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In your path to reducing manual dependencies, increasing operational efficiency,  achieving higher productivity and profitability, managing your inventory using barcoding is one of the most important aspects to consider for your business.

A good inventory management software works best with a fast and accurate barcoding system and becomes completely necessary if you:

  • Manage your inventory on a big scale in a warehouse
  • Consume inventory for self utilization such as training and photoshoot purposes
  • Have Vendor alliances who rely on barcode scanning
  • Sell through multiple sales channels Online/Offline

As useful as a barcode inventory management system is, the process to fully equip your warehouse and utility centers with this system can be a little tricky and time-consuming. But we at Unicommerce are here to solve this very problem of yours with our guidance and support to help you implement a robust inventory management system using barcodes for improved efficiency and productivity of your warehouse/business operations.

This blog has been designed to help you grab onto the most useful information about what is barcode scanning, why it is necessary for your business and how to implement it whether you are a small or large scale business.

First off, let us understand what exactly is a barcode and how can you manage inventory efficiently using barcodes!

What are Barcodes?

Barcode tracking or scanning is the method to streamline inventory allocation, tracking and maintenance. 

Typically present in 3 forms, barcode systems have now become essential for not only keeping track of inventory but also to extract data, make secure payments and much more. 

Initially, barcode scanning systems were of numeric and alpha-numeric form and were considered as one-dimensional with a unique combination of letters and numbers and or bars of different widths. 

QR codes are another form that are square in shape and include a combination of small lines and dots. The QR codes are considered to be two-dimensional. 

No matter what type of barcode you choose, their use provides some huge advantages when it comes to managing your inventory. As barcodes are unique, room for error is almost null and that is what makes it so much more efficient and necessary for your e-commerce business. Now let us try to decode what exactly a barcoding scanning system is and how it makes a difference for you in your efforts to manage inventory. 

Read moreHow can you Streamline Inventory Management using Barcode Scanning?

What is Barcode Inventory Management System?

A barcode inventory management system allows your warehouse staff to scan these unique QR codes with a barcode scanner, a device especially made to read barcodes, to automatically present complete data of the inventory in question. 

When scanned, each barcode exhibits specific information and data about each item from the Universal Product Code (UPC) which is then transferred to your online inventory database. The labels and functions on your inventory can also be easily customized as per industry standards to help you be updated.

Now that you have a fair understanding of what Barcode Scanning is and how it works, let us look at some benefits of implementing a barcode system for inventory management.

Benefits of Barcode Inventory Management System

Using the right Inventory Management Software with Barcodes will give you a lot of advantages this in your overall operations, productivity and profitability including:

1. Error Proof Results
2. Complete Security
3. Higher Savings 
4. Control over Information
5. Fast and Easy Handling

#1 Error Proof Results

With no more manual dependency, the chances of error become almost null increasing your productivity and with little to no room for data miscalculations.

#2 Complete Security

The biggest advantage of having a barcode inventory management system is that it gives you the ease to have complete knowledge of where, with whom and how much inventory you have. Barcodes allow you to trace your inventory in cases of theft, wrong and or damaged deliveries all at a single panel right at your fingertips.

#3 Higher Savings

Automation not only cuts back on manual dependencies but also reduces the overall cost to a company to manage its inventory and warehouse operations. Barcoding helps you reduce labour and training costs and gives you complete visibility of inventory to help you assign work accordingly.

#4 Control over Information

Crucial information about various assets can be easily tracked with the help of barcode scanning and this enables each business to print and customize additional information that they wish to share with the end-users. From the built and type of an inventory to the locations from where it has been sent, all can be detailed in the barcode labels.

#5 Fast and Easy Handling

When you have all the information about each of your products right in a tiny QR code, you can process huge chunks of data within minutes by a simple scan and derive conclusive results based on real-time updates benefitting your overall profitability.

With these highly impressive advantages of having a barcode inventory management system, I’m sure now you must be thinking of understanding the process of how to actually take on this solution and align it with your current structure of operations! 

How to Implement Barcode Inventory Management System?

