Barcoding: An Effective Means Of Inventory Control For Small Business

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Inventory Control for Small BusinessNothing beats the advantages that barcoding brings to ease inventory control for small business. Barcodes are a wonderful solution to increase employee efficiency. They also help you keep a track of your inventory thereby making the functioning of your small business more efficient and smooth.

Let us have a sneak peek into the immense benefits that inventory control through barcode offers to its users:

1. Human Error

With inventory control through barcode, you can reduce human error by a huge degree. Since it eliminates the requirement of manual entry of data by the employee, there is less human effort in the process, thereby reducing the chances of an error. Also, employees take time to enter the data manually which can be done away with by implementing a barcoded management of inventory.

2. Less Training Time

Most of the employees at your store may have been in the store for a long time and would be used to the old process of inventory control. It may also happen that your employees are fairly aged people who are immigrants to the world of technology. However, with the barcode system being very simple, you do not need much skill at handling technology to master it. With the scanners in place, you also obviate the necessity of training your employees on pricing procedure of the inventory. Barcode inventory control involves less participation in training thereby saving time and effort.

3. Low Cost

Barcoding does not require huge sums of money. Even the most advanced systems are fairly low cost because barcodes are easy to design and print. Each barcode only costs pennies which are a very minuscule amount compared to the benefits that it brings along for inventory management.

4. Versatility

Barcodes play a variety of roles in your inventory management. They can be utilized for different kinds of data collection viz. pricing, inventory collection etc. They can also be attached to any product to identify them while coming in or going out of your store.

5. Better Control of Inventory

The way barcodes track your inventory is incredibly accurate. You can reduce your overhead by lowering the scale of inventory. You save money by avoiding spending extra on the inventory that is not needed or is already in store. You also get an idea of your best sellers and the not-so-good movers. This enables you to generate more offers to the customers to make your store attractive for them.

6. More Informed Decisions

With the speed and reliability with which the barcode system brings you data about the current state of your inventory, you take better and quick decisions which effectively translate into saving money in longer run.

However, it can be quite a delicate task to put into operation a barcode management system in your business. It has two major requirements. First, it requires to be correctly implemented and next, it needs to be successfully integrated with the existing software working for your small business.

Here are seven tips that will assist you in easing out the implementation and use of barcode inventory control for your business:

1. Choose the right barcode label printing solution.

The first and foremost requirement of successful implementation of barcode inventory management is legible, durable and speedy barcode generation. For this you need a good barcode label printer which proves itself to be cost effective in the longer run. Do not fall for cheap options since this is one requirement which cannot be compromised in any manner.

2. Check out the barcode label’s material specifications.

While it is true that the barcode label that you use is the cheapest of all the things that you require to implement barcode inventory control, it is also the most vital one. These labels are most prone to damage at the hands of the environment. In the event of your barcode labels wearing out over time, you may have to undergo the entire process of re-labeling them. Hence it becomes imperative that you choose the right barcode labeling material that can withstand the environmental conditions that you are going to subject them to.

3. Test your barcode labels before deploying your entire barcoding system.

This may appear to be a very obvious thing to do but even then it has been found that many companies straightaway jump to labeling the products without testing them. Testing the labels will prove to be a time consuming activity but it will certainly be beneficial in longer run. You not only need to test your labels for containing the right information but also on their survivability over a period of time. Such an activity will allow you to come to know of all the likely obstacles beforehand only.

4. Thoroughly review all your support options.

Before you install various machines viz. the scanner, software, printer etc. make sure you have support for them ready with you. It is very obvious that all these customer supports will not come from the same vendor and hence you need to be thorough about how to get support for each of your devices.

5. Integrate your barcoding system with your existing information systems.

This is one of the biggest challenges that the barcode inventory management implementation faces. As most of the companies already have existing information systems working for them, it becomes critical to align the new barcoding system with the existing systems. More than just simplifying the physical setting, it requires an in depth knowledge of how the data arrives at the system’s database from the label.

6. Get to know your vendor.

It is vital to have a one to one contact with your vendor. The vendor you decide to go with needs to be committed to you not only during the implementation phase of the system but also throughout the life of the system. Your worst nightmare can be a situation where you do not find your vendor when his support is needed or he declines to support your solution citing some or the other technical reason.

7. Stay updated on current technology.

It always pays to be in sync with what is the latest. Barcoding technology has been in the market for years now but most warehouse owners are implementing it now. With the rapid advance in the pace of technology, it is important to make sure that you do not fall behind the fast changing curve and get bereft of what barcoding technology has to offer.

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen

Justin Velthoen has 20 years of supply chain experience, from food distribution to manufacturing, to systems management and implementation. His primary focus is helping businesses realize the cost savings directly to their bottom line.

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QStock offers Warehouse Control, Integrated Shipping, eCommerce, ASNs, Commercial Invoices, Customer Portal, Drop Ship, Lot & Serial Track and Trace, Work Order, with compliance label printing from FDA UDI compliance to SSCC-18 Labels.

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