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Barcode Scanners and Why You Need Them

The biggest advance in technology for small business owners is the Apple iPad and compatible hardware. This device has provided small businesses to tools that were previously only used by big corporations and national chains. Barcodes can easily be implemented into a business to help with tracking inventory and processing sales, both at point-of-sale cash registers and through e-commerce websites. With a high-quality barcode printer and a versatile barcode scanner, a business can take advantage of all the benefits with a minimal investment. Find out why your small business needs barcode scanners.

Barcode Scanners Can Assist with Asset Tracking.

Keeping up with inventory can be a hassle. However, when you do not know what you have, it can cause a number of problems for your business that cost you money. When inventory numbers are unknown, it is easy for an item to become out of stock before it has been reordered. This can leave customers unhappy and they may choose to purchase the same product elsewhere, rather than waiting on a backorder. Additionally, a business owner cannot accurately make purchase orders and may overstock an item that is not selling quickly. The addition of barcodes can put the exact quantity of every item at your fingertips and update it in real time.

According to Business Solutions, “By utilizing bar code technology, a user can enter data nearly 20 times faster, and do so about 20,000 times more accurately.” This has helped the City of Dallas streamline its purchasing department for Homeland Security equipment. It received a grant to cover these purchases, but without the assistance of barcode scanners, would have found it difficult to track and report on the 4500 assets it managed. In the event of an audit, a lack of information could have been costly and the city may have lost its grant or been required to repay it.

Barcode Scanners Can Improve Inventory Organization.

When inventory arrives in the shipping dock, it needs to be documented and stored correctly until it is used. For many businesses, this is the least-enjoyed task and the result is that it can be done incorrectly. If an item is not added to inventory, it may later be incorrectly marked out of stock or reordered when it is not necessary.  When a business does not know what it has available, this can hurt sales figures and motivate potential customers to shop for the same products elsewhere. Barcode technology can be used to improve organization for new and existing inventory. A barcode scanner that is wireless and mobile can be used in the shipping area and relay information to the database immediately. This can save time, money, and ease the burden on employees.

Barcode ID did a study of several companies that made changes to their systems using barcode technology. Smith Transports, a shipping company in Pennsylvania, was handling hundreds of pallets on a daily basis. The warehouse crew was putting away these pallets, going to a printing station to create barcodes, and then returning to the shelves to apply them. This was incredibly inefficient and often the result was a lost product or an incorrect label. By upgrading to a mobile barcode solution, the company was able to solve this. “A complete mobile printing solution increased operator efficiencies, improved material handling times, decreased rerouting problems and virtually eliminated mislabeled pallets.”

Barcode Scanners are Practical in Limited Space.

For a big national chain, a facility can easily cover thousands of square feet or more. However, for small businesses, owners and employees often have to make good use of a single small shop space. When real estate is at a premium, using a large area for creating and using barcode labels is inefficient. With the right modern technology, a barcode printer and scanner can be set up in a small space to work efficiently and quickly.

Cognitive TPG followed the business story of Copper Mountain Resort, which operates five stations for renting ski equipment. They needed a solution that coordinated between all locations, but had limited space to house a big computer system at each one. They found a new system that helped them to print serialized labels at each location. “Its 5 locations had very limited space that could not fit a full computer, so the system had to operate as a standalone. They also needed to be able to print serialized labels with variable information on the spot for replacement labels.”

Once a business has made the decision to invest in barcode technology, the next step is finding the appropriate hardware. The Shopify point-of-sale system is a comprehensive hardware set that includes a cash drawer, barcode printer, and barcode scanner that operate using a single iPad and app. This system is meant to be affordable for the average small business and offers many advantages. When you are ready to take your small business to the next level, this is the direction to go.

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