A robust inventory system lays the foundation of a successful business. And barcode technology plays a critical role in implementing a solid and effective inventory management system.
No matter what the size of the company, inventory management should never be overlooked. While large enterprises pay a lot of attention to their inventory systems, the case is not the same for small businesses. If you are a small business owner and want to implement a barcode inventory system, this blog will help you. We’ll discuss all the crucial steps and details and mention the features to look for in a good barcode scanner for fast scanning. So, without further delay, let’s begin.
Importance of a Barcode Inventory System for Small Businesses
There are numerous benefits that a robust barcode inventory system offers. It helps reduce costs and shrinkage, simplify processes, increase profit margins by minimizing out-of-stock items, improve forecasting, and ensure happy customers. Hence, every business that relies on an inventory system should follow the best practices to make the most of it. An inventory management system that uses barcode technology is, in fact, more robust and effective as it automates the process reducing time, costs, effort, and errors.
Steps to Implement a Barcode Inventory System
We have listed enough benefits of a barcode inventory system. Now, let’s discuss the steps to implement one.
Define All Variants and Stock Keeping Units (SKUs):
The first thing you need to do while implementing a barcode inventory system is to make a list of all the items you have in your inventory. Key every stock-keeping unit variant and number into a database. You’d like to include some critical information: purchase cost, item measurements, vendor information, etc. This will help make inventory management easier for you.
Choosing a Barcoding Inventory Management Software:
Now that you have your inventory database ready, it’s time to choose a barcoding inventory management software to create barcodes. You can select any of the leading ones that fit your budget and requirements.
Decide which Barcode Types work the Best for you:
Different businesses require different barcode types. Depending on the type of your business, find out which barcode symbologies you need. Do you need QR codes or 1-dimensional barcodes? Make a decision.
Create the Barcodes:
After deciding the barcode types, create the barcodes using the barcode inventory system. Most softwares are easier to use. So, you’ll just have to select the barcode type, and the barcodes will be automatically generated. To keep all the hassle at bay, don’t forget to choose the best barcode inventory system software.
Choose a Robust Barcode Reader:
Once you have decided on the barcode types, it’s time to choose a powerful barcode scanner to scan barcodes without a hitch. The market is filled with plenty of options. You can opt for a barcode scanner app or a handheld barcode reader. But, the best way out of all is to choose a barcode reader SDK to embed barcode reading functionality into a new or existing application. Since the barcode scanner will perform scanning of barcodes, it is crucial to choose the best one for proper functioning. Below are some essential features to consider in a barcode reader SDK. Take a look.
- Fast Scanning Speed: Speed is crucial for inventory management. Hence, you must choose a barcode scanner SDK that provides fast and accurate barcode scanning. It should quickly scan multiple barcodes to accelerate the entire process further.
- Easy Integration: One of the most exciting benefits of barcode reader SDKs is that they eliminate the need to build a barcode scanning application from scratch. Hence, you don’t have to spend months developing the solution. To save more time and effort, choose a barcode scanner SDK that is easy to integrate. Most leading ones let you integrate barcode reading functionality in your apps by using just a few lines of code.
- Ability to Scan Different Barcode Symbologies: While each business uses a specific set of barcode types, it’s good to choose a barcode reader SDK that supports common barcode symbologies such as 1-dimensional barcodes and standard 2-dimensional barcodes.
- Read Tough Barcodes in a Challenging Environment: Most barcode reader SDKs do not perform well in challenging environments such as low light, glare, and shadow. Another problem arises with tough barcodes such as curved, wrinkled, incomplete, tiny, angled, and marked-up. Choose a barcode scanner that performs well in such conditions and with tough barcodes.
Updating the Inventory System:
Now is the time to update the entire inventory system. Consider updating all the items with new barcodes to make the workflows more streamlined.
Keeping A Check on Everything:
The last step is to check that every label is correctly placed on the respective item. Also, consider physical aspects such as the durability of the labels and the materials used to make them. You can opt for lamination for items that require cleaning and foil barcode tags for items with uneven surfaces.
Following the above steps, you can implement a barcode inventory system for your business. Also, don’t forget to try every solution that you are going to buy.