Labels > Create Tags by Bin OR Parts > Tags/Labels > Create Tags by Part from the RTA main menu (PTC, PTR).
  2. Depending upon your selection, enter either the starting and ending bin number or part number range or press F1 to make a selection from the lookup list.
  3. Specify the number of tags to create for each part in the specified range or press ENTER to create tags for the current quantity on hand.

Creating Part Tags for Newly Added Parts

The process of creating tags for new parts added to inventory is very easy because it doesn't require any extra steps. Simply add the new part record in the usual manner, through the Part Inventory, Work Order, or Paperless Shop modules, and do the following:

  1. Select the Create tags checkbox.
  2. Enter a quantity in the stocking area(s).

As long as these two steps are completed, part tag records will be created for the specified quantity. Refer to "Adding a Part" in Chapter 5-Parts Inventory for instructions if necessary.
NOTE: Tag records will not be created for newly added parts that are flagged as non-chargeable parts, even if Create tags is activated. If you want part tags for these types of parts, you'll need to create the tag records manually.

Creating Part Tags for Purchased Parts

To create tag records for parts received on purchase orders, do the following:

  1. Create the purchase orders in the usual manner (PPA, PPC).
  2. Receive the PO or PO line(s) when the parts come in.
  3. Choose Yes at the Create tags prompt.
  4. Complete the process in the usual manner. The Received Date, Invoice Number, and Invoice Date prompts may or may not be available depending on how your switches are set in the Parts Parameters (SSM, Parts Parameters tab).

Refer to "Receiving Parts into Inventory" in Chapter 5-Parts Inventory for instructions if necessary. Tag records will be created for parts flagged for tag creation; however, they will not be created for parts that are flagged as non-chargeable parts. If you want part tags for non-chargeable parts, you'll need to create the tag records manually.

Maintaining Part Tags

Individual part tag records can be added, viewed, changed, or deleted by using the Tag Maintenance option. To do so, select Parts > Tags/Labels > Tag Maintenance from the RTA main menu (PTM) and the Tag Maintenance window appears.
View the list, which is sorted by bin number, to see the tag records on file and the quantity to be printed. By default, all tags on file are displayed initially. To specifically view tag records created for newly added parts or parts received on purchase orders, select the Newly added parts or Purchase orders radio button located at the top of the window.

Adding Tag Records for a Part

To add tag records for a part:

  1. Choose Add from the Tag Maintenance window (shown).
  2. Enter the part number or press F1 to select a part from the lookup list.
  3. Specify the number of tags to be printed.

Changing Tag Quantity for a Part

To change the number of tags to print for a part:

  1. Highlight the tag record to modify and choose Edit from the Tag Maintenance window (shown).
  2. Change the number of tags to be printed.

Deleting Tag Records for a Part

To delete tag records for a part:

  1. Highlight the tag record to delete and choose Edit from the Tag Maintenance window (shown).
  2. Choose Delete.
  3. Choose Yes to confirm the deletion.

NOTE: If you want to delete all part tag records from the system, contact our technical support department for instructions.

Printing Part Tags

As described earlier, tags can be created 1) manually, 2) by adding new parts to the system, and 3) by receiving parts on purchase orders. The tags print routine has also been broken up so tags can be printed for the task at hand. For example, you may have just received a PO of 15 parts and don't want to print all tags on file, just the ones for the parts received.
To print part tags, select Parts > Tags/Labels > Print Part Tags from the RTA main menu (PTT). A screen similar to the sample screen appears. The prompts displayed vary depending on the setting of the Tag field in the RTA printer record (SPM) and the tag type setting in the Parts Parameters (SSM, Parts Parameters tab, switch 1). The setting value will be noted in ( ).
Prompt Descriptions

  • Tags to Print: Select a radio button specifying whether to print all tags, only tags for newly created parts, or only tags for parts received on POs. (All)
  • Bin Number Range: Enter the starting and ending bin number(s) or press F1 to select the bin number(s) from a lookup list. (All)
  • Align Printer: By default, the Align printer checkbox is active to allow a test alignment before the actual part tags are printed. You'll be able to print as many test alignments as needed. Deselect this checkbox if a test alignment isn't needed. (YES)(NO)(SLP)
  • Start on Tag: This prompt is intended for sheet labels used for printing on lazer printers. Enter the number identifying which label to start printing on. The numbering order goes across and then down a row. So, if you're using sheet labels that are 3 columns wide by 10 rows deep and want to start printing on the middle label in the third row, you'd enter 8 as the tag to start on. (LAZ)(LZ2)
  • With Bar Code: Select a radio button indicating whether to print bar codes on the part tags. (YES)(NO)(LAZ)
  • Number of Columns 1 – 4: This prompt appears if you opted not to print bar codes. Specify how many columns to print. (YES)(NO)

Printing Bin Labels

To print bin labels, select Parts > Tags/Labels > Print Bin Labels from the RTA main menu (PTB). The prompts displayed vary depending on the setting of the Bin field in the RTA printer record (SPM) and the tag type setting in the Parts Parameters (SSM, Parts Parameters tab, switch 1). The setting value will be noted in ( ).
Prompt Descriptions

  • Sort Order: Select a radio button to specify whether to sort the bin labels by part number or bin number. (All)
  • Fit Code Selection: This allows the option of printing bin labels for parts with a specific fit code. Enter a specific fit code to print or press ENTER to accept the default and print bin labels for all parts in the specified range.
  • Print Range: Depending on the sort order selected, enter either the starting and ending part number(s) or bin number(s) or press F1 to make a selection from a lookup list. (All)
  • Start on Tag: This prompt is intended for sheet labels used for printing on lazer printers. Enter the number identifying which label to start printing on. The numbering order goes across and then down a row. So, if you are using sheet labels that are 3 columns wide by 10 rows deep and want to start printing on the middle label in the third row, you'd enter 8 as the tag to start on. (LAZ)(LZ2)
  • With Bar Code: Select a radio button indicating whether to print bar codes on the part tags. (YES)(NO)(LAZ)
  • Align Printer: By default, the Yes radio button is active to allow a test alignment before the actual part tags are printed. You'll be able to print as many test alignments as needed. Select No if a test alignment isn't needed. (YES)(NO)

Number of Columns 1 – 4: This prompt appears if you opted not to print bar codes. Specify how many columns to print. (YES)(NO)