With the ever increasing technological improvements and advancements, warehouse management has become a key element in the supply chain. For all intents and purposes, the main intention or objective of a warehouse management system is to control all the processes such as shipping, receiving, storage and collection. To keep up with current technological trends, many businesses are now adopting bar codes to help them track the movement of their inventory from the process of inspection, receiving, packing and shipping.
The process of implementing a barcode system in the warehouse usually includes the generation of barcodes for the inventory items using a manufacturer’s barcodes, importing barcodes into an inventory management software, printing the barcode labels, acquiring barcode inventory scanners and finally acquiring and installing the inventory management software to scan the inventory coming in and getting out.
Once barcode scanners are used in the warehouse management of a business, there are some inherent advantages which the organisation is bound to enjoy. One of the main advantages is the ease of controlling the inventory in the warehouse. Barcode scanners make keeping track of inventory relatively simple because they are interconnected to the system and this allows for the capture of details at the point of entry and at the point of exit. Some of them even go further and allow users to set up alerts for items which may be out of stock at any given time. This greatly reduces instances of stock outs and ensures that orders are made once the re-order levels are reached.
The use of barcode scanners in warehouses does also reduce instances of human error because there is no manual entering of data. One of the main problems identified even when a warehouse management system is in use is the posting of stock details into the system. Many times, warehouse personnel do forget to transfer details listed in pieces of paper or documents into the system, causing discrepancies between manual figures and system figures when it comes to stock levels. This does compromise the data integrity of the system. The use of barcode scanners does eliminate this problem because the process of manual entry of details into the system is completely eliminated and data integrity is assured.
Human error has been identified as one of the leading causes of clerical errors. Instances of missed shipments, double entry of stocks, over or under shipping of invoice items are all eliminated once the use of barcode scanners is adopted in the warehouse. This does greatly reduce instances of product loss either through omission or commission. Because losses accruing from product or item loss are greatly reduced, the introduction of barcode scanners has a direct impact on the organizations bottom line or profitability numbers.
For any business enterprise, the most important and highly valued asset is time. The use of barcode scanners in warehouse management does save a lot of time when it comes to doing the actual inventory or stock taking. This particular task is usually quite tedious and time consuming. Previously it would also call for the deployment of several members of staff to perform this very important task. Now, with a fraction of the previous manpower deployed and the simple scanning of a barcode; getting the correct figures is very easy, accurate and relatively fast.
The use of barcodes has greatly improved the levels of effectiveness and efficiency in the warehouse. Human beings are prone to making mistakes and when it comes to warehouse inventory, detecting and rectifying such a mistake can take a very long time. The process of getting any historical data required to help rectify such problems can also prove very difficult if the warehouse is using a manual system of data entry and capture. Getting hold of the physical files and the requisite entries in pieces of paper is not effective nor is it efficient. The use of barcode scanners makes getting the correct and current inventory very easy and simple; this does greatly enhance the efficiency of the warehouse as a unit and the effectiveness of the entire organization in general.
As the business grows, more and more items are bound to be introduced into the warehouse. This implies that important details such as lot and serial numbers become more critical as they tend to become the primary identifiers used to identify stocks in the warehouse. These numbers can get quite confusing if listed manually since they are usually quite long and any small mistake in recording the same can cause a lot of problems in terms of lost man hours which will most likely be required to solve such problems when they occur.
The use of barcode scanners does also ensure that the internal operations of the organization are smooth. Every business usually has a set of checks and balances in their system or mode of doing business. The use of barcode scanners does ensure that the internal operations of a company are within the prescribed checks and balances. This is usually translated into improved customer care experience for all those clients who interact with the organization. This is because there are fewer instances of missing items, stock-outs, and under shipments.
As a business enterprise, the top management of the business should strive to make the year 2015 a much more accurate year in terms of stock storage, availability, and issuance. As earlier noted, the use of barcode scanners does make the internal operations of a business quite smooth by eliminating all major bottlenecks associated with warehouse management. This has the effect of allowing managers to do other tasks such as getting new clients and introducing new product lines or models rather than running around trying to balance out stock figures or any shipping discrepancies which is usually the case when barcode scanners are not used.
Finally, depending on the line of business the company may be dealing in, the use of barcode scanners has been known to help an organization benefit from some regulatory or customer requirements. Currently, there are regulatory agencies or clients which may impose some labeling requirements on goods or items which the organization must meet. Even though these requirements may be part and parcel of the business requirements necessary for doing business, it is possible to save both time and money by utilizing the barcodes within the organizations operations. A good example may involve collecting the shipping manifest accurately and fast by simply scanning the barcode labels printed and using the same to satisfy the needs of your clients.
Finally, even though the use and adoption of barcode scanners into the warehouse management system does have some financial implications, the overall gains a business enterprise is bound to enjoy are quite significant and substantial.
If you are currently running Intacct or Quickbooks and would like to schedule a free consultation to see if QStock is right for you as your next potential Warehouse management system, Contact Us Today by filling in the form below. We would love to hear about your business and how QStock can help you achieve your business goals.