Picture this: a warehouse worker is tasked with placing purchase orders and processing sales orders, but when he logs into the inventory management software to do his job, he is perplexed by all of the options he has that go far beyond his job responsibilities. He has the ability to generate manufacture orders for goods, change the dates and times that bills and invoices are exported to QuickBooks, and even create or delete entire locations.
Not only do these many options create confusion for the worker but they also leave the company vulnerable to serious data problems because unauthorized personnel can make major changes to parts of the software they are not qualified to access. What is the solution to this problem? Constraint management.
Benefits of Constraint Management
It might sound strange at first, but constraint management is a freeing strategy. It frees employees’ time to focus on what they are best at. Also, it prevents data breaches by ensuring only certain people are able to see and change sensitive information within the software. That frees companies from a lot of worry and trouble. Only a handful of people at the top need to see the big picture while everyone else just needs to see parts of the whole that they have control over.
Let’s go in greater depth on the benefits of using constraint management in a business.
The great thing about user rights is that they ensure workers only see areas of the software that they have access to. They are not left to wonder about which parts are off limits and which ones they are permitted into because all of the parts that are off limits will be hidden from their view.
Depending on the software you are using, you may be able to get as granular as you like with the user rights. We will use Fishbowl as an example. The Fishbowl Documentation Wiki lists all of the user rights or access rights available to administrators. You can assign access rights to each user so that they can perform every function within a particular module or only certain features within it. In fact, buttons can be hidden from view or made visible depending on a user’s rights.
User rights can be adjusted at any time by a system administrator. For example, if a warehouse worker who is charged with reordering items gets assigned the additional task of shipping those items out from Fishbowl, they can be granted access to the Shipping and ShipExpress modules in addition to the Purchase Order module they were already using. User rights can be easily expanded or contracted, offering plenty of flexibility to leaders and workers in an organization as the nature of their work changes.
The way that constraint management protects a company’s data comes in two forms. First, it limits access to sensitive parts of the inventory management software to authorized personnel. Second, it helps to prevent errors in data entry by limiting who has the final say in approving and issuing sales orders and purchase orders.
As we discussed earlier, it is essential for businesses to protect themselves by using constraint management. User rights allow software administrators to give their workers the tools they need to do their jobs without overwhelming them with unnecessary tools that would only lead to excessive data exposure. You wouldn’t want a salesperson attempting to do an accountant’s job or vice versa. If they tried to do that, they could easily enter the information in the wrong place or make other unauthorized changes that could be detrimental to the accuracy of your data. It is much better to let each worker specialize in their own field by granting them access to what they need to do their jobs, and no more.
An important user right in Fishbowl is the ability to issue purchase orders and sales orders that have been created. With this tool, many workers can create purchase orders and process incoming sales orders and get them ready to send out. But before purchase orders or sales orders can be issued, they must first be approved by someone with a special user right. One person or a select few can go in and double-check that everything is correct. They can see if the proper products, quantities, vendors, and destinations are on the orders. Once they are satisfied that the information is accurate, they can issue them. This adds a protective layer of assurance that everything going out and coming in is correct.
Would you like to give your employees the ability to generate reports on trends within the modules they use? You can just check a box that grants them that user right within Fishbowl. Sometimes the people who are actively involved in specific areas of a business are the best-qualified to make judgment calls and spot areas for improvement or opportunities invisible to most people. That is why Fishbowl offers the ability to grant reporting user rights to your workers.
If you prefer, you can limit access to only administrators to have the user rights to generate reports for all of the modules in Fishbowl. That way, they can help you to organize information into graphs, generate barcodes and product labels, analyze sales data by location, and much more, and then present it in meetings and elsewhere. Whether you prefer to grant this access to a wide variety of users or a select few, it all depends on how you want people to be able to use the software.
Bringing It All Into Focus
Focusing on one thing at a time allows for greater productivity. Rather than exposing your company to unnecessary risk and confusing employees with too many options, you can use constraint management to reduce risk and create order. Fishbowl’s manufacturing and warehouse management solutions put you in control of your inventory and give you numerous tools to protect your data while ensuring all of your employees have the necessary tools to effectively do their jobs. Sign up for a free Web demo of Fishbowl to see how its constraint management features can benefit your business.