Barcoding systems make scanning easier and reduce the manpower needed to manage inventory systems. Here are some of the more common applications used in industry.
One of the most important ways barcode systems help your company is by effectively and efficiently controlling inventory. Barcode systems all but eliminate manual data entry errors, and they reduce the amount of time needed to input inventory items. Knowing what you have, and where it is at all times, prevents disruptions, downtime, and saves money on purchasing. It reduces overstock and backorders.
It also increases sales and revenue because your inventory turnover is more predictable. You’re not waiting on inventory to be shipped, and neither are your customers.
Tracking assets is another benefit to barcode systems. Using them, in combination with this asset tracking software, allows you to keep tight control over fixed assets by attaching a label to equipment, office furniture, computers, and other fixtures, and then entering them into a database.
Once in the database, they can be managed. Anyone that moves, removes, or replaces any fixed asset will have to clear it through the database system, and that system can be automated, both manually and automatically, at regular intervals.
What’s more, you can calculate depreciation, conduct physical inventories, and do preventative maintenance on office equipment on a regular schedule.
In that sense, it acts like an asset preservation tool – fixed assets break down over time due to normal wear and tear. These systems catch them before they fail catastrophically by tagging and monitoring them with each use. Users can make notes about current condition and any problems before signing equipment out or upon returning it.
Automatic Data Collection and Management
Data collection and management can be put on practical autopilot. Anything that is manually managed with paper spreadsheets or that is handled through clipboards, can be managed through a database program. Barcodes and scanners are the bridge and link between the virtual world and the real one.
Data can be scanned in much faster by using barcodes systems, letting you leapfrog ahead on your productivity goals, allowing you to get more done during an average workday, and by improving accuracy of inputs.
Because data is not manually entered into a computer system, error rates plummet. This is especially important when you’re working with datasets for hospitals, financial or accounting firms, or where product counts and ratios have tight tolerances.
The organization capabilities of barcode systems cannot be overstated. It’s estimated that a proficient data entry operator will make a mistake on one out of every 300 characters entered. This means that, for a 12-digit UPC code, the operator will make a mistake one out of every 25 manually entered codes.
Now, layer those data entry errors on top of an excel spreadsheet system, where the spreadsheet system itself may be prone to entry errors or formatting mistakes if you’re using formulas to process the data.
The results could be devastating. This is why companies almost always spend the money upgrading their barcode systems on a regular basis, and why you should consider upgrading to one if you haven’t already.
Greg Williams works as a warehouse inventory manager. He loves to share his insights on the Internet. You can read his articles mostly on business websites.