How to Manage Inventory with Barcodes: Simplifying the Process and Eliminate Errors
If you’ve been wondering how to manage inventory with barcodes, it’s time to modernize your warehouse and bring more efficiency across the board. Inventory management is already a process that’s had to rely far too long on manual data entry, and it may surprise you that you’ve survived all these years having warehouse staff enter SKU numbers manually into a computer every day.
Human errors are inevitable when having warehouse staff, or even data entry operators, enter data manually. With barcode scanning, these problematic errors can finally be eliminated. It’s a technology that isn’t brand new, yet it has taken time for warehouses to realize the fullest potential.
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Take a look at how barcode scan technology saves you more than just time and money. It also brings benefits in security and preventing downtime when massive errors occur.
The Simplicity of Barcodes
The food and beverage or medical device industries require more extensive inventory control. These industries are extremely competitive, and having to enter inventory data manually can only lead to more errors than you can count, and increase the total time it takes to pick, pack and ship.
Barcode scanning is very simple. A quick scan enters specific information you need in real time, and anyone in your warehouse can access it when they need the information. With an integrated, cloud-based system, you can even access this information on the go as you walk through the warehouse.
Barcode scan systems don’t require extensive training – it’s simple to do, and with the right type of warehouse management system, you are able to utilize any internet-connected device so you don’t have to worry about expensive, specialized hardware.
The Cost of Barcode Labels
Barcode labels are fairly inexpensive to create, helping you save money in your warehouse operations. You’ll be lowering your overhead while improving everyone’s productivity.
At the same time, you’re lowering your capital costs since you won’t have to second-guess on keeping your inventory stocked. Barcode scanning lets you know exactly what’s in stock so you won’t end up spending more money than you need to. Ultimately, this helps in reporting more accurate tax deductions.
You can save even more money by utilizing a warehouse management system that allows you to use any internet-connected device to scan your barcode labels. Some systems restrict you to using specialized hardware, which can be expensive to purchase and maintain.
Eliminating Error Costs
Evidence shows manual data entry errors happen one out of every 300 keystrokes. When you have extensive inventory to keep up on, that can start to add up and lead to irritated customers and your own errors in judgement. Not having accurate inventory information could again mean ordering items you actually already have on hand.
Conversely, you may think you have enough inventory on hand and not order enough to fulfill orders. Missing just one product could end up throwing orders off track and create delays, which leads to unsatisfied customers.
Keeping Yourself Compliant
Errors could become very risky for your warehouse when you deal in shipping pharmaceutical or medical device goods, or food and beverage goods. Not staying compliant in these industries could get you in severe legal trouble while facing stiff financial penalties.
Barcode scanning has a low error rate, so you can make sure your data is secure. Since everything is traceable to one server, you don’t have to worry about data getting lost or stolen, which can lead to compliance violations alone. Utilizing a business application that allows you to track your product through the entire supply chain – from manufacturing to consumer – can help you ensure compliance.
Consider back in the day when you had to sift through spreadsheets to discover what inventory you had on hand. With complex inventory, it likely meant extensive searches that led to order delays.
Barcodes and better inventory management will help you view inventory detail in real-time to fulfill orders immediately. Unfortunately, some warehouses end up waiting until more serious issues arise before switching to barcode scanning procedures. Implementing these procedures now so you see the benefits through the rest of the year.
Aplicor’s all-in-one, embedded platform includes warehouse management, customer relationship management, financials and ecommerce that gives you full visibility into your warehouse operations. Contact us today to learn how we can help you improve your business processes.