Transitioning from a manual to automated barcoding system may look like a huge task but with the right support and guidance, you can not only achieve the right implementation but also reap long term benefits of the solution.

Here are the major processes involved for small or large scale eCommerce businesses, to begin with, a barcode tracking system or an inventory barcode system.

#1 Check what the Industry accepts

The first step is to ensure that you are aligned to adopt the ongoing or latest barcode system which is acceptable by the government and used within the eCommerce industry.

You need to check with the mandated norms of packaging and labelling of your products that will be eligible for acceptance. You will also have to decide between choosing a 1D or 2D label, both of which can be used based on your workflow, product, etc.

#2 Create a Product Code

Once you know what is acceptable and correct as per industry norms, you need to create an asset code in accordance with the rules. The code you create can be a Universal Product Code (UPC) or Stock Keeping Unit (SKU).

UPCs are 12 digit long codes, broadly more accepted for business uses around the globe, and can be received by registering with Global Standard 1, which then can be used to trace and get updates on your products across the world.

SKUs, on the other hand, are 8 digit long codes that are unique to every business. They can be generated manually or using an inventory management system and can be used for internal operations such as stock maintenance, tracking and data processing. 

#3 Finalize what information to put

Your barcode will have all the necessary information about your product and business to be successfully carried out and delivered to the right customer. To ensure that, you need to finalize what all you want to put in the label including location, identity numbers, expiration date for perishable items and much more.

Using a combination of numbers, letters, colours and shapes of labels can help you differentiate between all the items and to avoid wrong deliveries.

#4 Generate the Barcode

After finalizing everything right from how you want your barcode to look like and what information it should contain, the main task of creating a barcode for each of your products begins.

This massive task can be done by either using an online barcode generator or a free barcode software. Once you have created the barcode, you need to print the label sheet using any standard printer (inkjet, laser or thermal).

#5 Pick the right Barcode Scanner

While you might have cautiously followed the above 4 steps, if you do not invest in having a good scanner to extract all the information put on your barcode, you might see no results.

A scanner is a wired or wireless device that allows your staff to maintain operations throughout the warehouse and gives real-time updates on your inventory. If you use wireless scanners you get the flexibility to move around the facility and have all the data from these scanners stored into a memory chip that can be later transferred to your computer systems. 

You can also go for a wired scanner that is usually cheaper but needs to be plugged at all times during use, to a computer and a charging outlet. 

Handheld barcode scanners wired or wireless, are the most beneficial for both small or large businesses. While it costs a little more than any other type of scanners, it is a one-time investment that is sure to streamline your entire inventory management process once and for all. 

#6 Select a Barcode Software

Having a software program to manage your inventory and all other operational tasks has become a mandate now due to the heavy demands and higher expectations by the customers.

The same applies for barcode scanning, and to further ease things for you, there are some really great options to choose from. But the only thing to keep in mind is to choose a software that operates as per your business standards and allows customization. 

All these steps will ensure a smooth and successful implementation of the barcode inventory system, but what changes will they bring to your warehouse operations you ask?

How will a Barcode Inventory Management System improve your Warehouse Operations?

With lots of overall benefits that a well-implemented barcode system can provide you, there surely are some specific improvements that you will see in your e-commerce warehouse management system within a short period of time post transitioning.

Business growth, increased productivity, higher efficiency and accuracy are some of the most basic outputs of a good barcode inventory management system, but there are many more features that enhance your warehouse operations to distinguish your business from others and help you scale up rapidly. The right barcode system:

  • Enables Paperless Operations  
  • Eliminates Picking Errors
  • Provides Accurate Allocations 
  • Reduces time to locate inventory (bin and shelf)
  • Cheaper to Implement 
  • Easy-to-use interface for all staff
  • Allows cost-effectiveness 
  • Generates real-time analysis of data
  • Updates when inventory is low 
  • Improves purchasing and ordering processes

Impressed by how a single transition can change the way you do business?

You can achieve all these benefits and improve your ROI by simply hiring the best and most trusted technology solutions provider in the country!

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