Barcode scanning systems make it easy for businesses to manage inventory ensuring better tracking of products and checks that there is nothing missing or stolen. This technology ensures that organizations maintain an accurate inventory flow which improves productivity and efficiency within the business.
How Barcoding Impacts The Supply Chain
Implementing a barcode scanning system will be able to positively impact the supply chain. Some of the improvements it will make include:
1. Processes Payroll
A barcode scanning system assists with the payroll processes of the business as it is able to track the number of hours that each employee works through the identification tag that each barcode contains. It keeps track of the times employees scan from the beginning to the end of their shifts and then this information is sent to the payroll processor.
2. Track Employee Performance
With a barcode scanner, you gain information regarding employee performance because it shows how fast they fulfill orders and how long they spend performing certain tasks. This performance tracking gives you insights on areas which can be improved such as minimizing errors and ways to increase efficiency.
3. Avoid Inventory Outages
You can avoid inventory outages as barcode scanning systems keep count of the inventory you have at hand and shows which products usually sell out quickly. This will allow you to identify products you might need to stock up on before they run out.
4. Generate Invoices
Barcode scanning systems can automatically create invoices for you through an invoicing feature which ensures that there are no billing errors for your business.
5. Handling Results
When employees are preparing orders, they will be able to use the right sized box for the order. This is because they use handheld barcode scanners which can gauge the right size box they will need for orders; saving money for the business.
How to Choose a Barcode Scanning System
There are a lot of barcode scanners that are available and it can be difficult to choose the right one for your business. Below are guidelines you can follow to choose the best barcode scanner for you.
1. Consider The Barcode Scanner Type
The first step before purchasing a scanner is deciding the type of barcode scanning system you require for your business. There are four kinds of barcode scanners you can choose from which are:
- Pen type readers: These scanners are also referred to as barcode wands as they look like wands. These pen-like barcodes contain LED lights which illuminate over the black and white bars of a barcode. You would need to scan over the barcode at a proper speed for it to read the barcode properly.
- Laser barcode scanners: These scanners are similar to the pen types and are mostly used in retail. They are either handheld or mounted. With this scanner, a laser beam is shot at a mirror which moves so that the laser sweeps across the barcode in a straight line. There is a photodiode which captures the light reflected and processes it into digital information.
- Change Coupled Device (CCD) barcode scanners: CCD scanners or LED scanners contain hundreds of tiny LED lights arranged in a row which directly shoot at a barcode and measures the voltage of light. This light is later transformed to computer readable data. These scanners give the most accurate results, but they are also quite expensive.
- Image barcode scanner: This scanner contains a video camera which takes an image of the barcode which is analysed using digital decoding techniques. It is able to read the barcode regardless of the way you place the scanner and it’s scanning speed is also fast.
2. Consider The Barcode You Will Be Scanning
You need to consider the kind of barcodes that you will be scanning before you purchase a scanner. There are two types of barcodes that exist which are:
- 1D Code: These codes contain data in one direction. They also have linear black and white spaces of different widths and have close to 12 characters. These codes can be read by traditional laser scanners or camera-based image scanners.
- 2D Code: These codes contain data in horizontal and vertical patterns. They may be smaller than 1D codes, but they can have up to 100 characters allowing them to hold more information. 2D codes can be read by using images which is a lot more expensive.
3. Consider Your Physical Design and Reliability
Barcode scanners can be power-hungry and heavy which is something most businesses do not take into account. Before purchasing a barcode scanner, consider how employees will have to navigate the scanner while doing their work.
Your barcode scanner should have reliable performance. If you are purchasing a handheld scanner it should not be heavy. It should be comfortable to grip and connect to the station regardless of whether or not it is wired.
4. POS Compatibility
POS-scanner compatibility is important to consider when you purchase a barcode scanner. There are devices that are only compatible with one type of software, and some are more flexible and can handle different hardware and software. It is important to choose a barcode scanner that can easily connect with every station of your business.
5. Look For Ease
You should choose a barcode scanner that is easy to use in order to have smoother transactions. Do not choose a scanner that takes time to connect with a station. Choosing scanners that are wireless and that can be paired with a Bluetooth can be beneficial for smaller businesses with fewer stations. The only disadvantage that wireless scanners have is that you would need to charge them first before you can use them.
Barcode scanners are able to assist businesses in tracking outgoing and incoming inventory. With so many options on the market to choose from, following the guidelines offered above will be able to assist them in the process.
Take a look at the Top Barcode Scanner Apps for Android PDA Devices.