Questions You Should Consider Before Implementing Barcoding into Your Business

Does your business have issues with stock control? Is there a lack of instant data updates and accessibility? Are there issues with delayed shipments, too low or too high a number of products in your inventory? If these problems sound like your business, then you should consider an efficient barcoding system for your business.

Man with a Barcode

Barcoding systems are an incredibly useful tool for businesses of all sizes. They can give you complete control over your stock management, with a drastic reduction in errors that frequently occur when stock control is handled manually with a paper spreadsheet. With barcoding software in place, you have a visual representation of everything your business owns, giving you a clearer idea/overview of your inventory and allowing you to improve your efficiency and accuracy levels.

However, every business is different; a barcoding system that works in one business won’t necessarily be the right one for yours. So, before you implement any kind of barcoding system into your business, you should consider the following questions.

What Hardware is Needed?

Implementing any kind of stock control and barcoding system into your business will require specific physical hardware such as handheld scanners, label printers as well as the labels themselves which will need to be attached to products.

You need to consider the wear and tear that your hardware will experience in your business environment. Some printers will be designed for harsh industrial environments, whereas a desktop printer will be better-suited to office use. The labels themselves also need to be considered; thermal transfer creates longer-lasting images on the labels, which are useful in environments where short-term application would not be appropriate.

You can choose between handheld scanners, but maybe a mobile barcode app is more appropriate for your business. Will you need long-range scanning or scanners compatible with vehicle-mounted computers? Is your stock within easy reach? These are all things to bear in mind when considering which hardware is the most suitable for your business.

Barcode Scanner

What Are Your Inventory Challenges?

In order to ensure you pick the best barcoding system for your business, you need to know what challenges your business faces and how barcoding can help you solve any issues. There is a wide range of inventory management tools and with them comes a variety of system functionalities and capabilities.

You need to be aware of your inventory processes and the challenges that you encounter with your workflow. Knowing your inventory issues will allow you to make a more informed decision when implementing any kind of barcoding system into your business.

Can You Integrate Your Barcoding System into Existing Systems?

If your business already has an inventory system in place, you should consider whether a barcoding solution can be implemented into this already existing system. For example, if you still use a manually filled out spreadsheet to control your inventory, and want to implement a barcode scanning system, you’re going to have some issues integrating this.

If you already have inventory management software that you’re happy with, such as Xero Accounts, you can look at whether potential barcoding systems will integrate with the software. With GSM, you can implement G-SMart barcode software that bolts onto existing software to create a fully integrated barcode inventory system. The software talks directly to the installed database, allowing for accurate real-time information about your stock levels within your business.

So, you should consider whether or not a barcoding system is compatible with your business’s current structure and systems. Installation of a barcoding system will probably require a bit of trial and error with the existing software, so during implementation you will need to anticipate and prevent any possible issues that may arise.

Who Will Have Access?

It is a good idea to know the number of employees who will be accessing the system when it’s set in place, and where the terminals will be located within your business. This will aid you in figuring out how you are going to set up your barcode tracking system. It will also allow you to plan for potential training that you may need to give your employees, so they can learn how to use the new system.

Will you teach your entire workforce or just a handful who you will be expected to use the system on a regular basis? Think about who will be accessing the barcode inventory system to determine how many people will need training, as well as assessing how many different pieces of hardware you will need, such as handheld scanners.

Reading a Barcode
Before you rush off to purchase a barcoding system, you should carefully consider the answers to these questions and whether or not barcoding is the right solution for your business. If you find that your orders always seem to be going missing or you find yourself low on stock when you’re certain you ordered the right amount, then a barcoding inventory system might be the right choice for you. If you’re considering a barcode system for a small business, GSM barcoding can help.

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